That odd noise you heard emanating from White Plains tonight was actually the gears grinding in Dan’s head. After his 2004 Yankee-esque collapse last postseason, he is eager to get our Games of the Week contest started and spent the night grinding over this week’s choices.
No joke: I heard from Dan about the GOTW as early as Thanksgiving weekend. And why not? If you remember, I stormed back to post a 53-13 record in the playoffs and edge him by two games after he had led all season long. (That is me, pictured above.)
It was a lesson learned for someone in his first season making predictions What lesson? Who knows? I’m just stirring the pot.
At any rate, we ended up picking 110 games last season, so here’s to the first five of a new one.
North Rockland at New Rochelle, 6:15 p.m. -
Josh: New Rochelle, 66-54. I’ve only gotten to see North Rockland, but New Rochelle’s eight-point loss last Saturday was a good sign. Newburgh has a strong program and has plenty of expectations for this season. That the Huguenots played them tough with such a different team was a positive. I think North Rockland has farther to go at this point because of its youth.
Dan: New Rochelle, 60-55. As I said in this morning’s schedule post, schools these size don’t usually have trouble reloading, regardless of how much they graduate. I know North Rockland had a tough loss to Tappan Zee, but I expect them to get it figured out. Still, I’ll give the edge to the Huguenots, who have an experienced backcourt in guards Derek Dorn and Drew Peterson.
Byram Hills at White Plains, 4:30 p.m. -
Josh: White Plains, 66-51. This is a season dripping in promise for White Plains, which returns seven players from last season and has added a freshman (Jordan Tucker) and sophomore (Nijee Lewis) who should make an immediate impact. On top of that, this is still Mike DeMello’s team, and he will be the best player on the floor.
Dan: White Plains, 62-54. I’m all in on this White Plains team. The Tigers caught a ton of bad breaks early last season that derailed it before it could even get started. This year’s team brings back a ton of talent, along with talented freshman Jordan Tucker, and should be eager to put it on display in front of a home crowd.
Peekskill at Ossining, 4:30 p.m. -
Josh: Peekskill 78-65. This should be an entertaining game. Both teams have plenty of athletes and they don’t exactly plan on holding the ball. Peekskill put up 90 points in last week’s opener. I wouldn’t expect that many, but these teams should get well into the 60s, 70s and perhaps 80s.
Dan: Peekskill, 64-57. The Red Devils have one of the biggest teams in the section. That’ll be a problem for an Ossining squad that has two players over 6-foot-1. Expect a big game out of 6-foot-6 swingman Laron Holt, who is a matchup nightmare.
Tappan Zee at Clarkstown South, 7 p.m. -
Josh: Clarkstown South, 55-50. This will be another tough, competitive game in Rockland. South seems capable of exploiting some of TZ’s weaknesses. The Vikings can really shoot, which should help open up the matchup zone. They also have a lot of depth. TZ doesn’t dip very deep into its bench. That outside and shooting and depth lead me to give the edge to South.
Dan: Tappan Zee, 54-46. Clarkstown South will need more production out of its frontcourt if it hopes to make some noise this season in Class AA. The talented backcourt of Conor McGuinness and Joe Zayer can only do some much. That’s certainly doable over the next three months, but at this point in the season Tappan Zee seems like a more complete team.
Spring Valley vs. Iona Prep, at White Plains High School, 2:30 p.m. -
Josh: Iona, 66-60. Spring Valley will give the Gaels all they can handle in the paint with Kai Mitchell and Jordan Duncan. Their ability to produce second-chance points against a team that struggles to rebound the ball will be important. But Iona has the edge elsewhere, particularly in the backcourt. High school basketball is a game most often decided by guard play, and that’s why I give Iona a slight edge.
Dan: Iona, 58-50. The Gaels have caught a lot of heat for their early season losses. I think they’ll look to make a statement against the up-and-coming Tigers. Matt Ryan, who has been slowed by Bronchitis in the first three games, seems primed for a breakout game on the big stage.