Mayfield and Tigers Prepare to Try to Salvage Their 2012-13 Season

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The White Plains High School Men’s Basketball Team has no intentions of giving up on the 2012-13 Season. The Tigers record stands at, 2-9, this season, after a loss to Mount Vernon High School, 75-53, at WPHS, on January 15.

WPHS Photo 1-Tigers Head Coach Spencer Mayfield (left) makes a point to his volunteer assistant coach David Zenon (right) at practice, on Thursday, Jan. 17, at White Plains High School. Photo by Albert Coqueran
WPHS Photo 1-Tigers Head Coach Spencer Mayfield (left) makes a point to his volunteer assistant coach David Zenon (right) at practice, on Thursday, Jan. 17, at White Plains High School. Photo by Albert Coqueran

“I have a lot of faith in my team. This season is not over and if we make the playoffs the season starts all over again,” stated Tigers junior guard Marshon Morris.

The Knights (8-1) are on top of League 1V Section 1-AA and ranked number one in the Lower Hudson Valley by USA Today Sports Super 25. Stepinac High School is ranked second in the Lower Hudson Valley by USA Today with a 9-3 record, as of Monday, Jan. 21.

A drawback in the game against the Knights for the Tigers was their top scorer Mike DeMello, who averaging 14 points per game this season only had five points in the game. DeMello did not score his first field goal until late in the fourth-quarter.

Also, Tigers center Nate Hudson fouled out before the third quarter ended and forward Robert Lorden lost his eligibility in the game with five fouls in the fourth quarter. “Yeah (that cannot not happen), you can tell, against Mahopac we both fouled out and we lost by two points,” said Lorden. “I am not saying that we are the key players on the team but we are hustle players going after the loose balls and we are crashing the boards,” he emphasized.

However, Tigers guard Morris had the right stuff against Mt. Vernon. He scored 12 points with 10 of his points earned on foul shots. At practice, on Thursday, January 17, Morris stayed to shoot free throws even after Head Coach Spencer Mayfield gave his team a water-break. “I believe free throws are free, so you have to work hard on those shots as well, just like everything else in basketball,” commented Morris.

Mayfield and the Tigers have eight days off, after their loss to Mt. Vernon, to prepare for their encore game against New Rochelle High School, on January 24, in New Rochelle.

The Tigers were defeated by the Huguenots in a very close contest, 47-44, at WPHS, on Thursday, Jan. 3. However, there was a key ingredient of the Tigers chemistry missing from that game.

Head Coach Mayfield got ejected from the Consolation Game of the Slam Dunk Tournament, on December 27.  Furthermore, as Section 1 rules indicate, he was suspended from the next game as well, which was New Rochelle at home.

It was the first time in his two decades of coaching at White Plains High School that Mayfield was ejected from a game and suspended for a game. “It was awful because it was not warranted. But there is no recourse, so we just had to accept it and deal with it,” stressed Mayfield.

As Mayfield ran his team through a strenuous workout, in the Harry Jefferson Gym, on Thursday, Jan. 17, he took time to describe one of the main reasons his team is struggling with a 2-9 record.

“It is one or two plays every single game and they do not understand that the margin between victory and defeat is so slim,” explained Mayfield. “When you do not make those one or two needed plays in a game, it snowballs and your confidence is shaken. The team needs that one breakthrough win and I think they will be alright,” stated Mayfield.

The Tigers have seven regular season games remaining in their 2012-13 season. Besides, New Rochelle on January 24, they will make their annual trip to Williamsport, Penn., to play Williamsport H.S. on Saturday, Jan. 26.

The Tigers return to play Scarsdale H.S. at home, on Tuesday, Jan. 29 and Ossining H.S. in Ossining, on February 1. They take on neighboring Mamaroneck High School in a home-and-away series, in White Plains, on February 4 and in Mamaroneck, on February 6. The Tigers will close their 2012-13 regular season with an opportunity to settle the score against the troubling Knights, in Mt. Vernon, on February 8.

There still remains time for the Tigers to salvage this season. However, to make this regular season meaningful, they are going to have to prove that they can beat the Huguenots and the Knights on the road. No easy task, especially considering they have lost once already this season to each team at WPHS.

However, maybe that “breakthrough win” that Mayfield is seeking to motivate his team will come against the Huguenots, on Thursday, in New Rochelle. “If we play our game then they will not be able to play with us,” stated Lorden, who Mayfield singled out as a player who has made significant improvement this year.



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