Here are the stories from yesterday’s Rivalry tournament at New Rochelle High—the host Huguenots’ big win over Mount Vernon; and the two early games: Unbeaten Poughkeepsie’s victory over Peekskill; and Rye’s win against arch-rival Harrison. You can read those stories for reactions from the games.
Also, here is the roundup of games from Saturday and late Friday night.
Some thoughts on the day at NRHS:
The nightcap sure showed that the Section 1 AA playoffs will be interesting. Remember, Poughkeepsie will play in AA again after reaching the championship game last year. Mount Vernon is vulnerable, but still potentially as good as anybody and probably the favorite. New Rochelle knows it can play with and beat Mount Vernon, or anybody. We’ve seen that North Rockland is for real. How great would it be to have that as the Final Four at County Center?
Poughkeepsie has a great coach in Brian Laffin, and absolute stars in Nate Gause (39 points) and Dayvon Whitaker.
Peekskill is also as vulnerable as it’s been in the last six years, since that surprising run to the first of five straight A titles (and five straight trips to the state Final Four in Glens Falls). That said, the Red Devils remain the favorites, and even by losing to Poughkeepsie via lack of execution down the stretch, they showed they can hang with the bigger dogs. Peekskill could go down in the playoffs, it is certainly possible. But it will take a gargantuan effort by somebody to do it.
Lou Panzanaro was upset with some decision making and execution, and that has been the team’s problem this season. There was a missed dunk when a layup would have been more than enough late in the game; an alley-oop attempt that was unnecessary on a 2-on-1; a 3-on-1 on which the player with the ball never dished off; and a failure to box out the shooter on a free throw. All of that, and given how good Poughkeepsie is, and the Red Devils were still right in the game.
Rye and Harrison will be factors, or at least tough outs. The Garnets reached the County Center last year. Their coach, Chris DiCintio told his senior players that this would likely be the last time they would have the chance to play against Harrison in their careers, and after a very slow start (two points in the first quarter), the Garnets took care of business.
Harrison has its best team in years, and despite the loss, there’s reason for some optimism.
“We let teams back, that’s been our M.O. this year,” Huskies coach Gary Chiarella said. Harrison’s only other league loss was against Port Chester by six. “We have to be more consistent on defense,” Chiarella said. “We need to keep getting better. We’re in a little down spiral, but we’ll get out of it.”