Well, it seems like a while since we’ve had one of these posts. Sixteen days in fact. Unfortunately, I’m not very confident that tomorrow will bring much in the way of games, much less predictions. Snow appears ready to wipe out the slate again.
Luckily, midterms have left just two games on Thursday anyway, so I’ll stick to picking Friday and Saturday’s games. There are plenty to choose from, including several solid matchups in Rockland, the Stepinac-Mount rematch, another nice slate of games at Brewster for Coaches vs. Cancer and the SNY Tournament in Brooklyn. Let’s get to it…
Tuckahoe at Eastchester, 5 p.m. — The first of two meetings between these two crosstown rivals should go a long way in determining the league title. Both have just one loss and both have defeated fellow contender Pelham already. Eastchester beat the Pelicans by just a point while high-scoring Tuckahoe pushed the margin to 12. That would seem to indicate the Tigers are the favorite. But the bulk of Eastchester’s work is more impressive. Plus, the Eagles earn a homecourt edge in what should be a fantastic game regardless of the winner. PREDICTION: Eastchester 69, Tuckahoe 66.
North Rockland at Pearl River, 7 p.m. — With a victory over Tappan Zee a week ago, North Rockland entered its name back into the conversation as the county’s best team. TZ had struggled at the time but has since embarked on a tear, making the Red Raiders’ victory all the more impressive. But for North Rockland to continue its ascent in the Rockland pecking order, it could use a win here. Where else better than in the section’s most unfriendly environment? PREDICTION: North Rockland 54, Pearl River 50.
Mount St. Michael at Stepinac, 7 p.m. — Two winning streaks will be on the line here. Of course, Stepinac’s six-game surge is quite modest when you look at Mount, which will enter Friday at 18-0, but the Crusaders are playing better. Their star, Conroy Baltimore, will begin the night just five rebounds shy of 1,000 for his career, an achievement that is far more impressive than 1,000 points because it is all the more rare. No doubt the moment is fitting because Baltimore’s success inside will be vital. Mount clearly holds the edge in the backcourt with Malik Gill, Clarence White and Peter Aguilar, so it will be Baltimore and the Stepinac frontline that will need to control the glass and keep the Mountaineers shots to the perimeter. The Crusaders will likely shoot better from the free throw line than they did last time. If one of their shooters — perhaps James Chillemi, who struggled in the first meeting — can stretch the defense, I expect Stepinac will have enough at home to give Mount’s its first blemish. I’m sticking to my prediction of a split from earlier this month. PREDICTION: Stepinac 64, Mount 59.
St. Anthony’s vs. Mount Vernon, SNY Tournament, at Long Island University, Brooklyn, 8 p.m. — Like a few of you have noted, this could be the toughest opponent Mount Vernon will face yet. St. Anthony’s now finds itself ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in most national polls and there’s good reason why. Senior Myles Mack is a star who is considered a steal for Rutgers. And junior Kyle Anderson, a 6-foot-8 guard, who is ranked as the No. 5 player in the Class of 2012 by Rivals. Tyquan Goodlett gives the Friars yet another player being heavily courted by Division I schools. That trio will be tough — and maybe impossible — for the Knights to stop. PREDICTION: St. Anthony’s 77, Mount Vernon 62.
Clarkstown North at Clarkstown South, 2 p.m. — I have already offered a prediction for this game, and it doesn’t change now. North has proven itself to be a competitive out but not quite a threat at the level of its rival. The Rams earn a closer margin with this game being at home. PREDICTION: South 55, North 50.
Last week (really, two weeks ago): 3-1