This week’s notebook focused on the “Hoops for a Cure” basketball showcase that tips off Saturday. I spoke with Saunders’ coach Anthony Nicodemo about his decision to schedule Eastchester again. Other notes include three Rockland teams on winning streaks not named “North Rockland” and two seniors closing in on a milestone.
Saunders boys basketball coach Anthony Nicodemo is all about scheduling the strongest teams. So when it came time to pick an opponent for Saturday’s “Hoops for a Cure” showcase, he already had his eye on one.
“I want my guys to be able to play the best,” Nicodemo said. “The Eastchester program right now is as good as anyone out there.”
Eastchester (8-1) will face the Blue Devils (6-2) on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the second annual “Hoops for a Cure” at the Monroe Athletic Complex in NewRoc City. The game is one of four being played to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
The Eagles got the best of Saunders twice last year, including overcoming a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit in the inaugural “Hoops for a Cure.” Still, the matchup is more a product of Nicodemo looking to boost his out-of-league schedule as opposed to getting any type of revenge.
“Playing in the Yonkers league, I certainly want to look to play the best competition I can outside the league,” Nicodemo said. “When I set my schedule up I make sure we’re playing quality teams, and over the last couple of years Eastchester is certainly one of the better teams in Class A.”
The rest of Saunders’ out-of-league schedule includes games against Tappan Zee, Valhalla and Sacred Heart.
The Blue Devils lost to Mamaroneck earlier this year, 46-28, in the Harry Jefferson Showcase.
“This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” Nicodemo said. “We’re looking to get better for February, and playing teams like Eastchester early in the year is going to help prepare us for February.”
Rockland teams roll: North Rockland may be the only undefeated team in Rockland, but three other teams in the county have put together impressive streaks.
Spring Valley (7-1) has won six straight games while Albertus Magnus (8-2) and Clarkstown North (7-2) are both in the midst of five-game winning streaks. All three teams won tournaments over the holidays. The Tigers will get a chance to take on the undefeated Red Raiders tonight at 7:30.
For North coach Dan Goldberg, the streak has been a few years in the making.
“Two years ago we took up eight sophomores on varsity,” Goldberg said. “Here we have a bunch of guys that it’s their third year in a row starting. This is kind of where we wanted to be.”
Locals near milestone: Croton-Harmon’s Ian Thom (pictured above) and North Salem’s Umar Singh are both closing in on 1,000 points. Thom is 16 points shy of the mark while Singh is 20 points away.
JDRF Hoops for a Cure at NewRoc City
12:00pm – Saunders/Eastchester (girls)
2:00pm – Saunders/Eastchester
4:00pm – White Plains/Poughkeepsie
6:00pm – New Rochelle/Middletown