Here’s my game story on New Rochelle’s win over Mamaroneck—focusing on the contributions of junior Justin Alleyne, who if he keeps having game’s like Sunday, might channel his inner-Khalil Edney:
MAMARONECK Justin Alleyne may never face dozens of cameras or walk the red carpet at the ESPYs, but the New Rochelle junior transfer proved Sunday he could at least reprise the on-court role of Khalil Edney, the superstar sixth man on last year’s Class AA state runner-up.
With his team out of sync early, the 6-foot-2 Alleyne (pictured left vs. Eastchester) delivered 15 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. That lift allowed No. 9 New Rochelle to successfully settle its gritty trilogy with No. 8 Mamaroneck, 45-35, in the first round of the Class AA playoffs.
“Like Khalil, he came in and played the majority of the game,” said Huguenot coach Rasaun Young, whose team survived shooting just 21 percent from the floor. “He brings that type of energy when you see him play. He’s very athletic, very into it. I just hope that he keeps it going.”
New Rochelle (8-11) also welcomed the 14-point, six-rebound, four-steal effort from senior Derek Dorn, who missed the 46-39 loss at Mamaroneck on Jan. 22.
Despite their shooting woes, the Huguenots earned second-chance points and trips to the free-throw line by attacking the offensive glass. That was led by senior Alex Tuci and Alleyne, who entered after a lengthy delay to reset the scoreboard with 3:07 left in the first quarter. He sparked an 8-2 run to end the period and continued to thrive as New Rochelle maintained a narrow lead until tacking more on late.
“Like coach always says, it’s not who starts the game, it’s who finishes it,” said Alleyne, who transferred from Salesian after his sophomore year. “As long as we come out with a ‘W’ and I’m helping my team when I need to, I’m happy.”
Mamaroneck (10-9) couldn’t muster that positivity, not after shooting 9 for 37 and 0 for 10 from 3-point land. Will Giddon and Kumar Nambiar each had 10 points, but the team’s poor shooting prevented it from capitalizing on another strong defensive effort.
“We’ve credited our defense all year for giving us the record we have against the people we play,” coach Tyrone Carver said. “Just, today, our offense was pathetic.”
New Rochelle knows it will have to score better on Thursday when it travels to No. 1 Mount Vernon at 5 p.m. for a Class AA quarterfinal and a rematch of last year’s final — the game that added plenty of wattage to Edney’s superstar.
“At the end of the day, you have to go through the best,” Young said. “Mount Vernon’s the best right now so you’ve got to meet them somewhere if you want to try to win a championship.”