Here’s Nancy Haggerty’s story on Poughkeepsie’s win over Eastchester in the Class A semifinals:
WHITE PLAINS — It was a nice, long, overdue trip.
But Wednesday, Eastchester’s dream season ended at Westchester County Center as the No. 2 Eagles fell in the Class A semifinals 61-48 to No. 3 Poughkeepsie.
Eastchester, which hadn’t reached the section semifinals since 1974, might have been ranked higher than the Pioneers but its only loss during a remarkable, 19-win season had been to the Dutchess squad.
Poughkeepsie, now 18-2, entered the second quarter knotted at 16. But that was the last time Eastchester was even.
Eastchester simply couldn’t contain Poughkeepsie’s speedy guards, Jahleel Carter, who hit for 16 points, and Jermar Dancy, who had 15.
Poughkeepsie followed the script written by its coach, Brian Laffin, who, prior to the game, said the Pioneers would take a chapter from Eastchester’s playbook, pressuring the ball.
“We’ve got to make it into a track meet — expand the floor,” Laffin said, joking that he would look for a “lot of run” but not necessarily a lot of gun.
“We’ve got to run with good shots,” he said.
And Poughkeepsie did that while Eastchester went cold in the second quarter, scoring only five points, while missing multiple 3-point tries.
In part, it failed to control the boards, something that Eagles coach Fred DiCarlo said would be necessary to win.
Poughkeepsie took a 33-21 lead into the half, getting a huge spark from Devin Lawrence on the boards and elsewhere. At one point, Lawrence, who had 10 points, converted his steal into a Poughkeepsie crowd-pleasing dunk.
The Eastchester crowd was brought back into the game with a little more than two minutes left in the third quarter as Jack Daly, who was limited to an uncharacteristic two first-half points, drained a 3-pointer, was fouled and converted the foul shot to pull the Eagles to within five at 44-39.
But Poughkeepsie, which lost in last year’s sectional final to Tappan Zee, pulled ahead 50-39 before the quarter ended, its last two points coming with a Dancy steal and layup.
Eastchester never drew closer than 13 points in the fourth quarter.
Daly, who led Eastchester with 16 points, praised the Pioneers and pointed to their experience in sectional play as being a difference maker.
“We gave it all we could,” he said. “Their sportsmanship, their athletic ability — they’re great people. They took the ball very aggressively. As a young team, we can learn from them.”
Michael Milo finished with 10 points (all in the first half) for the Eagles. Kevin Teahan added 8.
Photos courtesy of Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News. For a complete gallery, click here.