The Lower Hudson Valley Basketball Coaches Association is hosting its third annual Coaches vs. Cancer Week Tip-Off Classic today. I’ll post recaps of all four games from Clarkstown South High School after they are completed.
Albertus Magnus 60, Croton-Harmon 40: Tommy McConnell had 15 points and nine rebounds to earn game MVP honors for the Falcons (12-2), who won their eighth straight.
“We knew we were good, but we knew we were going to be the underdog,” said McConnell, who is one of two returning starters from last year’s Class B champ. “That’s a role we took on for ourselves. We just running with it and we’ll see how far we can go.”
Croton led 22-18 in the second quarter before Albertus went on a 31-7 run to take a commanding 49-29 lead after three.
Matt Dale led Albertus with 16 points and Jack Sullivan added 15. Dale, Sullivan and McConnell combined to scored 19 of their team’s points during a 21-7 third quarter. The Falcons converted eight offensive rebounds into baskets.
“For a player to know his role and accept his role is major and I think our guys do. We have a tremendous weapon in Jack Sullivan, but we have a number of guys who can do other things,” Albertus coach Pat McFadden said. “I don’t think we have guys trying to do things they can’t and that’s one of the keys for us.”
Ian Thom led Croton (7-6) with 19 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. Ben Goldberg and Dan Coen each added eight. Starting guard Jason Howald missed the game to take his SATs.
Tappan Zee 66, Saunders 44: Joe Letezia scored a career-high 28 points, including 17 in the first quarter. He was named the game’s MVP for the Dutchmen (10-5), who played their second game without big man Eric Casey (ankle). The 6-foot-5 senior could return Tuesday against Albertus Magnus.
“I was feeling it in the beginning,” said Letizia, whose previous career-high was 20 and who drained five 3-pointers. “Our big man was out with a sprained ankle. We keep telling each other we have to step up for him. That’s what we did.”
Letizia hit five 3-pointers. He hit three in the first quarter in Friday’s win against Nanuet and finished the first half with 15. Against Saunders, he had 22.
“This time of year, this is what Joe does,” Tappan Zee coach George Gaine said. “At the beginning of the year, it was a bit overwhelming. Things have started to settle down and he’s settled into his role as more of a scorer.”
Tappan Zee built a 37-21 lead at halftime. Saunders cut the lead to 10 in the third quarter, but the Dutchmen responded. Tommy Morales chipped in nine points and Dan McGann and Brendan Hauser each added eight.
Dijon Gonzalez led Saunders with 12 points, all on 3-pointers. Eric Mfwodo added 10 and Derrick Felder and Rahbir Hanman each had eight. The Blue Devils finished the game 0 for 6 at the free throw line.
Scarsdale 65, Clarkstown South 57: Jack Hewitt had 19 points and 15 rebounds to earn game MVP honors for the Raiders (12-2), who doubled their win total from a season ago.
“This was a game we knew would be tough coming in,” Hewitt said. “This gave us a huge confidence boost. This is definitely one of our biggest wins yet.”
They jumped out to an 11-2 lead, but Clarkstown South’s Tyler Mager gave his team its first lead, 43-42, just three seconds into the fourth quarter. Hewitt’s strong finish helped Scarsdale close on a 22-13 run.
“The last two years we would’ve folded up our tents and said, ‘OK, they came back,’” said Scarsdale coach Jon Feld, whose team starts five seniors. “But we’ve been through this before and our kids just have way too much on the line for them to lose a game when they were up by double digits.”
Rob Plummer had 15 points for the Raiders. Jon Cohen added 13. He hit three 3-pointers, including one during his team’s closing run. Feld also praised Tyler Nathan and Alec Squadron for their defense on South’s guards.
Mager led South with 16 points and Joe Zayer added 15. Kevin Martinez also had 11 and went 7 of 8 from the line. He set up Mager for the go-ahead basket on the opening possession of the fourth quarter for the team’s only lead.
North Rockland 61, New Rochelle 47: Alex Ramirez had 16 points and five assists to earn game MVP for the Red Raiders (12-1), who led New Rochelle throughout. They were ahead 25-15 at halftime and led by double digits the entire second half.
“It’s a great team,” said Ramirez, whose strong drive ended the third quarter with North Rockland comfortably ahead 48-29. “New Rochelle’s always been a great program. The fact that we were able to beat them is a great win for us.
Charles Nardone led North Rockland with 20 points. Jamell Lockhart added 10.
The Red Raiders went 11 for 13 from the free throw line after practicing all week at 6 a.m. on the heels of a woeful effort in their only loss to Spring Valley. They also handled the pressure better, according to coach Chris Roff.
“I think we were hyper against Spring Valley. We weren’t calm,” Roff said. “Tonight, we were calm and we handled the pressure. They are a great pressure team.”
New Rochelle’s Joe Clarke led all scorers with 23 despite sitting much of the second quarter because of foul trouble. He had 19 in the second half, including 11 in the fourth quarter.
No other Huguenots ended in double figures. Khalil Edney chipped in seven points and Derek Dorn had five.
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UPDATE: The event raised $2,337 for Coaches vs. Cancer, which was about $700 more than last year at Croton.