We lost a game against last week when Mount Vernon-New Rochelle, Part 1, was wiped out due to security concerns. Dan picked up a game in our other four picks, going a perfect 4-0. I misfired on New Rochelle over White Plains despite the fact that White Plains played without its starting point guard (meaning I was actually really, really off).
Four of the five games we’re picking this week are heated league rivalries. Two of Rockland County’s best rivalry games will be held. Mix in the first of two between Iona-Stepinac and a rematch between Rye and a very, very good Harrison team and you have a very good week on your hands.
Here’s a look at where we sit and who we like in the coming days:
2013-14 Records —
Josh: 25-6 (3-1 last week)
Dan: 24-7 (4-0 last week)
Spring Valley at Ramapo, 5:45 p.m. —
Josh’s pick: Spring Valley, 74-59. Ramapo has slowed down a bit in recent weeks, which is a bad sign. The Gryphons will need to be at their absolute best to even compete with Spring Valley. What I think does not bode well for them is their inability to score consistently. No matter how well Ramapo plays defensively, Spring Valley will find a way to score. That will lead to a widening gap unless the host can start fast.
Dan’s pick: Spring Valley, 80-65. These two teams were supposed to play each other a few weeks back, and what I said back then still applies now. The Gryphons have grown by leaps and bounds this season, but Ramapo is still a ways away from competing with one of the best teams in the area. The fact they are rivals makes it interesting, but not enough for me to pick against Spring Valley.
Peekskill at Putnam Valley, 6 p.m. —
Josh’s pick: Peekskill, 58-55. This should be a good one. Putnam Valley had a great week last week, including wins over Class AA Suffern and Washingtonville. The Tigers can compete with Peekskill in the starting five, but I believe the Red Devils’ depth will make the difference in the fourth quarter.
Dan’s pick: Peekskill, 66-60. The Red Devils have been predictably unpredictable. It’s clear there is talent, but they have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the area. Putnam Valley has been much more steady, but its lone loss came by 14 points to a Woodlands team Peekskill beat by 10. Not that I put much stock into that sort of thing. I just think the Red Devils get back on the right foot with a solid win.
Tappan Zee at Pearl River, 4:30 p.m. —
Josh’s pick: Pearl River, 51-48. I will pick Pearl River because of home court. TZ has certainly played better of late. So much so that right now there is no one else that can rightfully claim the unofficial title of Rockland’s third-best team. Still, I think the Pirates will be hungry after a disappointing start to last week. If they have a playoff push in them, it has already begun.
Dan’s pick: Tappan Zee, 60-55. The first of two meetings these teams will have that could likely decide a league title. Tappan Zee is one of the hottest teams in the section right now, so it’s tough to pick against them. Kevin Degnan has played well, but the Pirates can’t solely rely on him, which is something that’s gotten them into trouble this season.
Iona Prep at Stepinac, 7:30 p.m. —
Josh’s pick: Iona Prep, 61-50. Matt Ryan will likely be out again when the teams meet, making this a game Stepinac should have a chance to win. But so far, the Crusaders have struggled mightily in big games on their home court. If they get behind early — Ryan or no Ryan — it could get ugly. Iona is a very sound defensive team that will make Stepinac work hard to score.
Dan’s pick: Iona Prep, 55-52. Talk about two teams that have fallen on hard times. For Stepinac, the 2013-14 has been an ongoing nightmare. Recently, though, the Gaels haven’t exactly had much to cheer about. Injuries have limited their offense, which averaged just 35 points in three games last week. This will be closer than people think, but the Gaels prevail.
Harrison at Rye, 3:30 p.m. —
Josh’s pick: Harrison, 56-39. It was an ugly, low-scoring game the first time around, but much has changed for Harrison, which is as hot as any team in Class A right now. Just consider that Rye fell to Rye Neck one night after the Huskies beat them by 30-plus points.
Dan’s pick: Harrison, 53-47. The Huskies, along with Tappan Zee, are one of the hottest teams in Class A right now. The thing that makes them so dangerous is they have five guys that can hit double figures every night. I know it’s a rivalry, which means records don’t matter as much, but the Huskies are just too good to let this one slip away.
To view all of our picks for the Games of the Week so far this season, click on the “Predictions” tab on the homepage at varsityinsider.lohudblogs.com.