SPORTSThe White Plains Examiner

Neighboring Tigers Mayfield and Carver Are Friendly On-Court Adversaries

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White Plains High School Head Coach Spencer Mayfield (pictured) has been leading the Tigers for 24 seasons. Mayfield coaches his Tigers to a win against the Mamaroneck Tigers, 50-39, on Feb. 7. Mamaroneck is led by Mayfield’s dear friend Head Coach Tyrone Carver, Jr. Albert Coqueran Photo

White Plains High School Head Coach Spencer Mayfield is in his 24th season at the helm of the Tigers basketball program. For half of his career Mayfield has pitted his Tigers teams against Head Coach Tyrone Carver, Jr. and his neighboring Mamaroneck High School Tigers, who he has coached for 12 years.

You would never perceive it during the heat of battle between these two neighboring rivals on the basketball court, but Mayfield and Carver have the utmost respect for each other and are best of friends.

“It seems like we have been playing against each other forever but that is my guy. I do not like losing to him. I feel good when my team wins but I do not feel good for him,” commented Mayfield.

“It is a good match-up for him (Mayfield) because he has won more than he has lost,” lightheartedly replied Carver, who drove the three hours to Glenn Falls last year, to celebrate with his friend when Mayfield was inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame.

“Obviously, Spencer is a very close friend and a mentor and somebody that I respect dearly. If I can accomplish some of the things that he has accomplished in his career it would be an unbelievable experience. Hat off to him and his program, they do a tremendous job. I hate playing them,” acknowledged Carver.

This season has not been easy for either Tigers Head Coach. Mayfield’s Tigers have a 7-12 overall, 6-10 Section 1 record, after beating Ramapo High School 62-59 in Overtime, on Saturday. Carver’s Tigers remain 8-11, 7-9, after losing to Mt. Vernon High School, 66-42, on Thursday, Feb. 9.

Both Tigers teams are neck and neck for Section 1 Playoff seeding with a 13th or 14th seeding designation a possible future prospect for either team. Section 1 AA Playoff Seeds and Brackets are due to be released on Wednesday, Feb.15 with Outbracket Games scheduled to begin on Thursday, Feb. 16 and First Round Games to start on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Which Tigers team has the advantage going into the Playoffs? If it’s Mayfield’s Tigers team that showed up against Carver’s Tigers on Tuesday at WPHS, then they will certainly have the competitive upper hand.

White Plains beat Mamaroneck, 50-39, behind tough frontcourt play by forwards Spencer Lodes and Patrick Wynne and precise shooting by freshman marksman Eisaiah Murphy, who scored 12 points. Lodes had a team-high 15 points and shot 7-of-9 from the foul line and Wynne added six points. But scoring was secondary to the tenacity both these “big men” displayed on the boards and on defense.

“This game we actually competed on the defensive end. We did a much better job competing for loose balls and we got some paint-attacks inside and got to the free throw line this game,” explained Mayfield.

However, if you look back to Jan. 4, while reviewing both teams’ initial game of the New Year, the Mamaroneck Tigers appeared to be the far superior team. Carver’s Tigers beat Mayfield’s Tigers, by 30 points, 64-34, in Mamaroneck, on Jan. 4.

“We look at that game and we know that we are not 30 points better than White Plains. We know that they are a very well coached team and they have pride,” said Carver. “When we played them on Jan. 4, we felt like we did some things well and got some easy baskets in transition but we were aware that they were going to correct that.”

On Feb. 7, The White Plains Tigers did correct the multitude of errors they made against their neighboring rivals on January 4, by protecting the basketball, attacking the basket, fighting for lose balls and dominating the paint on offense and defense.

On Saturday they traveled to Ramapo High School and won a big game against the Gryphons, 62-59 in Overtime. Tigers’ senior guard Glenn Butler, Jr. led the way with 16 points and juniors Miles Hardy and Alex Mayeri scored 10 points each.

Are the White Plains Tigers hitting their stride at the right time? This remains to be seen, especially with the Section 1 AA Playoffs starting on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Nonetheless, if Mayfield’s Tigers and Carver’s Tigers meet again in the Section 1 AA Playoffs this season, you better believe this rubber-match will be anything but a display of friendship during the game between these two friendly adversaries. It is “win or go home” time in Section 1 AA Basketball.

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