By Ray Gallagher
Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
& Rob DiAntonio @RJD_Photos
Class AA MAHOPAC is looking like the team to beat when it comes to a Conference I-II League B title, which Coach Chuck Scozzafava’s undefeated Indians have essentially sewn up, and the the next chip on their plate might be the Putnam/Northern Westchester Large School regional title in the days ahead.
The Indians have made short work of their competition thus far, and BREWSTER serves as the primary obstacle standing between Mahopac and the league title after the undefeated Indians continued their onslaught last week. The Indians and Bears will have at it this week with the league title on the line.
In Conference III, PLEASANTVILLE went toe-to-toe with two of the finest programs in Section 1 last week and came out on top of former nine-time defending Class AA champion OSSINING and reigning Class B champion PUTNAM VALLEY, emerging as a legit small school regional title contender.
Let’s get into it as we await the regional tournament breakdowns, which will be released this week by the Section 1 Executive Committee, and will run from March 10-14.
In Mahopac’s 58-49 win over visiting Yorktown Saturday, Indian wing Julie DeBrocky, a quiet assassin, had 17 points for the unbeaten Indians (6-0), who won for the sixth consecutive time. Indian senior Caitlyn O’Boyle added a double-double, going for 14 points and 12 rebounds while ball-hawking senior Mia Klammer finished with 13 points and eight steals. Mahopac sophomore G Lauren Beberman added 10 points and six assists. Olivia Lucas and Melissa Severino scored 14 points apiece for the Huskers, who played much better than they did in a previous 67-25 demolishing at the hands of Mahopac, mostly on account of Severino’s 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
“I couldn’t be happier with our effort today, just 42 hours after losing to Mahopac by 42 points, we lost by nine to them,” Yorktown Coach Brian Mundy said. “We never say die in this group.”
Mahopac junior Julie DeBrocky led the way with 17 points and sophomore Lauren Beberman dished six assists.
It was all Mahopac in the first go-round with Yorktown. DeBrocky (15 points), O’Boyle (another double-double 12 points, 10 rebounds) and Kristina Rush (11 points) led the Indians.
BREWSTER is the one team possibly standing between Mahopac and the League B title after the Bears continue to mash. Brewster went 2-1 last week improving its record to 4-2 on the season. Last Tuesday, though, Mahopac sent a message in 60-38 win, blowing the Bears out in the second half.
“We played a really physical game against a loaded Mahopac team,” Brewster Coach Mike Castaldo said. “We were only down five at half and we were right where we needed to be. But Mahopac had a big run to start the third and they never looked back.”
Brewster was led by Grace Galgano (14 points, 11 rebounds, 5 blocks) and Alexis Mark (14 points, 7 rebounds).
Galgano has been a one-girl-wrecking-crew of late, averaging 16 points, 13 boards and three blocks over the last three games, including a pair of wins over CARMEL, 50-23 and 63-40.
“We did a great job of turning them over and took a 34-9 lead at half,” Castaldo said.
Mark led Brewster with 10 points and eight rebounds while Galgano added five points and 20 rebounds (only the 2nd Bear to do that since Frannie Merkel, 2016). For the week, Galgano averaged 16 points, 13 boards and four blocks.
In the 2nd game against Carmel it was a much different story.
“Carmel came out and definitely played a better first half,” Castaldo said. “They were making shots, broke our press and had more energy.”
Luckily, Brewster still took a five-point lead at half (30-25), mainly because senior F Grace Galgano was having her way(20 first-half points).
“Grace was unguardable in the first half,” Castaldo said. “She scored inside, she was hitting 3s and getting to the line.”
Brewster’s Alexis Mark had a great second half, scoring 12 of her 16 points while cashing in on the boards (10 rebounds).
“Lex was playing really tough defense down low,” Castaldo said. “Lex has been so steady for us all year and I was really proud of the second half she had.”
Galgano led Brewster with 28 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Morgan Johnson scored 20 for the Rams, who had a 17-15 lead after the first quarter.
FOX LANE had a busy week that started off with a 59-30 rout of host Eastchester on Tuesday.
“When we scheduled Eastchester, we really didn’t know what to expect,” Fox Lane coach Kris Matts admitted. “When we got there, we saw what we were afraid of: another height advantage. Keeping opposing teams off the offensive glass and stopping our shot from being swatted has been a tough task for my diminutive squad. In the first half, it seemed like it would be another tough day at the office for the bottom of our zone, as bigger Eastchester forwards missed, got their own rebound and missed again before putting the ball in the hole. Unlike previous games, however, we were on fire offensively.”
Natalie Pence led the Foxes with 15 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Quoya Schnell had 14 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Holly Ades tallied 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and sunk a buzzer beater from half court.
“Natalie came out of the game hot but Eastchester adjusted by going to a box-and-one,” Matts said. “Unfortunately for them, that left Quoya, Holly and Susannah (Kimsal) open. In the second half, Eastchester switched to a man-to-man, which made it difficult to contain Natalie, who managed to get the whole team in on the act as well, making the extra pass and setting hard screens for easy buckets.”
Kimsal (8 points, 3 steals), Cara Drapala (5 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals), Nicole Picinich (4 points, 5 rebounds, “amazing tenacity and defense”) and Ibby Moccia (2 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, “tough as nails”) all contributed.
“If we keep improving on each facet of the game that has been giving us trouble, we should see better and better results despite limited practice time,” Matts said. “With the girls working as hard as they are, I’m confident that improvement will continue.”
Pence poured in a game-high 28 points in a 61-46 league win over host John Jay-Cross River on Wednesday. She added 12 rebounds, six steals, six assists and three blocks.
“She was determined to win,” Matts said of Pence. “When John Jay tried to pressure her outside shot, she drove to the basket. When they backed off, she drilled shots from everywhere on the court. And when they doubled her, she found her teammates for open looks. It was a phenomenal performance.”
Ades (11 points, 3 steals), Moccia (8 points, 9 rebounds), Picinich (7 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals) and Schnell (4 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals) chipped in for the Foxes in a whistle-heavy game where 35 total fouls were called with 20 fouls called on Fox Lane.
“Having only seven players at your disposal, you need to adjust the way you play,” Matts said. “The girls need timeouts for rest, regular subs and a defense that can help them stay out of foul trouble. So far, that has worked out pretty well. Against John Jay, it was a disaster. We were in foul trouble halfway through the first quarter, which is remarkable considering we stay back in a half court zone…This was a very tough situation and the girls needed to rally together. They did that and more, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
On their senior day, the host Foxes won their third straight game by topping the John Jay Wolves again, 61-52. Pence, a senior, filled up the stat sheet, tallying 18 points, 13 rebounds, seven blocks and six assists. Drapala (13 points) and Schnell (7 points, 8 rebounds) also helped propel them to Saturday’s win.
Fox Lane fell to host Lakeland 60-52 on Sunday to drop to 4-3 overall.
HORACE GREELEY lost to John Jay-Cross River 63-56 last Tuesday. Bella Schulman (18 points, 6 rebounds) and Emma Rose (12 points, 5 rebounds) paced the Quakers.
The Quakers (2-2) dropped their second straight game in a 39-32 setback to host Bronxville on Friday. Julia Herzner (12 points) and Ava Gusba (8 points) led the team.
LAKELAND survived a 41-36 win over visiting WALTER PANAS Saturday behind senior F Amanda Cole’s double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) to win the coveted Giglio Gold Ball. Lakeland G Tyler Hormazabal and F Hannah Devane added 11 points apiece. Panas F Kelsey Cregan finished with 13 tough points in the paint. Lakeland got by despite some inconsistencies on the glass.
“Rebounding has been a huge focus for us every game,” Hornet Coach Miranda Mangan said. “Luckily, we were able to get by against a good Panas team. Of course, the win was huge for the girls. It’s always nice to get a win against Panas, but it’s even more exciting when it’s the Giglio Games. It’s been a few years since we’ve won and is definitely the highlight of the season so far. We had a slow start but the girls are really playing together now.”
“We shot poorly and Lakeland played great defense,” Panas boss Matt Evangelista said.
Hormazabal helped the Hornets in what became a joyous weekend, getting 16 points in a 60-52 win over Fox Lane Sunday. Hannah Devane posted a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) while Nichole Ljuljic added 13 points and six rebounds. Cole added 10 points.
Panas recovered nicely in Sunday’s 48-43 win over host SOMERS when Kristen Cinquina chipped in 10 points and Cregan added nine. Somers sophomore Ava Giudice posted career-highs in points (19) and boards (9).
OSSINING rebounded from a surprising loss to Pleasantville with an 85-47 win over HEN HUD when senior G Tyler Dendy dropped 36 points and yanked 10 rebounds for the Pride. Ede Walker added a career-high 28 points for the Pride. Ossining Coach Dan Ricci liked what he saw from point guard Tamia Dimmie (10 assists, five steals). Colleen Ryan led the defending Section 1 Class A champion Sailors with 11 points.
In Ossining’s 86-41win over Sleepy Hollow, Dendy had 38 points, 12 rebounds and five steals.
WHITE PLAINS (1-2) began its season by surrendering a big lead to Scarsdale and being routed by last year’s Section 1 Class AA champion Ursuline, but the Tigers bounced back with an impressive 47-33 win over visiting Harrison on Friday. The Tigers turned up the intensity in the fourth quarter, closing the game on a 15-0 run.
White Plains trailed Harrison 33-32 midway through the fourth quarter when senior Katie McAteer (6 points) finished a three-point play to give them a 35-33 lead.
“That’s what I’m trying to get from Katie, that senior leadership,” White Plains coach Benji Carter said. “She kind of bought into what we need from her, which is get that ball and put it up. I’m trying to get her to shoot the ball 20 times a game. I told her that’s what’s going to help us out and it’s going to open up our offense if you can do that more.”
An Anneliese Reggio putback was followed by a Sequoia Layne (6 points) foul-line jumper to stretch the lead to 39-33. Aliya McIver found a cutting Ineivi Plata to stretch the lead to eight points. McAteer knocked down a dagger of a three from the right wing to put the Tigers up 44-33 with 1:35 to play. Plata paced the Tigers with 14 points while McIver added 11 points. The Tigers gave up a big early lead and fell to Scarsdale 42-41 in their season opener last Tuesday. McIver (18 points) and Plata (15 points) led White Plains.
White Plains was routed by Ursuline and McDonald’s All-American Sonia Citron, 79-29, the next day. Citron scored 32 points including surpassing 2,000 for her career.
“Scarsdale, I felt we should have really beat them,” Carter said. “We were beating them pretty bad. You can’t underestimate any team. These teams are coached well and they’re scrappy. And then a team like Ursuline who is sending kids to Division 1 schools, it’s a different story. But those are the type of kids we practice for.”
McIver (9 points), Plata (7 points) and Layne (6 points) led the Tigers against Ursuline.
“After graduating those seniors that really opened up the floor for us, it’s different now,” Carter said. “I’m starting three ninth-graders and a sophomore at times. We’re pretty young. We have to learn to get better, learn to play with each other and learn each others’ skill set. We don’t have a natural scorer but we have to turn certain girls into scorers. Right now, Aliya and Ineivi are holding us down point wise and defensively, so we have to count on them to help make everybody else better.”
It was a week that the PLEASANTVILLE Panthers will remember for years to come. The Panthers secured two program-altering one-point wins over powerhouses Ossining and Putnam Valley. Lila Donohue’s 3-pointer with 41 seconds left put the Panthers ahead and they held off host Ossining in a 58-57 win last Tuesday.
Pleasantville’s Mary Grace O’Neill scored 10 of her team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter. Donohue added 12 points while Tina Matica and Jenna McCallister chipped in with 10 points each.
“Our girls don’t quit,” Panthers coach Dillon Clark said. “I think what this victory is, is a tangible moment that success comes as a product of a process. I said to the girls before we got off the bus that we won by the smallest margin possible and to understand the process that’s needed to take place to achieve that one point.”
Tyler Dendy paced the Pride with 23 points, 16 rebounds and five steals.
The Panthers erased a 14-point first quarter deficit and fought from behind to pull out another monumental one-point win, topping last year’s Section 1 Class B champion Putnam Valley 48-47 last Wednesday.
Clark said that the Panthers used their tenacious press to turn the game around and that the girls “woke up.”
“I think it shows the grit of this group to play two talented, well coached teams back-to-back and find ways to win in the fourth quarter,” said Clark, whose team trailed 29-19 at the half.
McAllister and O’Neill registered 14 points each for Pleasantville. Donohue netted 13 points.
“The balanced scoring is what makes us difficult to defend,” Clark said. “We have five players on the court who are all threats to score.”
Eva DeChent (13 points) and Arianna Stockinger (11 points) led the Tigers.
Pleasantville picked up two more wins to run its winning streak to five games and overall record to 6-1. The Panthers routed Rye Neck 59-14 on Friday behind 14 points from Matica and 11 each from McAllister and Ruby Donohue.
Julia O’Reilly (13 points, 5 assists), McAllister (8 points, 11 rebounds), O’Neill (9 points, 8 rebounds), Matica (9 points) and Lila Donohue (8 points) led the Panthers to a 55-47 win over Dobbs Ferry on Saturday.
WESTLAKE (2-1) rallied from a second half deficit, outscoring Blind Brook 22-6 in the fourth quarter to grind out a 50-36 win on senior day last Wednesday. The Wildcats honored their lone senior Nicole Karaqi (14 points, 8 rebounds) with the victory.
Allie Castellone scored a game-high 16 points with 11 of her points coming in the fourth quarter. Julie Lyden added a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards.
BRIARCLIFF (4-1) cruised past Blind Brook 62-21 behind 17 points and six rebounds from Dylan Zednik. Cat Carrafiello added 13 points and six assists.
A day later the Bears crushed host VALHALLA 46-10. Jordan Smith (14 points) and Carrafiello (10 points) led the way.
Valhalla (2-3) earned its first win a day earlier, defeating Yonkers Montessori 46-39 in their senior game. Paige Williams (13 points), Sophie Sproul (12 points) and Tvisha Sivaramakrishnan (10 points) led the Vikings.
The Vikings enjoyed a measure of revenge after falling to Rye Neck a week earlier, turning the tables in a 49-43 victory on Saturday.
Jordan Williams and Alicia Eggleston led the offense with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
PUTNAM VALLEY has not looked especially crisp out of the gate, and the second half against Pleasantville was proof positive. However, the Tigers (2-1) responded with a 62-31 win over HALDANE behind 26 points from Dechent and 14 from Amanda Orlando.
“Haldane played a stronger second quarter,” Blue Devil Coach Jessica Perrone said. “Putnam Valley played strong, suffocating defense, as is tradition.”
Maddie Chiera (12 points, 6 rebounds) and Amanda Johanson (5 points, 2 rebounds) led the Blue Devils. PV also knocked off North Salem, 59-21, behind DeChent’s with 15 points and 12 from Orlando.