Obviously, it’s been a pretty pedestrian season for me in regard to picking games. With that in mind, imagine my disappointment today when I checked last week’s picks believing I had gained a game in the standings only to find out Dan kept pace. Good for him. Bad for me.
Anyway, we’re back with another set of picks, including a big one tonight in Rockland that could decide the league championship. Let’s have at it…
2012-13 Records —
North Rockland at Spring Valley, 5:30 p.m. —
Josh: North Rockland, 67-62. I had someone tell me this week that North Rockland was 15 points better than Spring Valley. I don’t know if I’d go to that extreme, but I have seen both teams a few times and agree that North Rockland is better at its best. Tonight, the Red Raiders have a chance to prove it, but they’ll have to do it on the road. I think it happens. They are slightly more balanced and more experienced. That will help in what’s a big game for both.
Dan: North Rockland, 63-56. Both these teams have been cruising, with only a few close calls since their last meeting. The Tigers’ win on Saturday without star Kai Mitchell down the stretch was quite impressive. Still, I think North Rockland is too talented to get swept by Spring Valley. The Red Raiders get their revenge.
Mahopac at Somers, 6 p.m. —
Josh: Mahopac, 66-58. Somers will play Mahopac tougher at home than it did on the road, but the Indians are a tough, physical team. Somers doesn’t have the athleticism to exploit Mahopac’s weaknesses, so I don’t see the result changing in this rematch.
Dan: Mahopac, 70-55. The Indians’ stock continues to rise with each win. Ryan Simone has really grown into a big threat inside, helping to take the load off Brendan Hynes. Mahopac handled John Decker & Company earlier this year, and I don’t see them having trouble the second time around.
New Rochelle at Mount Vernon, 4:15 p.m. —
Josh: Mount Vernon, 76-61. It’s remarkable that Mount Vernon has been able to lose as much as it did and still remain so far above the field in Class AA. Poughkeepsie dropping to Class A is a major factor. And maybe — maybe — the Rockland AAs can be a threat. Right now, however, the Knights have their league on lockdown. New Ro will struggle against the pressure of Traquann Scales and Josh Doughty.
Dan: Mount Vernon, 80-70. Mount Vernon is head and shoulders above everyone right now. I still don’t think they’ve had to turn it on for all four quarters, something that makes them even scarier. Last time they faced off against New Rochelle the Huguenots struggled when the Knights pressured the ball in the second quarter. I don’t see how they get around that the second time around.
Scarsdale at New Rochelle, 4:15 p.m. —
Josh: New Rochelle, 60-55. Very tough call here. Scarsdale is a very good team with a strong starting five. But the Raiders will need to shoot well on the road to pull off the sweep. I’d expect it to come down to the wire, but I like a possessed Joe Clarke to deliver big in the fourth quarter.
Dan: New Rochelle, 67-63. A rematch of one of the bigger upsets this season, I think New Rochelle has righted the ship enough to get the W. The Raiders suffered a tough loss last week to White Plains. For New Rochelle, it’s getting down to crunch time, with every win making a difference in terms of seeding.
Tappan Zee vs. Somers at Pace University, 7 p.m. —
Josh: Tappan Zee, 52-50. Tappan Zee is gathering steam. I really like the addition of Tommy Morales to the starting lineup. He brings some grit to a team that has fallen in love with the 3. When you shoot as many as the Dutchmen do, you need someone to do the dirty work. Morales is that kind of player. I expect a strong defense effort from TZ to win a very close one.
Dan: Somers, 63-57. Tappan Zee is coming off a huge win in beating one of the hottest teams in the section (Albertus Magnus). Somers has had a tough go, falling to North Salem in a shootout. Still, on the big stage, just like at the County Center against Iona Prep, I think Somers gets it done.