Boys Hoops Notebook: Putnam Valley Ranked in NYS Top 10; Yorktown Seeking 1st W

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It was a relatively light week of action as most local hoop teams prepare for an extended holiday break with a heavy slate of league action soon to follow.

Putnam Valley G Ryan Basso has run the point effectively and played superb D for the 6-1 Tigers. Photo by Ray Gallagher

Putnam Valley’s 66-56 win over host North Salem last Wednesday was another reason to believe in the Tigers’ early-season fortunes. North Salem was the third proven Class B commodity Coach Ed Wallach’s state-ranked (No.10) Tigers have defeated en route to a torrid 6-1 start, the best in school history. Having already defeated Class B playoff-bound clubs like Croton, Hastings and Bronxville, the Tigers disposed of North Salem behind junior G Zach Coleman’s torrid first half, in which he scored nearly all of his team-high 23 points.

Sophomore point guard Ryan Basso added 11 for the Tigers, who have had four different leading scorers this season. Junior F Jelani Bell-Isaac and sharp-shooting wing Dan Munson each scored 10 points for PV. North Salem’s Umar Singh led all scorers with 26 points and 13 rebounds while Joey Tunas had 19 points in a losing effort, but they both had to work for their numbers as the Tigers’ defense was most impressive.

“That’s what I like right now, we’re playing aggressive defense,” Coach Wallach stated after the game. “Umar got his numbers but we really made him work for them. Tunas is a nice shooter, but the rest of the team was shut down. I thought Ryan Basso played a terrific defensive game and Zack scored the ball well in the first half; before he got in foul trouble.

“We’re happy to be where we are, ranked in the state” Wallach added. “The whole community is behind us. The student body has been outstanding.”

The student body has taken to body paint and fathead style signs; something Putnam Valley hasn’t seen much of. The gym has been packed to the gills for home games, and basketball fever is running rampant as the 2012-13 Tigers prepare to blow the school’s record book up with a balanced attack that is deeper than most figured. Munson has provided instant offense off the bench. His stroke is pretty sweet, and opposing coaches will want to get him on their radar.

YORKTOWN came oh, so close to earning its first W, but John Jay earned a dramatic 61-59 OT win over Coach Chris Caputti’s visiting Huskers last Wednesday when Indian Nick Kiger (16 pts, 10 rebounds) hit the go-ahead jumper with 10 seconds left. Yorktown’s Andres Perez hit a game-tying 3 at the buzzer to send the game into OT.

Ricky Corrado had 22 points for the Huskers and Mason Dyslin had 10.

“The boys have been great,” first-year Husker boss Chris Caputi said. “Record wise we are off to a rocky start, but their mind set and attitude has been tremendous. They all give their ‘A’ effort in practice every day and they play to win in games. Our varsity inexperience is a factor right now, but every time we step on the floor for another game we have shown improvement. If we stay together and they continue to stay hungry then hopefully these one-point losses in December turn into wins later in the season.”

Husker freshman Luis Cartagena dropped 16 points in a 60-56 loss to Horace Greeley in the Greeley tourney last Saturday. Trailing by 13 after three, the Huskers closed strong behind the sweet-stroking prospect.

Brandon Gomez had 18 points and five assists in OSSINING’s 78-63 win over visiting Horace Greeley Monday, but the Pride could not sustain that momentum in a 72-61 loss to Pleasantville despite Noah Morton’s 24-point effort.

Ian Thom scored 27 points for Croton-Harmon in a 58-48 loss to Ossining.

BREWSTER’s slow start (1-4) can be explained, in part, to injuries, according to veteran Coach John Martino. “We graduated ten seniors and we’ve had significant injuries to (guard) Peter Cirocco (who missed several games) and Donnell Patterson (yet to play). When we resume play in early January with Mahopac and Arlington, the players should gain game some experience under varsity stress, and I hope to see some growth in our young players.”

NWE/Putnam Examiner-area Slick Six Hoop Poll

No.1 PEEKSKILL – Coach P’s Class A Red Devils (4-0) hit 17 3-pointers in a 90-62 victory over Beacon, which leads one to believe this is Peekskill’s finest outside shooting team in a number of years. G Jay Cabell drains 3’s blindfolded (6 vs. Beacon). State-ranked (No.4) Red Devils will take on (No.15 Class AA) South Shore in challenge game at Slam Dunk tourney Saturday, 12/29 at 3:00 p.m. We’ll know more about their potential after that.

No.2 MAHOPAC – Archbishop Stepinac (ranked No.16), New Rochelle and St. Mary’s are in the Indians’ bracket at the Slam Dunk tourney, which begins Dec. 26-29th at the Westchester County Center. Impressive slate of teams at the Slam also includes Sacred Heart, Poly Prep, Nazareth and White Plains. Props to Mahopac (2-2) for having a go at Stepinac.

No.3 PUTNAM VALLEY – Coach Ed Wallach’s Tigers (6-1) are ranked No.1 by MSG and No.2 by LoHud in their respective Class B hoops polls: Sick right? I wish PV could play Mahopac so we could get a better feel for No.2.

No.4 SOMERS – Tuskers (5-1) will get a better indication of what they will/can become in a Slam Dunk challenge game against Iona Prep on Thurs., Dec. 27 at 3:00 p.m. Tusker G John Decker best have his game on. The County Center is a tough place to shoot the lights out. Decker will have to outduel 6’6” Iona Prep sophomore Matt Ryan, another impressive shooter. If you’re waiting for a quality W from Coach Chris DiCintio’s Tuskers, this would be it.

No.5 CARMEL – Coach Coates’ Rams (4-2) have yet to beat a quality club; STILL not sold yet, but the 51-38 win over Ketcham was impressive from a defensive standpoint. R.J. Martinez (15 points) and dapper Dan Benkhen are getting it done offensively, and the slate heats up after the break when the Rams visit John Jay on the 4th and host Somers on the 8th of Jan.

No.6 We’re All Ears — Both Panas and Lakeland lost to John Jay. Croton lost to Ossining and hasn’t been overly impressive. Haldane got bombed by John Jay EF. Yorktown is still winless. Hen Hud is scratching and clawing for W’s few and far between. If we had to pick, we’re thinking Panas bases on Veck and Co. but it seems no one has stepped up decisively.

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