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    Sectional capsules: AA boys hoops

    by Jordan Griffith on
    Mon, Feb 13, 2012 9:13 PM

    Updated Thu, Feb 16, 2012 10:18 PM
    Sectional capsules: AA boys hoops
    Photo by Lonnie Webb

    Follow the Section 1 boys basketball playoffs on Twitter @MSGVarsityKDJ

    NO. 1 MOUNT VERNON
    Coach: Bob Cimmino
    Nickname: Knights
    First round opponent: No. 17 Scarsdale/No. 16 Clarkstown North winner
    Record: 16-2
    Last year: NYS Class AA Federation Champs
    Best wins: Cardozo, South Shore, Seton Catholic, New Rochelle (twice), Mamaroneck (twice)
    Top players: Isaiah Cousins (6-4, Sr., PG); Randy Stephens (6-4, Sr., G); Jarell Marshall (6-6, Sr., F); Qwedere Lovell (6-0, Sr., G)
    Scouting report: As the defending NYS Class AA Federation champ, Mount Vernon is the favorite to repeat once again. The Knights, who have won six straight sectional titles, outscored Section 1 opponents by an impressive 32.9 points a game this season.

    NO. 2 FOX LANE
    Coach: Chris Violante
    Nickname: Foxes
    First round opponent: No. 18 Gorton/No. 15 Suffern winner
    Record: 15-3
    Last year: Lost to New Rochelle in first round
    Best wins: Clarkstown South, Woodlands, Horace Greeley (twice), Blind Brook, Pelham
    Top players: Will Trawick (6-5, Sr., F); Dylan Peretz (6-7, Sr., C); Robbie Shilstone (Sr., G); Ben Korren (Sr., G)
    Scouting report: Fox Lane came into this season with a plan and it paid off. Trawick is a star and the Foxes run their offense through him, but Peretz, Shilstone, Korren and the rest of the supporting cast have come together nicely. Fox Lane could be in the championship game when it’s all said and done.

    NO. 3 MAHOPAC
    Coach: Kevin Downes
    Nickname: Indians
    First round opponent: No. 19 Lincoln/No. 14 Ossining winner
    Record: 13-5
    Last year: Lost to Mount Vernon in semifinals
    Best wins: Carmel, Briarcliff, Brewster (twice), Poughkeepsie, Arlington
    Top players: Brendan Hynes (6-4, Jr., F); Zack Ankier (6-4, Sr., F); Marc Vaccaro (6-0, Sr., G); Ryan Simone (6-4, Soph., F)
    Scouting report: Mahopac won eight of its last nine games to power into the No. 3 seed. Led by Hynes and Ankier, the Indians will ride their high-scoring offense throughout the playoffs and could very well make the County Center for the second straight year. Look for Hynes to be the standout. The 6-4 junior is an all-around talent with the ability to get to the rim and shoot from outside.

    NO. 4 CLARKSTOWN SOUTH
    Coach: Matt Backs
    Nickname: Vikings
    First round opponent: No. 13 John Jay-East Fishkill
    Record: 14-4
    Last year: Lost to Mahopac in quarterfinals
    Best wins: North Rockland (twice), Ramapo (twice)
    Top players: Mike McCahey (6-6, Sr., G/F); Clayton Roker (6-0, Sr., G); Tyler Mager (6-1, Jr., G); Frank Tucek (5-11, Sr., G/F)
    Scouting report: Matt Backs has done a great job with this group and all of the players have bought in. But this team ultimately will live or die with star senior Mike McCahey, who is more than capable of shouldering the load. He proved it with two explosive 41-point games this year.

    NO. 5 CARMEL
    Coach: George Coates
    Nickname: Rams
    First round opponent: No. 12 White Plains
    Record: 13-5
    Last year: Lost to North Rockland in first round
    Best wins: Mahopac, Arlington, Brewster (twice)
    Top players: Keith Murphy (6-0, Sr.); Bashkim Rugova (6-3, Sr.); Alex Grace, (6-3, Sr.); Dan Behnken (6-1, Jr.)
    Scouting report: Carmel has four guys — Murphy, Rugova, Grace and Behnken — that did most of the scoring during the regular season and the playoffs should be no different. The Rams have a tough first round matchup against White Plains, but if they play together they can come away with a victory.

    NO. 6 ARLINGTON
    Coach: Matt Hoyt
    Nickname: Admirals
    First Round opponent: No. 11 Horace Greeley
    Record: 13-5
    Last year: Did not qualify for sectionals
    Best wins: Brewster, Poughkeepsie, Beacon (twice)
    Top players: Mike Scocozza (Sr., G); Dan Kane (Sr., F), Gio Rodriquez (Jr., G); Jimmy McCabe (Sr., F)
    Scouting report: Led by Scocozza, Kane and Rodriquez, the Admirals have one of the most explosive offenses around, capable of putting up points in a hurry. However, the consistency of that offense can be up and down. If Arlington can keep the points coming on a consistent basis, it could be poised for a big run in the tournament.

    NO. 7 NORTH ROCKLAND
    Coach: Chris Roff
    Nickname: Red Raiders
    First round opponent: No. 10 Ramapo
    Record: 12-6
    Last year: Lost to New Rochelle in quarterfinals
    Best wins: Beacon, Ramapo (twice)
    Top players: Tyrell Price (6-0, Sr. G); Alex Ramirez, Jamell Lockhart (6-0, Jr., G); Armando Castillo (5-9, Sr., G); Malvin Rosario (6-2, Jr., F)
    Scouting report: North Rockland is a fast, guard-oriented team that will give teams fits with its defensive intensity. The Red Raiders live and die by the 3-point shot and will have an interesting first round matchup against Ramapo, a team they beat twice this year.

    NO. 8 NEW ROCHELLE
    Coach: Bill Murphy
    Nickname: Huguenots
    First round opponent: No. 9 Mamaroneck
    Record: 12-6
    Last year: Lost to Poughkeepsie in semifinals
    Best wins: Kennedy Catholic, Iona Prep, Mamaroneck, White Plains (twice)
    Top players: Joe Clarke (6-3, Jr., G/F); Chris Elefante (5-10, Sr., G); Malik Burts (6-0, Sr., G/F); Kirkland Ottey (5-11, Sr., G)
    Scouting report: New Rochelle would have been a higher seed but a late season loss to Mamaroneck bumped it down into a very unfortunate situation. The Huguenots must face Mamaroneck in the first round and then potentially Mount Vernon in the second round. The Huguenots have the talent to beat Mamaroneck and play with Mount Vernon, but pulling out a victory over the Knights might be a little too much to ask.

    NO. 9 MAMARONECK
    Coach: Tyrone Carver
    Nickname: Tigers
    First round opponent: No. 8 New Rochelle
    Record: 12-6
    Last year: Lost to Mount Vernon in first round
    Best wins: New Rochelle, White Plains, Brewster, Saunders
    Top players: Matt Mezansky (6-0, Sr., PG); Alex Lanni (6-4, Jr., C); Gerry McMullin (6-0, Sr., G); Ryan Orgielewicz (6-3, Jr., G)
    Scouting report: What a year it has been for Mamaroneck. The Tigers rounded out the season with impressive wins over New Rochelle and White Plains. In any other league, this team might have been a few spots higher, but the Tigers fell into some bad luck and have a difficult road ahead. Mamaroneck faces New Rochelle in the first round and will try and use the momentum from the end of the season to take it to the Huguenots. It won't get any easier in the second round, as six-time defending champ Mount Vernon will be there waiting.

    NO. 10 RAMAPO
    Coach: David Sachs
    Nickname: Gryphons
    First round opponent: No. 7 North Rockland
    Record: 11-7
    Last year: Did not qualify for sectionals
    Best wins: Pearl River, Hempstead
    Top players: David Haye (5-9, Sr., SG) Kervins Ferdilus (6-3, Sr., F); Aqeel Dallas (5-7, Sr., PG)
    Scouting report: Ramapo upset Pearl River early in the season and ended the year on a four-game winning streak. Haye, who went off for 40 points in a win over Suffern this year, is a gifted scorer and teams must prepare for him, but Ferdilus, Dallas, Kevin Taylor, Oluwatomiwa Salu and Mezu Agwa are capable of producing for the Gryphons, too. Also, look for Ramapo to exploit its size in the paint.

    NO. 11 HORACE GREELEY
    Coach: Dave Fernandes
    Nickname: Quakers
    First round opponent: No. 6 Arlington
    Record: 9-9
    Last year: Lost to Clarkstown South in the first round
    Best wins: Peekskill, Somers, Rye
    Top players: Harrison Brown (6-4, Jr., F); Justin Ciero (6-0, Sr., G/F); Connor Domershick (5-8, Sr., G); Teddy Graves (6-1, Jr., G/F)
    Scouting report: Don’t let their record fool you — the Quakers have the potential to win a few playoff games. Harrison Brown is a tough, low-post scorer and Justin Ciero is one of the best athletes around. Domershick is a lights-out shooter and Graves plays tough defense. Don’t be surprised if this team makes a run.

    NO. 12 WHITE PLAINS
    Coach: Spencer Mayfield
    Nickname: Tigers
    First round opponent: No. 5 Carmel
    Record: 8-10
    Last year: Lost to Poughkeepsie in second round
    Best wins: Mamaroneck, Poughkeepsie
    Top players: Akeem Williams (6-5, Sr., F); Anthony Williams (6-3, Sr., F); Kyle Adams (6-3, Jr., F); Aaron Daughtrey (5-9, Jr., G)
    Scouting report: Injuries have left White Plains in a tough spot, but this is still a team coached by Spencer Mayfield. Akeem Williams is one of the better forwards in the section and the Tigers use him to his full potential. Anthony Williams is a long, athletic forward with a soft touch around the rim. White Plains will ride these two and see if it can pull out a first-round win.

    NO. 13 JOHN JAY-EAST FISHKILL
    Coach: Darrell Flynn
    Nickname: Patriots
    First round opponent: No. 4 Clarkstown South
    Record: 8-10
    Last year: Lost to Clarkstown North in the outbracket
    Best wins: Lakeland, Lourdes (twice)
    Top players: Nick Ciocchi (Sr., G/F) Brandon Schneider (Jr., G); Nick Segarra (Sr., PG); Matt Rosenberg (Sr., G)
    Scouting report: Segarra is a player and John Jay-East Fishkill runs its offense through him. The Patriots won their final two regular season games under first-year coach Darrell Flynn to grab a little momentum heading into the playoffs.

    NO. 14 OSSINING
    Coach: Khalid Sales
    Nickname: Pride
    Outbracket opponent: No. 19 Lincoln
    Record: 5-13
    Last year: Lost to Mount Vernon in quarterfinals
    Best wins: Pleasantville (twice), Briarcliff, Westlake
    Top players: Keon Ervin (5-9, Sr., G); Carmine Garrity-Gemei (6-0, Sr., G); Steven Espinoza (5-9, Sr., G); Sam LaCour (6-1, Sr. F); Justin Davidov (5-10, So., G); Kayvon Murray (6-1, Jr., F); Noah Morton (5-11, Jr., G)
    Scouting report: Ossining struggled this season but had some surprisingly good wins, including a pair over Pleasantville and one over Briarcliff. Sharpshooting guard Keon Ervin is a player to watch on the perimeter. Sam LaCour has the size and athleticism to make a difference down on the blocks.

    NO. 15 SUFFERN
    Coach: George Kunzmann
    Nickname: Mounties
    Outbracket opponent: No. 18 Gorton
    Record: 6-12
    Last year: Lost to White Plains in first round
    Best wins: Pearl River, Spring Valley
    Top players: Rich Ibsen (6-4, Sr., F); Rashaad Celestin (6-4, Jr.,F); Javin Williams (5-7, Fr., G)
    Scouting report: Suffern pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year, defeating Pearl River at home late in the season. The Mounties are matched up with an athletic Gorton team and will depend on Ibsen and Celestin to lead the way.

    NO. 16 CLARKSTOWN NORTH
    Coach: Danny Goldberg
    Nickname: Rams
    Outbracket opponent: No. 17 Scarsdale
    Record: 6-12
    Last year: Lost to Poughkeepsie in first round
    Best wins: Lakeland, Suffern
    Top players: Zac Jarret (5-8, Jr., G); Vinny Lleshaj (6-0, Jr., F); Brendan Hendrickson (6-2, Jr., F); Chris Boddy (6-0, Jr., F)
    Scouting report: Clarkstown North started off hot, winning four out of its first six games. But the Rams fell into a tough league schedule and went on to struggle. On the plus side, the Rams will have a home-court advantage working in their favor.

    NO. 17 SCARSDALE
    Coach: Jon Feld
    Nickname: Raiders
    Outbracket opponent: No. 16 Clarkstown North
    Record: 6-12
    Last year: Did not qualify for sectionals
    Best wins: Gorton (twice), Ossining
    Top players: Greg Scacchi (6-3, G/F); Jon Miller (5-11, Sr., G); Jack Hewitt (6-6, Jr., G); Andrew Crean (6-5, Sr., F/C)
    Scouting report: Scarsdale plays in a brutal league with four of the best programs in the section. This year’s team has shown flashes and is battle-tested heading into a road playoff game.

    NO. 18 GORTON
    Coach: Tom Brown
    Nickname: Wolves
    Outbracket opponent: No. 15 Suffern
    Record: 6-12
    Last year: Lost to Clarkstown in outbracket
    Best wins: Sleepy Hollow, Lincoln (twice)
    Top players: Dane Williamson (Jr., G); David Slater (Sr., G/F); Rashan Mckay (So., G/F)
    Scouting report: Gorton has had a long season, but guard Dane Williamson's been a bright spot. Williamson is a legitimate scoring threat, and the players around him know that he can put the ball in the basket. If the Wolves can use their athleticism and defensive pressure, they have a shot to win their outbracket game on the road.

    NO. 19 LINCOLN
    Coach: Mike Young
    Nickname: Lancers
    Outbracket opponent: No. 14 Ossining
    Record: 3-13
    Last year: Did not qualify for sectionals
    Best wins: Sleepy Hollow, Roosevelt (twice)
    Top players: Kevin Asiamah; Gabriel Arrendell, Greg Boney, Joseph Lascaibar
    Scouting report: Lincoln qualified for the playoffs in the second to last game of the season, defeating Roosevelt for its third win of the season. The Lancers will square off against a tough Ossining team, but anything can happen once the playoffs begin.

    Follow Jordan Griffith on Twitter @MSGV_JGriffith

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