WHITE PLAINS — At halftime of Sunday’s meeting with Spring Valley, Iona Prep understood the need to raise its level of play. In search of a boost, the Gaels looked to their senior and implored him to lead.
“I haven’t been playing that well, but they said, ‘Be aggressive and this could be the start of a great season,’ ” senior Isaiah Ice said. “I just tried to be as aggressive as possible.”
The slashing 6-foot guard thrived. He scored 11 of his 19 points in the second half and grabbed six rebounds to earn game MVP honors as Iona Prep beat Spring Valley 72-66 in the Harry Jefferson Showcase at White Plains High School.
The event’s marquee matchup featured two underclassmen on each side who boast multiple Division I offers, but it was Ice’s contributions that swung the momentum permanently in the favor of the Gaels (3-2).
“I’m so happy for him,” Iona Prep coach Vic Quirolo said. “He’s put the time in. He’s been working extremely hard, but he hadn’t been in rhythm all season. To have a breakout game in this type of atmosphere, I thought it was wonderful for him.”
Six-foot-7 junior Matt Ryan, the area’s most coveted recruit, shook off a quiet first half to post 19 points and 10 rebounds. Another top college prospect, sophomore Ty Jerome, added 13 points, but he and Ryan combined to shoot just 6 for 25 from the field.
Along with Ice, junior Tom Capuano helped fill the void with seven assists and 18 points on 5-for-8 shooting.
“It’s never good to lose, but at least we lost to a better team,” Spring Valley coach Willie Worsley said. “They were the better team today.”
The Tigers (1-1) kept attacking despite being hampered in a foul-laden first half. Big junior Kai Mitchell finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds, but he sat for a long stretch in the second half as Iona Prep (3-1) seized control.
“He was frustrated,” Worsley said. “I was trying to give him a chance to calm himself down.”
Spring Valley’s other Division I recruit, Manhattan commit Rickey McGill, had 12 points and seven assists, but he shot just 4 for 18.
Jyquan Boykin hit four 3-pointers off the bench, but the Tigers never even pulled within one possession in the fourth quarter.