I hope everyone had a great holiday. Mine officially ended around 12:05 this afternoon when I arrived at the County Center for the beginning of the Slam Dunk.
We had a nice spread in the paper this morning outlining key story lines for this week’s tournament. On the girls side, Pearl River coach Lorraine Moylan will try to join exclusive company as only the second girls basketball coach in Section 1 history to win 500 games. The Pirates are on the court as I write this playing Brewster.
The boys feature focused on one of the section’s best newcomers, 6-foot-5 Kennedy senior Thiago Randazzo. He moved here from Brazil last winter. Although Randazzo was around the Gaels since January, he didn’t play for them until this season. He’s had almost an instant impact since.
Randazzo’s story is interesting because of his experience – or lack thereof. They don’t play high school basketball in Brazil, so Randazzo didn’t play competitively from his freshman year in high school until he joined Frank Kelly’s AAU team this past spring.
Randazzo moved here to pursue a Catholic education and a basketball future. He came to live with his uncle, Lou DeMello, the former Rice coach who now works at the Brewster Sports Center and whose son, Mike DeMello, is a sophomore point guard at Kennedy.
You can read more about my story in the link above, as well as five things to watch this week at the Slam Dunk.
Obviously, I didn’t have a chance to give my predictions for the tournament yet. Here’s a quick look at who I like:
Croton 54, Yonkers 23 (already complete)
Blind Brook 55, Sleepy Hollow 43
Mamaroneck 66, Brewster 57
White Plains 58, Albertus Magnus 53
Byram Hills 59, Poughkeepsie 58
Final – White Plains over Byram Hills
Jamestown 70, Kennedy 55
New Rochelle 71, Kingston 65
Final – New Rochelle 77, Jamestown 70
I’ll be back with a game thread for all of today’s games in a bit…