Another day, another group of eight games, another four bids to the County Center on the line. Here’s a great stat: Of the 16 teams competing today, 14 have advanced to the County Center since 2008. Poughkeepsie, Byram, Kennedy, Pearl River, Tappan Zee, Peekskill, Blind Brook, Pleasantville, Valhalla, Dobbs and Albertus (11 teams!) have been there in one of the last two seasons alone.
One of the two teams without any recent County Center playoff experience is Brewster, but we all know the Bears have made their trips to White Plains. Their last appearance was in 1993.
Only one team has never been to the County Center and that’s Eastchester. The Eagles will try to change that today when they host Poughkeepsie.
Unfortunately, I’ll only have a chance to see one ticket punched. I’m headed to Kennedy this evening for a rematch of last year’s Class A semifinal, which was won by Byram. But you can follow me on Twitter @LoHudInsider for updates on that game and more. I’ll have scores, game recaps and County Center matchups posted shortly after the games are complete.
Enjoy the games! I think today could be one of the best days of the postseason.
Wednesday’s games —
Class A quarterfinals
Poughkeepsie 61, Eastchester 58
Peekskill 80, Brewster 73
Byram Hills 55, Kennedy 50
Tappan Zee 54, Pearl River 39
Class B quarterfinals
Blind Brook 43, Pleasantville 42
Croton-Harmon 56, Woodlands 55
Albertus Magnus 69, Briarcliff 51
Dobbs Ferry 67, Valhalla 32
GAME RECAPS —
Byram Hills 55, Kennedy 50: In a Class A quarterfinal at No. 4 Kennedy, Ryan Golden had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the fifth-seeded Bobcats. He hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, the second of which gave Byram its first lead of the second half, 44-42, with 2:53 remaining. The defending Class A champ will now meet top-seeded Tappan Zee on Wednesday at 8:15 at the County Center in the semifinals.
Jeff Lynch had 11 points and four assists and freshman Andrew Groll added 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks. He helped goad Kennedy big man Thiago Randazzo into foul trouble. Randazzo had 20 points and seven rebounds, but sat out for most of the final 10 minutes of the game. He picked up his fourth foul late in the third quarter as Kennedy held a seven-point lead and fouled out shortly after he returned in the fourth quarter.
Jordan Hardy added nine points and 10 rebounds for the Gaels, who led 30-18 at halftime and led by as many as 14 points before Byram launched its comeback. Matt Debold hit a pair of key 3-pointers during the comeback as well.
Peekskill 80, Brewster 73: In a Class A quartefinal game at No. 2 Peekskill, Chandler Pierce had 30 points and five assists for the Red Devils. Eddie Reeves added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Jack Dignan had 32 points for the No. 10 Bears. Peekskill will play No. 11 Poughkeepsie at 6:30 p.m. the Westchester County Center on Wednesday in the semifinals.
Poughkeepsie 61, Eastchester 58: In a Class A quarterfinal game at No. 3 Eastchester, with the game tied at 58-58, Ray Knight scored on a 3-point play with 2.1 seconds left in the game for the No. 11 Pioneers. Dave Solano (20 points) hit a 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds left in regulation to tie it up for the Eagles. Teammate Jack Daly scored 25 points. Poughkeepsie will play No. 2 Peekskill Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Westchester County Center in the semifinals.
Tappan Zee 54, Pearl River 39: In a Class A quarterfinal game at No. 1 Tappan Zee, Joe Letizia scored 15 points for the Dutchmen, who improved to 20-0 and advanced to the County Center for the third straight year. They will play No. 5 Byram Hills in a semifinal between the last two Class A champions on Wednesday night at 8:15.
“It’s a big accomplishment, third year in a row,” said Letizia. “We played very good defense, like we always do. That’s what we harp on all year. Defense is our identity. Our offense in the third wasn’t really moving, so we had to come with the D.”
Letizia hit four 3-pointers in the game, including three that helped TZ out to a 26-9 lead early in the second quarter. Teammate Billy O’Shea added 12 points and Brendan Donohue 11.
Kevin Degnan led Pearl River with 13 points and Tom Davis added 12.
Croton-Harmon 56, Woodlands 55: In a Class B quarterfinal game at No. 3 Woodlands, Wes Turner (21 points) scored on a 3-point play with 20 seconds left in the game to give the No. 6 Tigers a 56-54 lead. Turner scored five points of the 21 points in the fourth quarter. Justin Smith hit a free throw with four seconds left in the game to cut the lead to 56-55 for the Falcons.
Ian Thom had 13 points and six assists filling in the point guard slot for Aaron Thompson who was out due to injury for the Tigers. Rob Simmons had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Teammate Brian Oliver scored 10 points. Andre Scipio scored 19 points for the Falcons. Teammate Fred Bowers scored 12 points.
Croton-Harmon will play No. 2 Albertus Magnus Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Westchester County Center in the semifinals. The Tigers are making their first appearance at the County Center for the first time since 2008.
Albertus Magnus 69, Briarcliff 51: In a Class B quarterfinal at No. 2 Albertus, Tyler Sayre had 29 points and 12 rebounds for the defending Class B champs, who will play No. 6 Croton-Harmon at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals at the County Center. Jack Sullivan added 20 points. Tom McConnell and James McEntee combined for eight points and teamed to defend Briarcliff’s leading scorer Brian Daniels (4 points). Tyriek Johnson had 14 points to lead the seventh-seeded Bears.
Dobbs Ferry 67, Valhalla 32: In a Class B quarterfinal at No. 1 Dobbs Ferry, Spencer Avalos, Eric Paschall, and Thomas Fleming each had 11 points for the Eagles. Terrance Tribble had 12 points for the No. 8 Vikings. Dobbs Ferry will play No. 5 Blind Brook in the semifinals Wednesday at the Westchester County Center, 4:45 p.m.
Blind Brook 43, Pleasantville 42: In a Class B quarterfinal at No. 4 Pleasantville, Sam Adler hit the winning free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining and his team trailing by one to lead No. 5 Blind Brook into next Wednesday’s semifinals. The Trojans will play No. 1 Dobbs Ferry at 4:45 at the County Center.
Adler’s free throws capped a wild fourth quarter. Pleasantville’s Jack Eisenberg hit a layup with nine seconds remaining to give his team a 42-41 lead. Teammate James Leyden had banked in a 3-pointer to tie the game 40-40 earlier. Then, with 42.9 remaining, Brennan Schaenmann hit one of two free throws to put Blind Brook up 41-40 and set up the final sequence.
The wild game included three buzzer-beaters. Adler hit a 3 from a step behind halfcourt to give his team a 13-10 lead after one quarter. Leyden then beat the buzzer from halfcourt to give Pleasantville a 21-16 halftime lead. Jack Jamilkowski of Blind Brook hit a 3 before the third-quarter buzzer to cut his team’s deficit to 32-29.
The game also pitted Blind Brook coach Mike Welsh against his younger brother, Pleasantville coach Chris Welsh. Their mother sat with Mike’s family, including his children.
“Our dad was a big basketball fan,” Mike Welsh said. “He passed away a few years ago, so I’m sure he’d be real proud.”
“It’s surreal,” Chris said prior to the game. “Out of all the teams, we end up with this draw. … The both of us are rooting for each other, just not tonight.”
UPCOMING SCHEDULE —
Wednesday, Feb. 29
Class B semifinals
At the County Center:
No. 2 Albertus Magnus vs. No. 6 Croton-Harmon, 3 p.m.
No. 1 Dobbs Ferry vs. No. 5 Blind Brook, 4:45 p.m.
Class A semifinals
At the County Center:
No. 2 Peekskill vs. No. 11 Poughkeepsie, 6:30 p.m.
No. 1 Tappan Zee vs. No. 5 Byram Hills, 8:15 p.m.