12 50 p.m.: OK, so I’m finally situated here at the County Center. Ursuline beat Haldane girls in a challenge game earlier today. Now, it’s Tappan Zee up 28-20 at halftime on Middletown of Section 9. Tahj Vines and Ryan O’Rourke each have eight points. Pat Peterson has seven. Both Peterson and O’Rourke each have made two 3-pointers.
Somehow, Middletown has outrebounded TZ 20-8 in the first half but still trails. Actually, I know how. TZ has forced 12 turnovers.
More in a bit…
Update, 12:54 p.m.: Middletown on a 9-2 run to cut it to one, but Peterson answers with a steal and a hoop. Timeout TZ, which has a 32-29 lead.
Update, 1:04 p.m.: Not a good quarter for TZ. Middletown junior Shaquille Green just hit a bucket off a pass from Kendrick Ray (brother of Allan Ray of Villanova) to tie the score at 36-36. Middletown outscored the Dutchmen 16-8 in the period.
Update, 1:08 p.m.: A hoop by Jose Canario gives Middletown its first lead of the half. Another hoop by Green gives Middletown a 40-36 edge and forces a TZ timeout with 6:22 to go.
1:14 p.m.: Joe Letizia, who had been on the bench for a while, comes off to hit a 3 from the left corner. It was TZ’s first points in 4:34 and cut Middletown’s swelling lead to 44-39. Timeout TZ with 3:53 to play.
1:23 p.m.: Middletown up 45-40 with 1:22 to play.
1:26 p.m.: Peterson scores, but it’s getting late. Timeout TZ, which trails 46-42 with 47.1 to play.
1:31 p.m.: TZ falls to Middletown 49-42. Green was named MVP, finishing with 18 points and 14 rebounds for Middletown, which outrebounded TZ 39-30. Kendrick Ray added 10 points and seven assists.
Tahj Vines had 11 points, nine rebounds and six steals for TZ. Pat Peterson had 11 points and six boards but committed 10 of TZ’s 20 turnovers. Ryan O’Rourke added 10 points. Billy O’Shea had seven rebounds.
2:58 p.m.: Just so everyone knows, I will be giving updates all day and over the next two days.
Nothing to report right now. Peekskill leads Mount Vernon 34-19. Unfortunately, Kevin and Mookie Jones are nowhere to be found.
I’ll have plenty more later, but right now it appears the games are on schedule.
3:43 p.m.: Peekskill girls nearly squandered a 24-point lead before holding on to win 56-51. Peekskill had led 51-27.
The Ossining-Baldwin girls game is scheduled to begin in 25 minutes. That would put the games about 8-10 minutes behind schedule. Nothing major.
4:20 p.m.: Ossining girls lead 22-17 after on quarter. Sophomore Saniya Chong has 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and four steals already. She should be mandatory viewing for those of you who plan to come to Championship Week later this winter.
4:39 p.m.: It’s halftime and Ossining leads 43-26. Chong has 23 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals in another dominant performance.
Anyway, should be right on a schedule for a 6 p.m. start for Greeley and Albany Academy.
4:50 p.m.: New Rochelle just lost its first game of the season, 54-51 to the John Carroll School (from Bel Air, Maryland) in the Stop DWI Classic at Broome County Arena in Binghamton. The game was tied 49-49 but John Carroll hit a 3 with 35.4 seconds left that broke the tie and gave it the lead for good.
P.J. Torres led New Ro with 14 points. Chris Burton added 10.
New Rochelle will return to the court tomorrow at 1 p.m. in the consolation round and will face an opponent yet to be determined. The Huguenots will have all their games broadcast this weekend at the Southern Tier Sports Network. Click on the name for the site.
Also, they said on the postgame show that today’s game broadcasts will be archived at nhsbn.com.
5:47 p.m.: Ossining girls won 75-40. Chong broke the girls tournament record with 40 points, also matching Baldwin’s output. And if you think Baldwin is a pushover, it’s not. It’s the defending Nassau County champs in Class AA.
Anyway, Chong finished with 40 to go with nine rebounds, eight assists and six steals. She is a special talent.
I just spoke to another special talent, Greeley QB and point guard Justin Ciero. He is no longer on crutches and recently took the boot off his broken foot. He will have an examination in about 10 days and hopes to return to the court in the middle of January.
The Quakers could use him tonight. Albany Academy is a pretty big and talented team. It should be a good game. Tip-off should come just a few minutes after 6.
6:11 p.m.: Jake here doing updates while Josh writes a game story. Matt Townsend is already off to a strong start. He has nine, including a three-point play. Greeley leads 18-15 late in the first quarter.
6:16 p.m.: A Townsend jumper, his first shot that wasn’t around the hoop, gives Greeley a 20-15 lead after one quarter.
6:23 p.m.: Albany is making a run, prompting a Greeley timeout. Jay Puleo and John Moutopoulis hit consecutive 3s for a 25-22 Albany lead.
6:29 p.m.: Connor Domershick had a 3 to tie it, then Matt LaClair answered for Albany with an and-1. It’s 27-25 Albany with three minutes left in the half.
6:35 p.m.: Darrien White hit a floater to close out a big second quarter for Albany. It leads 39-30. Townsend has 16 of Greeley’s 30 points. Harrison Brown and Teddy Graves have four points each. Both teams are shooting over 50 percent.
6:55 p.m.: The Quakers came out like a house of fire but Albany keeps hitting key shots. They can’t get closer. Townsend is up to 20 points. Teddy Graves and Harrison Brown are playing spirited quarters.
7:00 p.m.: It’s 51-46 with 5:26 gone in the third. Matt Xie’s drive and Brown’s steal and breakaway had brought Greeley within three. White then hit a jumper for Albany.
7:05 p.m.: Townsend’s drive has made it 55-51 Albany after three quarters. He has 23. Brown had eight in the quarter and is up to 12 for the game.
7:12 p.m.: Domershick’s 3 makes it 57-56 Albany with a little over five minutes left.
7:15 p.m.: Time out Albany as Greeley is on a 9-2 run. Townsend’s free throw gave them a 60-59 lead, their first since the early second quarter. On the next possession, Xie spit a pass to Brown underneath for a layup. It’s 62-59 Greeley with 2:55 left.
7:18 p.m.: Jack Morrow just tied it up for Albany with a 3. 62-62 with 2:42 left.
7:23 p.m.: Albany jumped back out front 66-64, but Graves sunk two from the line to tie it 66-66. After an Albany miss, Greeley has the ball with 23.3 on the clock.
7:27 p.m.: Townsend missed a contested shot from the baseline, but followed it and had the rebound in his arms. It flew out of bounds and the officials called a loose-ball foul with 2.6 seconds to play. Townsend will head to the line for a 1-and-1.
7:29 p.m.: He hit the front end but missed the back. Greeley leads 67-66. Albany has the ball with 2.1 seconds to play.
7:32 p.m.: Albany messed up the inbounds pass and White is forced to fling a 60-footer at the buzzer. Greeley wins 67-66. It will play the White Plains-Stepinac winner on Thursday at 5:45.
7:40 p.m.: Josh back here. Matt Townsend finished with 29 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three blocks for Greeley. Harrison Brown had 14 and seven rebounds for the Quakers, who outrebounded Albany Academy 36-27. Teddy Graves added eight and seven.
Amazingly, both teams shot over 50 percent from the field, although Greeley held Albany Academy’s top scorer, Jelani Currie, to 11 points on 4 of 12.
Give Greeley credit. From what I saw earlier in the season, the Quakers aren’t the best outside shooting team around, but they made 4 of 8 from 3-point land tonight. Junior guard Connor Domershick gave them a lift in 22 minutes off the bench tonight. He went 3 of 3 from deep.
7:47 p.m.: Just talked to Spencer Mayfield. White Plains is getting closer to full strength. Ryan Brooks will make his season debut tonight. He will start at point guard. It will allow Alexis Nunez to slide to the wing, which is his natural position. Also, Mike Scotman, who broke his leg against New Rochelle during the football season, is back. Unlike Brooks, Scotman’s role will likely increase during the year.
Josh James will return tonight for Stepinac. He had been out with general soreness that he experience from growing pains. The talented sophomore point probably won’t start but will play.
8:04 p.m.: We’re underway here with Stepinac and White Plains.
8:09 p.m.: Stepinac up 4-0 2:41 into the game. White Plains has not come close to scoring. Mayfield just took a 30-second timeout.
8:19 p.m.: Well, no update for 10 minutes? You haven’t missed much. That’s why I didn’t write anything.
It’s been all Stepinac defense. The Crusaders are up 10-0. Conroy Baltimore unofficially has four blocks. WP may not score this quarter.
8:22 p.m.: You can always count on good coaches to run plays that generate good shots out of a timeout. Mayfield did just that, and Odane Franklin dropped in a wide open layup with 11 seconds left in the quarter. It save White Plains from the ignominy of a scoreless quarter. Instead, it’s 12-2 Stepinac after one period.
White Plains can’t get any shots near the rim. When it has, Baltimore hasn’t allowed it to get there. And the Tigers can’t hit anything from outside.
8:27 p.m.: 15-5 Stepinac, which just called a timeout after a 3-ball by Tyler Iacuone. Franklin’s strength inside has been a big plus for White Plains, but the Tigers are having a tough time around the rim otherwise. Luckily for them, Stepinac has been mistake-ridden on offense, squandering opportunities in the open floor.
8:33 p.m.: 15-6 Stepinac, 4:28 to play in the first half.
8:39 p.m.: Baltimore just snapped a drought of 5:47 with two free throws. A basket by Franklin made it 17-11 Stepinac. There’s 1:15 to go in the half. The crowd is, predictably, dead as a deer in the dark.
8:43 p.m.: Ugly first half. Stepinac leads 19-11 at the break. Austin Taps has six points to lead the way. Baltimore has four points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
The Crusaders have committed an unsightly 14 turnovers, five of them by sophomore Josh James. White Plains has been nearly as mistake-prone. It has 13 turnovers. Franklin leads the Tigers with five points, and he also has five boards. Heath White came off the bench to grab nine boards in just 10 minutes.
What has been worse than anything for White Plains? They have shot 4 for 22 from the floor (18.2 percent) and 3 for 9 from the line (33). Just ugly.
9:01 p.m.: The second half is underway. Stepinac leads 21-13.
9:04 p.m.: A problem for Stepinac right now: It needs one of its young players on the floor to produce good quality shots. The problem is, with that comes diminished defense and the natural mistakes of youth.
9:12 p.m.: White Plains just hit 5 of 6 from the line and has trimmed the Stepinac lead to 27-20 with 1:48 to play in the third quarter. There have been 14 fouls called already this period — eight on Stepinac and six on White Plains. Starting forward John Anderson just fouled out for the Tigers.
9:17 p.m.: This continues to be a snoozer. Fittingly, the third quarter ended with a turnover that was probably a foul and a 35-foot brick that was rushed with about three or four seconds left on the game clock.
Julian Wright scored on a nice feed from Taps in the final minute to give Stepinac a 29-22 lead going into the fourth. Still, this game is there for the taking — for either side.
9:23 p.m.: The futility continues. It’s 31-23 with 5:59 to go in the game.
9:33 p.m.: Both James and freshman Naim Thomas just showed their playmaking ability. James found Baltimore for an easy layup and Thomas set up the senior for a two-handed dunk. However, Baltimore just fouled out on an offensive foul with 2:35 to play, but Stepinac is on top, 39-29.
9:35 p.m.: White Plains just hit its first 3 — and only its ninth field goal — of the game. It’s now 41-32 Stepinac with 2:15 to go.
9:39 p.m.: The Stepinac defense has opened up a bit with Baltimore on the bench. Still, the Crusaders lead 46-36 with 1:26 to go. Lawrence Pope just scored five of his 11 points. Franklin has 10. Thomas drained a 3 just a little while ago.
9:48 p.m.: Stepinac wins 52-40 and will play Greeley in the championship at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday. White Plains will meet Albany Academy at 4 tomorrow.
10:09 p.m.: Here are more stats…
Baltimore finished with 14 points, 16 boards and six blocks before fouling out. Julian Wright added 10 points and six boards. Freshman Naim Thomas had nine points. But Stepinac committed 26 turnovers against just 11 assists and shot 17 for 46 for the game (37 percent).
Pope led White Plains with 14 points but shot just 5 of 18 from the field. Odane Franklin added 10 points and six boards. Ryan Brooks had six steals in his season debut. Heath White added 13 boards off the bench.
White Plains committed 22 turnovers of its own, but it shot a woeful 13 of 46 from the field (28.3 percent) and 2 of 15 (13.3 percent) from downtown. It should also be noted that five of the Tigers’ 13 field goals came AFTER Baltimore fouled out with 2:35 to play. They simply couldn’t score when he was on the court.