Here is my game story on Clarkstown South’s 54-49 win over Pearl River. We’ll have a post up later tonight with all the results and roundups, as usual.
PEARL RIVER Clarkstown South junior guard Conor McGuinness realized a change needed to be made entering the second half of the Vikings’ game at Pearl River Saturday.
Clarkstown South’s talented backcourt of McGuinness and senior Joe Zayer, the Vikings’ top two returning players from last season, had eight points between them and trailed the Pirates by two.
“We both knew that if we were going to win we’ve got to pick it up,” McGuinness said. “The team doesn’t revolve around us, but we’re a big part of our success.”
McGuinness and Zayer each scored double-figures in the second half as they helped Clarkstown South to a 54-49 win over Pearl River.
McGuiness finished with a team-high 17 points while Zayer added 14 points, four assists and three steals. Pearl River senior big man Kevin Degnan had game highs in points (19) and rebounds (16).
Clarkstown South coach Matt Backs was happy to see the pair step up down the stretch to get a big win on the road.
“Both (McGuinness) and Joey, today, showed a lot of metal,” Backs said. “We probably let them freelance a little more than what we have in the past, but Joey and Conor definitely earned it for what they do in the offseason and the time and hard work they put in.”
McGuinness and Zayer combined for five 3s in the third quarter as the Vikings rallied from a six-point deficit late in the third quarter to take a 44-41 lead into the fourth.
“I just saw a couple of open lanes in their zone,” McGuinness said. “Hit one, hit two and it really felt good. After I had a couple I knew the next one was going to fall.”
McGuinness intercepted the Pirates’ inbounds pass with 14.9 seconds remaining in the game and the Vikings (2-0) clinging to a three-point lead. The junior sank two free throws to put the game out of reach for Pearl River (1-1) with just over 12 seconds remaining.
The win was Backs first at Pearl River in his four seasons at Clarkstown South.
“(Pearl River) has got to be the worst place in Section 1 to play,” Backs said. “It’s a very tough environment. It’s small. It’s loud. Their fan section does a nice job.”