Here’s Jermaine Dennis’ story on Masters, which received a big effort from Pearl River resident Mike Jurzynski in a semifinal win over Rye Country Day:
DOBBS FERRY — Masters star forward Michael Jurzynski dreamed big the night before Friday’s Fairchester Athletic Association semifinal against Rye Country Day.
The dream consisted of the Panthers (16-6) winning and moving on to the championship game. Luckily for him and Masters, his dream now seems more like a déjà vu moment, with his 30-point performance catapulting top-seeded Masters to a 64-48 win over the No. 4 Wildcats.
Now the Panthers will look to win an FAA title on their home court against Greens Farms Academy Saturday at 4 p.m.
“Last night I was just dreaming about making it to the championship for the first time in school history,” Jurzynski said. “I just really wanted this win so I came out ready.”
The 6-foot-5 forward became the unstoppable force and the Wildcats were movable objects. Jurzynski’s upper-body strength proved to be just too much for RCDS forward Chris Picard, who fouled out with three minutes left in the game.
RCDS coach Chris Wirth tried all he could to slow down Jurzynski by giving the forward multiple looks. But his players were either too small or too slow to stop Jurzynski.
“He’s a guy who can shoot 3s, but we said to him, ‘Our advantage with you when we play a small team like Rye is for you to be a beast,’ ” Masters coach Matt Kammrath said. “He needed to really have that mentality of, ‘I can go through or over anybody out there who is guarding me.’
“In the game we challenged him to step up and he did.”
The teams split two regular-season games, each winning on its home court. Rye Country Day’s star backcourt of Salim Green and Tyler Fernandez combined for more than 60 points in an 85-73 win over Masters three weeks ago. But on Friday Masters limited the two to a combined 33 points.
“We had a hell of season in the FAA and we have NYSIAS coming up soon,” Fernandez said after the game. “We thought we had a chance tonight but we couldn’t really pull it out.”
Freshman guard Brandon Randolph added 16 points to the winning effort. In the previous game against St. Luke’s, Randolph had a rough outing, shooting 0 for 8 from 3-point land. His coaches had a nice talk with him after the game to keep him aggressive and it worked.
“Coaches told me to relax and take my time with my shots and I think it helped a lot,” Randolph said. “It feels real good to be moving on. I’m proud of my team and let’s try to get this championship.”