Here is my notebook featuring notes on Spring Valley’s recent winning streak, a rematch of rivals, milestones and more.
The Spring Valley boys basketball team has one of the best records in the section.
While Tigers coach Willie Worsley is happy with his team’s 9-1 record, he feels his job has just begun.
“I am not happy that I am not getting the best out of them as a coach,” Worsley said. “I’m more concerned with my performance trying to get the kids to play better.”
The Tigers have won eight straight games and knocked off the last remaining undefeated team in Rockland, beating North Rockland 57-45 last week.
Still, according to Worsley, Spring Valley has yet to play a complete game. The Tigers scored just 18 and 17 first-half points against the Red Raiders and Ramapo, respectively.
“You’ve got to play hard at all times,” Worsley said. “Even when you have a bad offensive game, you’ve got to play good defense to stay in the game.”
With a starting lineup that’s made up totally of sophomores, inconsistent play can be expected. In fact, after beating Tappan Zee to open the season — their first win against the Dutchmen in three years — the Tigers lost their next game, to Albertus Magnus.
“(The loss) proved that we have to play hard in all games, and that any team can beat us at any time,” Worsley said. “I told them they’re not as good as they think they are.”
At the time, Worsley said he got some strange looks, but the message set in. Spring Valley won its next game, against Uniondale, in what Worsley said was the team’s most complete game of the season.
“When we can play a full game and play together as a team and continue our teamwork, you can see how good we are,” Worsley said.
Local rematches: Tonight, for the second time this season, two sets of rivals will play on the same day.
Briarcliff will host Pleasantville at 6 p.m. and Stepinac heads to Iona Prep at 7. In their previous meetings, on Dec. 21, the Bears topped Pleasantville 71-49 and the Crusaders defeated Iona Prep 70-64.
Despite the schools’ proximity, Stepinac coach Tim Philp said he doesn’t approach the game against the Gaels differently, telling his players it’s just another CHSAA game.
“I never say that about a game, that you have to beat this team,” Philp said. “If the outcome doesn’t come out how you want it, there is too much of a letdown.”
Around the rim: Croton-Harmon’s Ian Thom and North Salem’s Umar Singh each scored his 1,000th point last week. … Mount Vernon unveiled a new scoreboard and scorers’ table, both donated by former Knights star and current Charlotte Bobcats guard Ben Gordon. … Byram Hills and Briarcliff will play Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Manhattan College.