Memorable Mondays: Top Cinderella stories
Welcome to MSGVarsity.com’s Memorable Mondays, a summer-long series that looks back on the top players, games and moments from the past season and gazes ahead to 2012-13. As the summer goes on, we’ll compile all the lists and post them here: www.msgvarsity.com/mondays. New Lists will be posted every Monday at noon.
In Week 3 of Memorable Mondays, we look at five of the best Cinderella stories from New York City high schools.
Bayside girls basketball: They were billed as the Cinderella Commodores for good reason. After a 9-6 regular season, Bayside was the No. 38 seed – out of 40 – in the PSAL Class A playoffs. First the Commodores beat No. 27 Clara Barton, then No. 6 Beacon and No. 11 Lafayette. Bayside then booked its ticket into the semifinals by beating defending ‘A’ champion Wings, 52-39, in the quarterfinals. Their remarkable run ended with a semifinal defeat to eventual champion Curtis. What made the journey more special is that the Commodores had a host of coaches filling in for Steve Piorkowski, who was battling cancer.
James Madison football: When James Madison beat August Martin 22-20 to win the PSAL Bowl Division title on Nov. 27 at Lincoln HS, the Knights didn’t just capture their first football crown since 1983, it also capped a spectacular turnaround. Just one year earlier, Madison went winless in the PSAL City Championship division, making winning the championship even more special for the 11 juniors, including star quarterback Barry Dagbolen, who returned for their senior years, anxious to turn the James Madison program around. They succeeded with the 10-1 title-winning campaign.
John Adams boys soccer: There weren’t exactly high expectations for John Adams when the PSAL Class A boys soccer playoffs started. After all, the Spartans ended the regular season with back-to-back losses to Long Island City and Aviation, ruining a bid for a third straight Queens A West division title. But Alex Navarrete’s squad made it back to the quarterfinals for the third time in four years, this time as the No. 20 seed, upsetting No. 13 Sheepshead Bay, 4-1, in the opening round and Staten Island champion Curtis, the No. 4 seed, 3-2, in the second round before losing to fifth-seeded Aviation by a goal in the quarterfinals.
Moore Catholic girls basketball: Moore Catholic has built a reputation as one of the elite girls basketball teams on Staten Island, but the Mavericks made that extra push to become a recognized citywide elite squad this year with a remarkable run to the CHSAA Class AA state final, its first championship game in the league’s highest classification since 1986. While coach Rich Postiglione and his squad would say otherwise, the Mavericks were underdogs in the state playoffs, but knocked off Bishop Ford and Archbishop Molloy to reach the final where they battled valiantly, but fell to nationally ranked Nazareth, 68-46.
Mount St. Michael boys basketball: When the CHSAA Class AA league realigned last year, four teams moved up from Class A – Cardinal Hayes, Mount St. Michael, Archbishop Stepinac and Fordham Prep – but only one was considered a legit city title contender. That team was Cardinal Hayes, with its influx of guards from Rice HS. Mount St. Michael, the defending Class A intersectional champion, was an afterthought, especially with all-time leading scorer Peter Aguilar at LIU. With just one Division I player, the Mountaineers lost to St. Raymond in a close Archdiocesan final and shocked defending champion Christ the King in the quarterfinals before coming up short against Holy Cross in the semifinals.
Join us throughout the summer as “Memorable Mondays” brings you more top 5 lists:
July 16: Top five exciting endings from 2011-12
July 23: Top five heartwarming moments from 2011-12
July 30: Top five favorite venues from 2011-12
Aug. 6: Top five coaches from 2011-12
Aug. 13: Top five most memorable games from 2011-12
Aug. 20: Top five teams from 2011-12
Aug. 27: Top five teams to watch in 2012-13
Find them all at www.msgvarsity/mondays