Follow Section 1 boys basketball on Twitter @MSGVarsityKDJ
WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. — John Jay-EF's Nick Segarra isn’t a typical point guard. While he’s the main ball-handler for the Patriots, his main job is to score in bunches.
On Friday night at Roy C. Ketcham High School, Segarra showed off other aspects of his game. While shaking off a tough shooting night, the senior guard still totaled 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and successfully handled a tough press from Ketcham. The result was a 49-35 victory for John Jay-EF.
“Nick is our best player, and other teams know about him,” teammate Brandon Schneider said. “So when they are double-teaming him, other guys need to step up and not be scared to take shots in the big moments.”
Schneider certainly wasn’t scared.
Schneider also finished with 16 points and scored 12 of the team’s 18 first-half points. While Segarra’s shots weren’t falling early, it was Schneider’s drives and jumpers that kept the Patriots afloat.
“I gotta thank my teammates for backing me up,” Segarra said. “Everyone stepped up for us today.”
Ketcham, despite winning just one game coming into the rivalry matchup, was not worried about John Jay-EF. The Indians used their quick hands and feet to force turnovers, speed the game up, and make it a true back-and-forth affair.
Herbie Sexton led the Indians with 10 points and seven rebounds, and was a big part of the Indians’ defensive prowess early on. Ketcham’s speed shocked John Jay-EF and gave the Indians a 16-8 lead after the first quarter.
John Jay-EF battled back in the second quarter and turned on some defense of its own, holding the Indians scoreless throughout the entire quarter to take an 18-16 lead into the break.
“We were just playing into the atmosphere of the gym and the crowd early on,” Segarra said. “We had to slow the game down on the court and in our minds. Once we did that we were okay.”
The Ketcham gymnasium was packed to near-capacity for the cross-town rivalry, and the intensity was through the roof 20 minutes before tipoff.
“With this rivalry, just throw the records out the door,” Schneider said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game.”
Ketcham took the lead for the final time, 20-18, early in the third quarter after four straight points from Sexton, but then Segarra began to take over. With the ball in his hands, Segarra easily handled the Ketcham pressure, scored seven points and dished two assists in the quarter, and showed the poise of a true point guard. John Jay-EF led 29-22 heading into the fourth quarter and finished strong.
“We’re starting to gel as a team now,” Segarra said. “We’ve bought into our coach’s system, and we’re starting to move the ball around and get everyone open looks.”
Spoken like a true point guard.
Email John Malone at firstname.lastname@example.org | Follow him on Twitter: @MSGV_Malone