Shaky starts from preseason favorites seem to be occurring on both sides of the river.
A day after Class B contender Pleasantville’s first half scare against Rye Neck, North Rockland, potentially one of Rockland’s top teams, had to overcome a slow start at Nyack to secure a 57-46 win.
Charles Nardone led North Rockland with 14 points. Malik Payne and Jamelle Lockhart each chipped in 10. Terrence McNair, a transfer from St. Joseph’s Regional of Montvale, N.J., had 13 points for the Indians.
The Red Raiders were 9 of 20 from the free throw line in the first half, struggled to run their settled offense and had foul trouble.
North Rockland coach Chris Roff was surprised that his team, which starts five seniors, seemed to be suffering from nerves.
“Sometimes they get too pumped,” Roff said. “We played right into their hands.”
Nyack seemed primed for an upset early in the second quarter, holding a 22-17 lead. McNair scored six in the quarter, all coming from the line after being fouled on drives to the basket.
Roff switched the Red Raiders to a 2-3 zone in the second half. The move proved to be the key to North Rockland’s victory, helping them win the third quarter 20-6.
“I think having Elijah Tillman being in the bottom is really intimidating,” said Nardone of keeping the Red Raiders’ big man at the center of the defense. “We really clogged that hole because McNair was driving to the basket a lot.”
While Roff was happy with the win, it’s clear he has his eyes on a bigger prize. The coach was quick to answer when asked about his expectations for the team this season.
“The final four; anything less will be disappointing” said Roff. “But I don’t want to peak now. I want to peak at the end of January.”
Read more about the game in tomorrow’s Journal News.
Here are tonight’s other roundups:
Valhalla 61, Keio 41: At Keio, Terrance Tribble scored 21 points and Tyler Wills scored 11. Haruyoshi Karube scored 15 points and Fumiaki Kobayashi scored 12 points for the Unicorns.
Iona Prep 64, Cardinal Spellman 50: at Iona Prep, Isiah Ice had 22 points, five rebound and four assists for the Gaels. Tom Capuano dropped 12 points. Donald Niang contributed to the win with five rebounds and five assists.
Ardsley 45, Lincoln 37: At Ardsley, Andrew Saklad had 12 points for the Panthers. John Scrofani and Gabe Kardish each scored seven points. Carlos Bobodilla led the Lancers in scoring with 12 points.
King 50, Rye Country Day 45: At King, Tyler Fernandez had 19 points. Salim Green had 11.
Woodlands 60, Tuckahoe 53: At Woodlands, Da’Sean Downey had 16 points and seven rebounds. Jamil Gambari had 10 points and 10 rebounds. D’Andre Tilford had 13 points. Kayvon Reid had 14 points for Tuckahoe.
Hawthorne Cedar Knolls 55, Clark Academy 53: In the consolation game of the Solomon Schechter Tournament, Saul Feliciano poured in 24 points and Bokeem Jones-Devose added 14 for the Hornets. Taquiam Johnson had 14 points and Calvin Walters 13 for the Knights.
Stepinac 67, St. John’s Prep 49: At St. John’s Prep, Josh James had 20 points, Andrew Murray 13 points and Boz Bernstein 10 points and five steals for the Crusaders.
Ramapo 44, Nanuet 33: At Ramapo, Robert Vaughn had 16 points and Michael Malone scored 14 points for the Gryphons.
Pearl River 46, Suffern 40: At Suffern, Tom Davis and Kevin Degnan each scored 16 points for Pearl River.
Clarkstown South 71, Albertus Magnus 56: At South, Joe Zayer scored 23 points. Conor McGuinness added 17 and Kevin Martinez 15. The Vikings hit six 3-pointers. Jack Sullivan led three Albertus players in double-figures with 20 points.
Solomon Schechter 40, Tuxedo 27: In the championship game of the Schechter tournament, Jake Diamond had 11 points and five steals for the Lions. Teammate Josh Becker had 10 points and 13 rebounds. Blayke Tisdale led Tuxedo with 12 points.