For the first time ever this year, our annual selection of the area’s top high school basketball talent will also include fan-voted all-star and all-county teams. The players and coaches will be selected by YOU, the reader.
Voting will begin today and run until Thursday, April 16 at 2 p.m. For further explanation, read here.
Now, let’s get to our coach of the year candidates:
Bob Cimmino, Mount Vernon: Cimmino coached his youngest team in 21 seasons to the Class AA state semifinals. That’s despite a roster that included six sophomores, two freshmen and just two seniors. The Knights finished 19-4, falling to eventual state champ Shenendehowa at Glens Falls. It was the only game Mount Vernon lost against New York state competition all season.
Al Morales, Kennedy: In his third season at Kennedy, and just the school’s second season in the CHSAA, Morales’ team finished 26-2. That included a dominant 23-0 start, a CHSAA ‘A’ city title and an appearance in the CHSAA Class A state championship game against eventual Federation champ Canisius.
Bob Murphy, Woodlands: Murphy guided the Falcons to a second straight Section 1 title and the program’s first appearance ever in a state championship game. Along the way, they beat Archbishop Molloy for the Slam Dunk title and defeated Southampton, the No. 2-ranked team in the state, in the regional final. After a dominant win in the state semifinals against Ogdensburg Free Academy, Woodlands fell to defending state champ Westhill in the state final, 70-62. The Falcons completed the season 22-4.
Anthony Nicodemo, Saunders: Nicodemo was named the Section 1 coach of the year after guiding the Blue Devils to the County Center. They played eventual Class AA champ Mount Vernon close deep into the fourth quarter before falling, 84-74. Along the way, Saunders had a 17-game winning streak and finished the season 18-3. Its only losses came to arguably the area’s top three teams: Iona Prep, Spring Valley and Mount Vernon.
Vic Quirolo, Iona Prep: Quirolo’s team accomplished a number of program firsts this season. The 22-6 Gaels won the CHSAA ‘AA’ New York Archdiocesan regular-season and tournament championships for the first time in program history. They also achieved the top seed in the CHSAA’s intersectional tournament by virtue of winning the Archdiocesan tournament over St. Ray’s. Iona Prep defeated every team in the CHSAA ‘AA’ this season at least once with the exception of Xaverian, which nipped the Gaels in the intersectional semifinals.
All-star/all-county fan votes:
• Rockland coach of the year
• Westchester/Putnam coach of the year
• Rockland first-team all-county (coming today at 12 p.m.)
• Westchester/Putnam first-team all-county (coming today at 1 p.m.)
• Rockland player of the year (coming today at 2 p.m.)
• Westchester/Putnam player of the year (coming today at 3 p.m.