Dolphins Hustle Beats Van Arsdale
The Dolphins held a slight 28-25 lead late in the second quarter when the ball squirmed loose on the floor at their end of the basket. Dolphins center’ Davon Saxon made a full body dive to knock the ball away from an Arsdale defender, guard Orlando Lawrence corralled the ball and kicked it out to senior Dwayne Messam.
As soon as Messam had the ball in hands, the forward had no hesitation and hit a stunning three pointer to finish an exciting sequence that galvanized the Dolphins the rest of the game. They would go on to win 58-48 and remained alive in the PSAL playoffs as they travel to Dewitt Clinton High School at press time on Thursday.
Messam, who scored 19 points, says his team did a great job of erasing a 3 week layoff, and bouncing back from a 16-8 deficit in the second quarter. Davon Saxon added 14 points.
“That play was a big momentum for us. It was a big turnaround. A hustle play deserved a good shot,” Messam jokingly said.
The home team may have had the #19 seed and had a distinct height advantage with 6 foot 9 center Averon Matthews scoring 24 points,. What gave the Dolphins the distinct advantage was their team effort and head coach Jim Malone says he could not have been any prouder of his team.
“That (play) was unbelievable. It was one of the most spectacular plays I’ve seen in years,” Malone said.
“We had the hustle, the ballhandling and the passing. We had some outstanding rebounds. They were tremendous and aggressive. It was impressive. Their emotion says it all today.”
Pearson Gets First Title
At the beginning of the high school basketball season in November, Christ the King sophomore Ryan Pearson was a starter on the junior varsity team.
With the calendar turning to March, Pearson finds himself on the bench but contributing for the varsity team, who won the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan Championship over Holy Cross, 67-61, last Friday night.
The 6 foot 5 forward was averaging 25 points at the junior varsity level and varsity coach Bob Oliva was looking to add depth to one of the top teams in the city. With plenty of scoring options such as Larry Davis and Rob Hampton already on the roster, Pearson was just asked to contribute scoring and rebounding whenever he is put in the game.
He was on the floor for 10 minutes against Holy Cross and held his own inside against 6 foot 9 center Lawrence Jolicoeur. Pearson also grabbed 6 rebounds and should provide a lift if the Royals win the CHSAA city title, which is currently being held at press time.
“They saw that I’m improved and I felt I was ready. I felt 100% ready to do it. I worked every day,” Pearson said. “I grab rebounds. I get points off the break.”
Woodmere Faces Old Rival For
Federation Title Berth
Head coach Jeff Weiss is once again preparing for a rematch with rivals Upper Room for the New York State Association of Independent Private School Championship this Sunday. The game will take place at Long Island Lutheran at 7 p.m.
It will be the fourth time this year that Weiss’ senior leaden squad will have to face Upper Room. Woodmere has won all three previous matchups and captured the Independent Public School Championship in an 80-52 drubbing over Upper Room the last time these two teams met.
This is also a rematch of last year’s NYSAIS title game when Woodmere, led by current stars Tyrone Nash, Josh Marshall and R.J. Rutledge, defeated Upper Room to advance to the N.Y. State Federation Title Game.
The only title that has eluded their grasp in the past two seasons is the Federation Class A title, which they’ve fallen short in the semifinals in Glens Falls. St. Anthony’s of Long Island, the eventual champions, won 67-58 last March.
Woodmere is playing exceptionally well right now and with a 22-3 overall record, Weiss believes his team will get the job done. Then they can think about upstate title dreams.
“It’s hard to play a team three times early but I believe we will be ready for that. We’re playing particularly well right now.”
Stella To Face St. Edmund
Stella Maris, the #1 seed in the CHSAA Division II Brooklyn/Queens Championship, will play today at a site to be determined due to the snowstorm wiping out the on Thursday.
If Stella wins, they advance to the championship on Sunday and await the winner of #2 Fontbonne Hall and #3 St. Saviour.
Kearney Stops Prep
A slow start for #2 seed Bishop Kearney did not prevent them from eventually blasting #7 St. Francis Prep, 73-48 in the first round of the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I Diocesan Championship last Tuesday.
Though Prep had the homecourt advantage and senior Gina Weatherall scored the 1,000 point of her career, the Tigers used defense and rebounding in the middle of the second quarter to edge out to a 28-18 lead.
Caitlin Irwin, Marissa Maffei and Michelle Kenel were two of the Rockaway stars that provided intensity on the defensive end and by the third quarter, Bishop Keanrey upped the lead to a commanding 47-27 lead. Center Maria Laterza scored 25 points and grabbed 20 rebounds. Jill Brady scored 13 points and Lisa Abitante chipped in with 12 points.
Bishop Kearney will move on to the semifinals and face #3 seed Archbishop Molloy. #4 seed Mary Louis defeated Bishop Ford earlier in the day and will have a tall order on their hands against #1 Christ the King in the other semifinal. The winners will battle for the championship on Sunday at Bishop Ford High School at 6 p.m. The losers will face off for the Catholic State B championship at 2 p.m.
Midwood Moves On
A team effort led by senior point guard Melanie Murphy’s 17 points and 18 points from Rockaway’s Megan McKenna was key in a 62-53 win over Lehman in the second round of the PSAL playoffs last Wednesday. Midwood, also helped by the contributions of fellow Rockaway teammates Michelle Cashen and Celeste Roberts, now take on Epiphany Prince and #1 Bergtraum on Sunday. That game will be played at St. Francis College.