I had a long talk with Woodlands coach Bob Murphy after his team dismantled 11-3 Sleepy Hollow tonight and it was clear just how important he is to the success this team has enjoyed and hopes to enjoy in the future. Murphy remains hard on his players despite them having by the best chance (in my opinion) of representing Section 1 and, frankly, Westchester County in Glens Falls and beyond.
Below is my story, which gives a peek into Murphy’s motivation. It also includes the details on another terrific game by senior Jamil Gambari, who poured in 31 points and grabbed 11 boards in the win.
TARRYTOWN — Perhaps no coach around is harder on his team than Bob Murphy — a fact that would seem counter-intuitive considering Woodlands is probably Section 1’s best chance at producing a state champion. But after more than 50 years in the game, Murphy finds himself hard to impress.
After Ross Joseph’s 27-point game Wednesday night at Ardsley, Murphy told Jospeh he missed an opportunity at 30. He had the same message for Jamil Gambari Thursday night after the Falcons eased past Sleepy Hollow, 70-35.
Gambari (pictured right), a 6-foot-3 senior, had 31 points and 11 rebounds as Woodlands won its 10th straight, but Murphy saw a player miss his chance at hitting the 40-point mark.
With the Falcons (12-1), the defending Class B champs, dominating, the motivation has to come from within.
“I have to ride these guys,” Murphy said. “Every possession counts. We may get through Section 1. We may go to Section 9 and get by them and play Long Island. And we could get by them and go to the state tournament, but it has to be every possession.”
“He keeps us grinding,” Gambari said. “He lets us know that where we want to go, what we want to do, we haven’t done anything yet.”
Woodlands started slow Thursday, a rematch of a closer-than-anticipated home win over the Headless Horsemen earlier this month. Gambari’s flurry late in the first quarter suddenly pushed their lead into double digits and their defense clamped down from there.
Sleepy Hollow scored just 12 points in the first half, but opened the third quarter on a 6-0 run. Gambari, Joseph (12 points) and Pierre Lys (8 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists, and pictured above) reversed the momentum and the Falcons eventually built their lead into the 30s.
Henry Hargitai, Wendell Brand and Joey Good led Sleepy Hollow (11-4) with nine points apiece.
“The most important thing to me was that they kept fighting throughout the game,” said first-year coach Chris Starace. “It would’ve been easy down 20 at the half to not come out and play hard.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Photos by Peter Carr.
Best of the rest: Luis Cartagena had 15 points and six assists and C.J. Layne had 15 points had six steals for White Plains in a 56-49 win over visiting New Rochelle. … Sean Crowley had 11 points and 13 rebounds and Jack Reish had two key steals in the fourth quarter of Briarcliff’s 43-41 win at Pleasantville. Chris Maloney and Mike Manley had 11 each for the Panthers. … Sean New had 21 points and four rebounds as Fox Lane beat Somers, 52-48. Matt Redhead added 14 points and 10 rebounds. … Tom Capuano had 19 points and Ty Jerome had 14 points for Iona Prep in a 60-46 win at Mount. … Derrick Felder had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Dijon Gonzales added 19 for Saunders in a 70-54 win at Lincoln to clinch its league championship. … Ricardy Etienne had 16 points and Eric Paige had 13 for Gorton in a 50-46 win at Edgemont. … Pat Conway had 19 points and Jack Byrnes had 18 for Pearl River in a 69-60 win over visiting North Rockland. …Caleb Krohn had 26 points for Scarsdale in a 62-57 win over visiting Clarkstown North. … Nick Marra’s three-pointer with nine seconds left gave Hen Hud a 54-51 win over visiting Panas. Carson Jacobs led the Sailors with 22 points. … Eli Sierra had 24 points and Jason Barrera chipped in 18 for Hamilton in a 77-46 win over visiting Tuckahoe. … Austin Lavitt had 18 points and eight rebounds in Blind Brook’s 56-41 win at Hastings. … Josh Alexander had 15 points in Carmel’s 65-41 loss to Arlington.
Pearl River 69, North Rockland 60
Briarcliff 43, Pleasantville 41
White Plains 56, New Rochelle 49
Iona Prep 60, Mount St. Michael 46
Woodlands 70, Sleepy Hollow 35
Gorton 50, Edgemont 46
Saunders 70, Lincoln 54
Scarsdale 62, Clarkstown North 57
Arlington 65, Carmel 41
Lakeland 52, Ossining 36
Hen Hud 54, Panas 51
Fox Lane 52, Somers 48
Hamilton 77, Tuckahoe 46
Blind Brook 56, Hastings 41
Peekskill 90, Beacon 72
Christ the King B 54, Stepinac B 38
Ketcham 62, John Jay-EF 49
Roosevelt at Albertus Magnus, ppd., 2/1, 12 p.m.
John Jay at Yorktown, ppd., today, 8 p.m.
Kennedy at St. John’s Prep, ppd.
MLK at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls, susp. (MLK led 12-0)
Mahopac at Lourdes, ppd.
Putnam Valley at Pawling, 6:15 p.m.
I will be out at Mount Vernon to see the Knights host Mamaroneck in the Coaches vs. Cancer Super Classic. Lots of good basketball this weekend for a good cause. I will have more on that tomorrow.
Albertus Magnus at Nanuet, 4 p.m.
Riverside at Yonkers, 4 p.m.
Lakeland at Ossining, 4:15 p.m.
Sacred Heart at Regis, 4:15 p.m.
Biondi at Pleasantville, 4:30 p.m.
Valhalla at Briarcliff, 4:30 p.m.
Irvington at Rye Neck, 4:30 p.m.
Hamilton at Keio, 4:30 p.m.
New Rochelle at Scarsdale, 4:30 p.m.
Eastchester at Pelham, 4:30 p.m.
Kennedy at Spellman, 5 p.m.
Ramapo at Clarkstown North, 6 p.m.
Blind Brook at Westlake, 6 p.m.
Brewster at Greeley, 6:45 p.m.
Middletown at Spring Valley, 7 p.m.
Putnam Valley at North Salem, 7 p.m.
Tappan Zee at Nyack, 7 p.m.
Byram Hills at Rye, 7 p.m.
Peekskill at Croton-Harmon, 7 p.m.
St. Raymond at Stepinac, 7:30 p.m.
John Jay at Yorktown, 8 p.m.
Friends vs. Cancer at Palisade Prep
Briarcliff vs. Valhalla, 4:30 p.m.
Palisade Prep vs. Morris (Bronx), 6:30 p.m.
Coaches vs. Cancer Super Classic at Mount Vernon HS
Mount Vernon vs. Mamaroneck, 5:15 p.m.
Tuckahoe vs. Edgemont, 7 p.m.