Sunday’s boys basketball notebook led with Pelham, which has won five straight, including last week’s wins at Saunders and Eastchester. Those two victories have spurred a five-game winning streak. With two left against Ardsley and one apiece against Sleepy Hollow and Lincoln, there’s a good chance Pelham rolls into the Class A playoffs in prime position.
Head coach Mark Finegan said a key recently has been the return of Ke’shaun Stallworth. The football star suffered a torn meniscus in his knee the second day of basketball practice and sat out until mid-January. He returned in the team’s home loss to Saunders but has been solid ever since as a slasher and rebounder. Fellow senior Lance Stokes has shown more consistency of late as well after missing a loss to John Jay because he violated a team rule.
With Stallworth and Stokes thriving, it gives the Pelicans three great options. Senior Matt Henson is one of the section’s top outside shooters. He torched Eastchester for 19 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. Now he has help and Pelham appears to be peaking.
• The second note is on Suffern, which, as you know, upset Pearl River on Monday. It was a signature win for the young Mounties, who have five new starters this season. Their former star, Alushula Odongo, is now at St. Thomas Aquinas, and Suffern has relied on freshman Javin Williams and sophomores Tyler McDine and Rashaad Celestin to help fill the void around leader Rich Ibsen and account for the absences of Odongo and his classmates.
Coach George Kunzmann said Suffern has tried to slow the game down because it has players that can defend. The problem, he added, is that the offense fails to execute late. The Mounties have certainly accomplished enough of that lately. After beating Pearl River Monday, they beat Spring Valley to improve to 6-8.
• The notebook also highlights Saturday, which is a great day of local basketball in southern Westchester. Only problem? I wish there were two of me.
New Rochelle will host a showcase that begins at 12. The highlight is Tappan Zee-Byram Hills, with a pretty good nightcap in New Ro-Iona Prep. Mount Vernon will also host Section 1 Super Saturday to wrap up the WCBCA’s Coaches vs. Cancer week that began last Friday at Croton. Among the highlights at Mount Vernon? The Knights host Mamaroneck and Tuckahoe tries to remain unbeaten against Saunders.