My story on Spring Valley’s strong finish in a 75-65 win at Clarkstown South:
WEST NYACK — Although the tactic didn’t work immediately, Willie Worsley believe switching Spring Valley into a man-to-man defense would pay dividends in the fourth quarter. Clarkstown South had burned his team for eight 3-pointers in the first half alone. If the Tigers couldn’t close out fast enough, Worsley figured making them work harder for shots might at least weaken their legs.
True to form, Spring Valley dominated the final eight minutes of a game that was tight throughout. It handed the Vikings their first loss, 75-65, in a key League 4-A game at Clarkstown South.
The hosts had shot 8 for 16 from behind the arc in the first half against an extended zone designed to trap the ball and force turnovers. In the second, South hit just 1 of 9 from deep and the Tigers (8-2) took control behind strong finishes from junior stars Kai Mitchell and Rickey McGill and steady play from reserves Jy’Quan Boykin and Darius Daniels.
“Most of (the shots) were standing still,” Worsley said. “I thought if we put a little pressure on them and got them on the move, as well as moving with us on defense, hopefully in the fourth quarter their legs would be a little tired, which I think is what happened.”
Spring Valley took the lead for good on a basket by McGill (who had eight assists and tied Mitchell with a game-high 20 points) late in third quarter. It was part of a 6-0 run to end the period and 29-16 spurt to end the game.
“It was a learning experience,” South coach Matt Backs said after his team dropped to 8-1. “It’s nice to play that game now. We’ll get them again at their place.”
Mitchell added 12 points, three assists and three steals. Jordan Duncan had six points and eight rebounds and Boykin had 10 points off the bench.
Junior Conor McGuinness led four Vikings in double figures with 17 points. Joe Zayer added 15 points on five 3-pointers. Kevin Martinez contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds.
“It will show our character how we respond to this,” McGuinness said. “We can go down or we can go up.”
And here’s Peter’s video, including thoughts from Worsley and Mitchell: