In case you missed it, the biggest upset of the day came in Peekskill where 24th-seeded Sleepy Hollow ended the Red Devils’ playoff hopes before they even got started.
While Peekskill has certainly proven this season to be a bit inconsistent, this is still a team that made the County Center last season and is traditionally one of the best in the area.
The win is even crazier when you consider the fact the game almost never happened at all, as you’ll see.
PEEKSKILL Last Monday Sleepy Hollow coach Rob Rizzo (pictured above) held a team meeting to get a feel for whether or not he wanted to enter his team into sectionals.
At 6-12 the Headless Horseman had a rocky regular season and Rizzo wanted to gauge the attitude of the team.
“I wanted to make sure we were going into the playoffs with the right mind set,” Rizzo said. “That we were going in with the mind that we wanted to win, not just play another game.”
On Sunday No. 24 Sleepy Hollow proved how badly it wanted to win, earning a 60-57 victory at No. 9 Peekskill in a Class A outbracket game.
The loss marks the end of longtime Peekskill coach Lou Panzanaro’s career. Panzanaro, who is the section’s all-time wins holder, announced this would be his final season earlier this year.
The Headless Horseman will play at No. 8 Byram Hills Monday at 1 p.m. for a first-round game.
Nick Arduino led the way with 27 points. Alex Laub added 13 points and 15 rebounds. Henry Hargitai chipped in 11 points.
“It’s a nice win for the guys,” Rizzo said. “Peekskill is a tough place to play. There is a lot of tradition there.”
Rizzo said he felt his team could compete with the Red Devils because of to the difficult league schedule Sleepy Hollow plays. The Headless Horseman faced Class A contender Eastchester and Class B contender Woodlands twice this season.
Rizzo also stressed to his team the importance of putting a good effort in on the defensive glass to prevent second-chance points and dealing with the pressure Peekskill would apply, two things the coach said his team executed well in the game.
“I thought if we did what we had to do,” Rizzo said.
When Sleepy Hollow held the lead late, Rizzo said he told his team to look at certain game situations like they were drills in practice to keep his players relaxed.
“If you let them get caught up in what they can do then the enormity of it can get to them,” Rizzo said.
The Horsemen also hit their foul shots late, allowing them to stay ahead of Peekskill down the stretch.
“Everybody in the world tells them they don’t have a chance to win,” Rizzo said. “They were happy.”