Boys Scholastic Basketball Team Wins Third Consecutive Gold
After an intense match, the New York City Boys Scholastic basketball team dribbled, shot and sweated their way to a third consecutive gold medal at the 30th Annual Empire State Games.
NYC defeated the Hudson Valley team 76 to 75 at the final buzzer in Iona College on Sunday, July 30.
Both teams entered the game ready to play hard. After taking first place in their divisions during pool play, both teams were 3-0 at the game's inception. The thrilling match, which was tied at halftime, 32 to 32, had its grand finale in the last eight seconds. Point guard William Williams of Mount St. Michael was fouled with NYC holding onto a one-point lead at 75 to 74. Williams missed the first throw, but made the second, bumping NYC to a twopoint lead at 76 to 74.
On the Hudson Valley possession, Edmund O'Connell got fouled with one second to go. He made the first shot, gaining an extra point for Hudson Valley, but Kent used his last time out before O'Connell made the second shot. Kent's distraction tactic was successful, as O'Connell missed and NYC got the rebound. When the final buzzer sounded, NYC took the 76-75 win and the gold.
NYC coach Don Kent of Monsignor McClancy High School and assistants Tom Fraher of Mount St. Michael High School and Mike Clarke of Regis High School were very proud of the team's hard work.
Six-foot-five guard and forward Sylven Landesberg of Holy Cross earned his second gold medal as he led NYC to victory this year and last. Besides scoring 38 points in the final game, he had 30 points in NYC's opening win, which was a 71 to 60 victory over the Western Region. Landesberg came back to score 31 points in NYC's 65 to 50 win over the Adirondack region and he shot 36 points in the 78 to 67 victory over the Long Island region.
Six-foot-four forward and NYC captain Ryan Woods of St. Peter's High School scored 16 points against the Long Island region and took home his second consecutive gold medal at this year's games.
Justin Newton, a six-foot-one guard from Poly Prep High School, was a key player in the starting line-up, as he played a great defensive game, covering each opposing team's best player.
Conor Monaghan of Xavier High School and Anthony Martin of Christ the King High School played key roles coming off the bench.
Coach Kent boasts an impressive résumé, as he took home his fourth gold medal in his 13 years coaching for the Empire State Games. Kent, a Breezy Point summer resident, has won nine medals from the games in total.
Congratulations and good luck in Binghamton for next summer's games!