2010-01-08 / Sports

Rockaway College Basketball Update: Pearson Shines In Crunchtime

By Elio Velez

Megan McKenna (3), Shamar Stewartson (4) and Juanita Whyms (30) are the three local Hunter College players. Megan McKenna (3), Shamar Stewartson (4) and Juanita Whyms (30) are the three local Hunter College players. Ryan Pearson had a tough start on Monday night. The George Mason sophomore admitted he didn’t play well in the first half against Hofstra. While he scored only one point in the first half, his teammates also weren’t doing as well in a important early season Colonial Athletic Association conference game.

The second half told a different story for the Far Rockaway native.

George Mason improved overall and Pearson begin to fly on all cylinders, scoring 16 points in the second half as host George Mason defeated Hofstra, 67-63.

While George Mason struggled in their non-league contests in December, the Patriots have done well in conference play, going 3-0 and have a 8-6 record overall.

Pearson has led the way for the Patriots in scoring with 11.8 points per game, and in rebounds with 6.4 per game.

Ryan Pearson Ryan Pearson “In the first half I wasn’t on my game, I think I just got too psyched up going against guys I played in the city,” Pearson said on George Mason radio.

Hofstra features such former local stars such as Charles Jenkins, Chaz Williams and Halil Kanacavic.

“I just wanted to show what I was working on and what I can do,” Pear - son joked. I just got myself out of my own game and I got a couple of fouls early and I had to sit out for the first half. Coach told me to keep my head in the game and that’s when I knew I had to go out there, forget those guys and help my team win.”

The rematch against Hofstra will be on January 19 at 7 p.m. in Hempstead.

The Hunter College women’s basketball team has a certain Rockaway flavor on their team roster.

Megan McKenna, Juanita Whyms and Shamar Stewartson are playing pivotal roles for the Hawks, who currently have a winning record of 6-3.

McKenna, a junior who graduated from Midwood High School, is currently tied with teammate Andrea Buck - ham in scoring with 15.7 points per game. The 5-7 shooting guard is averaging 48 percent from the field and has connected at a 38 percent clip on threepointers.

Former Stella Maris product Juanita Whyms, a senior, continues to be a force inside the paint. The 6-foot center has grabbed 12 points a game and has chipped in with 11 ppg.

Shamar Stewartson, a newcomer to the Hawks, has come off the bench to provide some scoring pop.

The 4-11 junior played her high school basketball at Far Rockaway.

Sophomore forward Michelle Cas - hen completed 9 out of 10 shots for a team high 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Yale lost 78-71 at the University of Colorado on January 4.

It was a season high in points for Cashen, who is playing in her second year with the Ivy League school. Cashen has averaged 8.2 ppg and has played every game for Yale, who has gone 4-8 this season.

The former Midwood High School star averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 re - bounds per game in her freshman year at Yale. She was selected to the All-Ivy Rookie team for her performance.

Mount St. Vincent senior Jill Brady scored 11 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and dished 2 assists on December 20, 2009 as the Dolphins won 89-57 over Curry College in Fort Lauderdale.

Brady, who played at Bishop Kear - ney High School, has averaged 6.3 ppg in 7 games this season. Mount St. Vin - cent had a 5-4 record going into Tues - day’s game against Sage.

John Papadimitriou is a 6-foot freshman guard who is currently on the Hunter College men’s basketball team. He attended the High School for Law Enforcement.

The early part of the college basketball season has gone well for Michelle Kenel. The sophomore forward has averaged 5.5 points per game for Babson College as the Division III school has gone 8-3 so far.

The Bishop Kearney High School graduate added 11 points and six re - bounds in Babson’s 73-63 loss to Eas - tern Connecticut in the 2010 Williams College Winter Classic on January 4.

In Kenel’s freshman year, Babson won the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship and qualified for Rthe NCAA Division III Tournament.

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