New York High School: Iona Prep

Baseball poll: June 11

June, 12, 2012
The baseball season is over. Grand Street Campus claimed the PSAL title, while Iona Prep won the CHSAA championship. Here's the final poll of the season.

Here's the poll:

1. Grand Street Campus (21-1/Last week: 1): Grand Street Campus vanquished George Washington to take home the Public Schools Athletic League title.

2. Poly Prep (20-4/Last week: 2): Poly Prep finishes the year ranked second, another fine season for the school.

3. Iona Prep (18-6/Last week: 4): Iona Prep defeated Fordham Prep to win the CHSAA title.

4. George Washington (19-3/Last week: 3): George Washington could not repeat as champions as it fell to Grand Street Campus in the final.

5. Fordham Prep (16-9/Last week: 5): Fordham Prep beat St. Joseph, but then lost to Iona Prep in the final.

6. St. Joseph by-the-Sea (17-6/Last week: 6): St. Joseph by-the-Sea lost to Fordham Prep, falling one game short of the CHSAA final.

7. Xaverian (19-3/Last week: 7): Xaverian was the favorite of the CHSAA tournament but instead had to watch as Iona Prep was crowned champions.

8. Tottenville (17-4/Last week: 8): Tottenville had a great year, but surely has to think it should have gone further in the PSAL tournament.

9. Cardozo (18-1/Last week: 9): Cardozo also had a fantastic season, but needed to make it further than the semifinals of the PSAL tournament.

10. St. Raymond (14-7/Last week: 10): St. Raymond had a strong season, although it couldn't keep up its hot play once the CHSAA tournament began.

Baseball poll: June 4

June, 7, 2012
It's been a crazy week in the playoffs. Defending CHSAA champion Xaverian was ousted, as well as Cardozo, the top seed in the PSAL playoffs. The champions will be crowned Friday. Here's this week's poll, which has plenty of changes.

Here's the poll:

1. Grand Street Campus (20-1/Last week: 1): Grand Street Campus swept Telecommunications to set up the final vs. George Washington.

2. Poly Prep (20-4/Last week: 4): Poly Prep is the ACIS champion after it defeating Fieldson in the title game more than a week ago.

3. George Washington (19-2/Last week: 7): Not that you would expect differently, but the defending PSAL champs are back in the finals.

4. Iona Prep (17-6/Last week: Unranked): Iona Prep won five straight games in the CHSAA tournament and is in the final.

5. Fordham Prep (15-8/Last week: Unranked): Fordham Prep will face St. Joseph by-the-Sea with the winner going to the CHSAA final.

6. St. Joseph by-the-Sea (17-5/Last week: 10): St. Joseph by-the-Sea will meet Fordham Prep to determine who faces Iona for the title.

7. Xaverian (19-3/Last week: 2): Xaverian lost to Fordham and then was ousted by Molloy in the CHSAA tournament.

8. Tottenville (17-4/Last week: 3): Tottenville fell in the quarterfinals to John Adams, which had to leave a bitter taste in its mouth.

9. Cardozo (18-1/Last week: 5): Cardozo fell victim to eighth-seeded Telecommunications in the quarterfinals.

10. St. Raymond (14-7/Last week: 8): Losses to Iona Prep and St. Joseph by-the-Sea eliminated St. Raymond from the CHSAA tournament.

Baseball poll: April 16

April, 16, 2012
An exciting week that saw the conclusion of the James Monroe and George Washington tournaments also saw our top team in New York City lose back-to-back games. With those results on our minds, here's our poll.

1. George Washington (3-0/Last week: 3): The Trojans are in first after winning their tournament by defeating Cardozo, who had previously knocked them off.

2. Grand Street Campus (3-1/Last week: 6): Grand Street Campus won the vaunted James Monroe tournament by defeating the Monroe, Tottenville and Xaverian.

3. Xaverian (3-0/Last week: 5): Xaverian picked up a win against Holy Cross in league play and lost in the Monroe Tournament final to Grand Street Campus.

4. St. Joseph by-the-Sea (1-0/Last week: Unranked): St. Joseph by-the-Sea knocked off Iona Prep in league pay and then took down Poly Prep to complete its week.

5. Cardozo (4-0/Last week: 2): Cardozo made it to the George Washington tournament final but fell to the hosts in a rematch.

6. Poly Prep (3-3/Last week: 1): A big drop for Poly Prep as it lost games to Fieldston and St. Joseph by-the-Sea this week to fall to .500.

7. Iona Prep (2-1/Last week: 4): The Gaels lost to St. Joseph in league play and Xaverian in the Monroe tournament, but did knock off Monsignor Farrell.

8. Tottenville (2-3/Last week: 7): Tottenville finished third in the Monroe tournament, losing to eventual champion Grand Street Campus in the semifinals.

9. James Monroe (4-0/Last week: 8): An unfavorable quarterfinal matchup against Grand Street Campus led to Monroe's early departure from its own tournament.

10. Fordham Prep (0-0/Last week: 10): We're still waiting for the Rams to play their first game of the season so we can see them in action.

Baseball rankings: April 9

April, 9, 2012
There have already been some great games to kick off the baseball season. We've seen some upsets in tournaments, including Cardozo knocking off George Washington, and there have been some other surprising results. Here's our first poll of the year.

1. Poly Prep (2-0): Poly Prep is off to a fast start this season and picked up a nice win in league play this week by defeating Riverdale.

2. Cardozo (4-0): Cardozo is undefeated in league play and knocked off George Washington in a tournament this week, sending a message that the Judges are going to be a tough out in the Public Schools Athletic League.

3. George Washington (3-0): The Trojans might have lost in their tournament but they are still a loaded team and are already off to a 3-0 start on the season in league play.

4. Iona Prep (1-0): The Gaels got their season going on the right foot when it knocked off CHSAA finalist All Hallows in their season opener last week.

5. Xaverian (2-0): The defending Catholic High Schools Athletic Association champion has beaten Bishop Ford and Christ the King in league play to start the season.

6. Grand Street Campus (3-1): Grand Street won both of its division games this week as well as going 2-0 in pool play during the Monroe Tournament.

7. Tottenville (4-1): The PSAL finalists lost their one game by forfeit but have won every other game and also have been 2-0 in pool play during the Monroe Tournament.

8. James Monroe (4-0): The Bronx power is off to yet another great start with an undefeated record in league play as well as going 2-0 in pool play in its tournament.

9. All Hallows (1-1): All Hallows started the season with a dominant win against Hayes but then fell just short against Iona Prep in a battle between two of the better teams in the league.

10. Fordham Prep (0-0): Fordham Prep gets the final spot in the poll based on its reputation coming into the year as it has not played a league contest yet.

State Federation tournament preview

March, 22, 2012
The New York State Federation tournament takes over Albany this weekend as the best in the state will be crowned. Here's what to look for from the New York City teams in each bracket.

Boys AA
St. Raymond vs. Boys & Girls; Winner vs. Mt. Vernon

THE SKINNY: Mount Vernon is the defending champion and will meet the winner of the St. Raymond vs. Boys & Girls. These two teams met once this season, with St. Raymond winning the game on a last-second shot. This meeting should be another great game as both teams are hot. No matter who wins, Mount Vernon will be a tough out in the final.

Girls AA
Nazareth vs. Cicero-North Syracuse; Winner vs. Murry Bergtraum

THE SKINNY: Nazareth is the favorite here as the defending champion. The Lady Kingsmen are simply the most talented team in the field, although CNS has the best player in Connecticut-bound forward Breanna Stewart. Those two teams meet in the semifinals with the winner getting Murry Bergtraum in the final. The Lady Blazers are the underdogs.

Boys A
Long Island Lutheran vs. Brooklyn Collegiate/Iona Prep vs. Harborfields

THE SKINNY: This is a very competitive field, featuring the defending champion in Long Island Lutheran. Iona Prep has been a solid team all season and certainly could walk away with the title. Brooklyn Collegiate has a tall task with Long Island Lutheran. The final very easily could be Iona Prep taking on Long Island Lutheran in the final and the Gaels certainly have a good chance to win it all.

Girls A
Rochester East vs. Bishop Loughlin; Winner vs. Curtis

THE SKINNY: A new Class A champion will be crowned but the title could be coming back to New York City for the second straight year. Bishop Loughlin has been one of the best teams all season, including the AA, and has to be considered the favorite in this bracket. If it gets by Rochester East, it gets a meeting with Curtis. The Lady Warriors will present a tough challenge in the final for either team.

Boys B
Nazareth vs. Bishop Ludden/Collegiate vs. Pathways Prep

THE SKINNY: This is certainly an intriguing bracket. Collegiate is the four-time defending champion but certainly has its work cut out for it. Its semifinal opponent, Pathways Prep, has one of the top prospects in New York City in Jordan Washington. Nazareth, on the other side of the bracket, is an impressive athletic team that can create problems, if the teams meet. Whoever wins this bracket will certainly have earned its championship.

Girls B
Scholars Academy vs. Long Island Lutheran/Irvington vs. Cardinal O'Hara

THE SKINNY: Long Island Lutheran will look to defend is title and is the favorite in this field. Last year, it bested Irvington in the final and that could be the same case once again. Scholars Academy is back in the bracket once again, after falling to Irvington in the semifinals last year. We'll see if Scholars Academy can change its luck around this time and win the title.

Iona wins Class A State title

March, 12, 2012
For the second time in four years, Iona Prep is headed to the State Federation tournament after winning the CHSAA Class A State title on Saturday with a 64-51 win over St. John the Baptist at Fordham. The Gaels improved to 25-3 on the year.

"I think these guys had to play together and it wasn't just one guy, we had different people step up to lead the team," coach Vic Quirolo said. "The team stuck together and played together and we knew if we did that, good things would happen."

Iona took on a dangerous St. John the Baptist team that had emerged from its league tournament, despite being the last seed, and made it all the way to the State title game. The Gaels got an early lead on St. John the Baptist and were able to boost it up to 20 points in the fourth quarter and win the title. Tim McCarty led Iona with 17 points.

"This is a great group, they are just very steady," Quirolo said. "They work hard and they really get along and play together, it's been a real good thing."

Iona has been able to make its run without one dominating player. It's been a different player every game, whether it's Isiah Ice in the earlier rounds of the City tournament, Brandon Williams in the City title game, or McCarthy against St. John the Baptist.

Quirolo said he thought his team had a shot to win the City title but hadn't really thought about the State. He had all his focus on guiding his team his team to the City crown before he could concentrate on the State tournament. The last time Iona made the State Federation tournament, it lost to Jamesville-Dewitt in the first round.

"We're excited to be there," Quirolo said. 'We'll give it our best shot."

CHSAA title games previews

March, 9, 2012
There are plenty of title games this weekend in New York City. Here are some brief previews of some of the title games.

Girls CHSAA Class B City final: Preston vs. Fontbonne Hall (Friday, 5 p.m.): The winners of the Archdiocesan and Brooklyn/Queens Division II tournaments will meet on Friday night to determine who faces Cardinal O'Hara for the State title Saturday afternoon. Fontbonne Hall has bested St. Vincent Ferrer and St. John's Prep on its way to the title game while Preston has defeated St. Edmund Prep and Bishop Kearney on its way.

Boys CHSAA Class B State final: Nazareth vs. St. Mary's (Saturday, 2 p.m.): Nazareth will look to win the State title at Fordham against their opponent from Lancaster. Nazareth has been the best B team in New York City's CHSAA and will look to send its school out with a title, as the Brooklyn school is scheduled to close at the end of the year. Nazareth is led by sophomore forward Samson Usilo and has a high-powered offense.

Boys CHSAA Class A State final: Iona Prep vs. St. John the Baptist (Saturday, 3:45 p.m.): Iona Prep will take on an unlikely foe for the Class A State title. St. John the Baptist was the last seed in its bracket but emerged victorious to meet Iona for the title. Iona has been a complete team that lost just three games this season while piling up wins. The Gaels have to be considered the favorites in this contest. Iona is led by sophomore Isiah Ice.

Girls CHSAA Class B State final: Preston vs. Cardinal O'Hara (Saturday, 3 p.m.): Preston will represent New York City in this game against Cardinal O'Hara of Buffalo. Preston won its spot into this game by winning the City title on Friday night with a win against Fontbonne Hall. The Panthers also bested St. Edmund Prep and Bishop Kearney on their way to the title. Victoria McCaffery is a key player for Preston.

Girls CHSAA Class A State final: Bishop Loughlin vs. Mary Louis (Saturday, 5 p.m.): A rematch of the City title game will take place for the State title. Bishop Loughlin and Mary Louis battled each for the City title Wednesday, with the Lady Lions winning 66-62 in overtime. The teams have played three times this year and Loughlin leads the series 2-1. Mary Louis is led by Jasmine Nwaji while Imani Tate guides Loughlin.

CHSAA boys Class A & B: Naz, Iona win

March, 2, 2012
The CHSAA crowned its Class A and Class B champions on Friday night as Iona Prep defeated St. Edmund Prep in the Class A title game and Nazareth defeated St. Agnes in the Class B title game. Here's the highlights from the night's action.

No. 1 Nazareth 70, No. 2 St. Agnes 47: If this is the last season for Nazareth, the boys basketball team is going out with a bang. The top-seeded Kingsmen won their first title since 1989 as they dominated second-seeded St. Agnes, 70-47, on Friday night. The Brooklyn school is scheduled to close its doors at the end of the year amid declining enrollment and financial struggles.

"It was added motivation having our school closing down," senior forward Mike Megaafu said. "Us having this championship, it's great for the school. We need something to rely on. God forbid we close down, we're closing down with a bang. We're going out with something people will remember us by."

While Nazareth coach Todd Jamison believes Nazareth will stay open, the school is currently headed to join the list of New York City Catholic schools to recently close. Each game the Kingsment have played since the Class B tournament began could have been the last in program history.

"Hopefully this won't be our last (season), I don't think it will be, but absolutely, definitely this one is special for us," Jamison said.

Nazareth (20-6) got out of the gate hot and took a 21-5 lead after the first quarter and boosted the lead to 41-17 at half. St. Agnes (13-9) simply could not keep up with Nazareth, which applied pressure defense and seemingly could not miss. Nazareth won its first title since winning back-to-back Class A titles in 1988-89.

Sophomore Samson Usilo led the way with 29 points while Shajea Stevenson added 15. Usilo had 14 of his points in the first quarter, which included a pair of 3-point shots and an alley-oop to start the game.

"He's been waiting for this game the last couple of days, the way's he been practicing," Jamison said. "When I see him come in the locker room and I see he's singing some religious hymns, I'm like 'oh boy, these guys are in trouble.'"

Nazareth faces St. Mary's (Lancaster) for the CHSAA Class B State Championship next weekend.

Iona Prep 70, St. Edmund Prep 54: Iona Prep junior guard Brandon Williams let his teammates know that he was ready to take over the third quarter of the CHSAA Class A final on Friday night against St. Edmund Prep.

"He came to the bench and was like this is my quarter boys, get me the ball," teammate Felix Abongo said. "We found him and he was knocking down shots."

Living up to his word, Williams scored 10 points in the third quarter to keep St. Edmund at bay as he propelled Iona Prep to a 70-54 win over St. Edmund Prep in the final. Williams finished with a team-high 18 points as Iona Prep won its second title in four seasons.

"It was just great," Williams said of his third quarter. "We were in foul trouble almost the entire game. We were in a one-on-one situation the whole game. It was great, I just kept attacking, that was what I had to do to win the game."

Iona Prep (24-3) led 32-18 at the half but in the third quarter, St. Edmund cut the lead to 10 points. Williams, though, was there to save the day. With his team leading 38-26, he scored 10 of his team's final 12 points in the quarter to give his team a 50-36 lead heading into the final quarter. St. Edmund fell to 20-7.

Williams has battled sprained both ankles and missed time with injuries this season, and was also in and out of the starting lineup. In his team's biggest game to date, he came up clutch and led the Gaels to their fourth CHSAA Class A title.

"I think when he gets in the flow, he gets dangerous," Iona Prep coach Vic Quirolo said. "Sometimes he doesn't always get in that flow but today he got in that stride and kept going."

Iona Prep will meet the winner of the St. John the Baptist vs. Canisius game in the CHSAA Class A State title game.

CHSAA boys Class A & B final previews

March, 2, 2012
WHO: CHSAA Class A & B Intersectional finals
(A: Iona vs. St. Edmund Prep; B: Nazareth vs. St. Agnes)

WHEN: Friday night (B: 6 p.m.; A. 7:45)

WHERE: Fordham University

WHY THESE GAMES ARE IMPORTANT: The CHSAA will crown its Class A and Class B champions on Friday night when Iona Prep takes on St. Edmund Prep and Nazareth battles St. Agnes. The winners of both games will go on to play for the CHSAA State championship.

The Class A final pits the best teams in Class A throughout the season in Iona Prep and St. Edmund Prep. Iona won the Archdiocesan title during the regular season while St. Edmund Prep won Brooklyn/Queens. Both teams survived thrillers in the semifinals and the final should be just as exciting. Iona won the regular season game between the two.

The Class B final has Nazareth playing against St. Agnes. It's an emotional game for Nazareth, which is going to be closing at the end of the year. This could be the school's final game and these player are hoping to go out with a championship. The Kingsmen are seeded first and faced second-seeded St. Agnes.


Iona Prep: Isiah Ice
St. Edmund Prep: Matt O'Neill
Nazareth: Samson Usilo
St. Agnes: Brian Zurrilla


Iona Prep: Vic Quirolo
St. Edmund Prep: Dan Wiatre
Nazareth: Todd Jamison
St. Agnes: Anton Gjieli


Iona (23-3)

Dec. 2: 73-47 win vs. Salesian
Dec. 6: 67-49 win vs. Sacred Heart
Dec. 9: 61-51 win at Molloy
Dec. 13: 50-26 win vs. Blessed Sacrament
Dec. 15: 52-37 win at St. Joseph
Dec. 17: 56-49 win at Peekskill
Dec. 20; 53-52 win at Spellman
Dec. 30: 57-48 win at Fordham Prep
Jan. 4: 63-40 win vs. Regis
Jan. 6; 53-44 loss at All hallows
Jan. 10: 54-54 win at. St. Edmund
Jan. 12: 66-64 loss vs. Moore Catholic
Jan. 14: 64-56 win vs. LaSalle
Jan. 16: 49-28 win vs. Bishop Ford
Jan. 18: 42-27 win vs. Xavier
Jan. 27: 68-55 win at McClancy
Jan. 31: 58-53 win at LaSalle
Feb. 1: 61-54 win at Xavier
Feb. 4: 51-40 loss at New Rochelle
Feb. 6: 66-30 win vs. St. John's Prep
Feb. 8: 51-34 win at Regis
Feb. 10: 45-36 win vs. White Plains
Feb. 12: 58-56 win vs. Spellman
Feb. 21: Win vs. St. Anthony's
Feb. 25: 66-45 win vs. LaSalle
Feb. 28: 58-56 win vs. Moore Catholic

St. Edmund Prep (20-6)

Nov. 25: 65-64 loss vs. FDR
Dec. 2: 72-23 win vs. Scholars Academy
Dec. 5: 59-41 win vs. Blessed Sacrament
Dec. 9: 69-59 win at Nazareth
Dec. 12: 58-30 win vs. Scanlan
Dec. 14: 51-37 win at Spellman
Dec. 19: 78-58 win vs. Lafayette
Dec. 20: 64-41 win vs. Berkley Carroll
Dec. 27: 63-50 win vs. James Madison
Dec. 29: 68-57 loss vs. Bayside
Dec. 31: 65-53 win vs. New Utrecht
Jan. 4: 54-45 loss at Xavier
Jan. 7: 57-56 loss at McClancy
Jan. 10: 54-52 loss vs. Iona Prep
Jan. 16: 67-66 loss at Petrides
Jan. 20: 45-41 win vs. Bishop Ford
Jan. 27: 71-55 win St. John's Prep
Jan. 31: 80-73 win vs. McClancy
Feb. 3: 50-44 win at Regis
Feb. 4: 58-55 win vs. Salesian
Feb. 7: 75-59 win vs. LaSalle
Feb. 10: 62-42 win at Bishop Ford
Feb. 14: 63-47 win at St. John's Prep
Feb. 16: 71-61 win vs. Goldstein
Feb. 25: 67-48 win vs. St. Joseph
Feb. 28: 44-43 win vs. Xavier

Nazareth (19-6)

Nov. 26: 63-58 loss at Bedford Academy
Dec. 2: 56-18 win at Onteora
Dec. 3: 65-60 loss vs. Saugerties
Dec. 9: 69-59 loss vs. St. Edmund Prep
Dec. 14: 50-30 win at Bishop Ford
Dec. 20: 72-56 win vs. St. Agnes
Dec. 27: 58-46 loss vs. Watervliet
Dec. 28: 52-38 win vs. Catskill
Dec. 29: 36-29 loss vs. CBA
Dec. 30: 72-64 win at Bishop Grimes
Jan. 7: 45-35 win vs. Medgar Evers
Jan. 9: 47-23 win vs. Sacred Heart
Jan. 12: 52-44 win vs. St. Agnes
Jan. 14: 58-56 loss at Liverpool
Jan. 15: 51-49 win at West Genesse
Jan. 21: 63-49 win at Cathedral
Jan. 26: 79-63 win at Blessed Sacrament
Jan. 28: 80-46 win vs. Salesian
Jan. 31: 57-55 win at Sacred Heart
Feb. 4: 68-27 win vs. Blessed Sacrament
Feb. 7: 77-29 win at Scanlan
Feb. 14: 58-28 win vs. Cathedral
Feb. 15: 70-23 win vs. Scanlan
Feb. 17: 56-33 win at Salesian
Feb. 28: 53-37 win vs. Salesian

St. Agnes (13-8)

Dec. 6: 70-67 win at McClancy
Dec. 7: 57-55 win at Calhoun
Dec. 9: 70-58 loss vs. Regis
Dec. 12: 64-55 loss at Sacred Heart
Dec. 16: 64-39 loss at Xavier
Dec. 20: 72-56 loss at Nazareth
Jan. 6: 63-59 win at Sacred Heart
Jan. 7: 78-52 loss vs. Blessed Sacrament
Jan. 10: 55-49 win at Salesian
Jan. 12: 52-44 loss at Nazareth
Jan. 13: 69-50 win vs. Cathedral
Jan. 27: 68-60 loss at Collegiate
Jan. 30; 75-53 win at Scanlan
Feb. 2: 76-53 win at Scanlan
Feb. 3: 59-51 win at Cathedral
Feb. 6: 82-58 win at Columbia Prep
Feb. 11: 83-55 win at Blessed Sacrament
Feb. 13: 82-54 win loss at LaSalle
Feb. 14: 69-63 win at Salesian
Feb. 25: 71-43 win vs. Scanlan
Feb. 28: 46-44 win vs. Sacred Heart

CHSAA Class A quarters recap

February, 25, 2012
While the main attraction on Saturday was the Class AA Archdiocesan title game, the quarterfinals for the Class A were held. Here's the roundup from the four games.

MOORE CATHOLIC 55, BISHOP FORD 52 (OT): Moore Catholic junior guard Mark Fiorello had missed shot after shot on Saturday, but with his team trailing in overtime and him positioned beyond the arc, he had no doubt he would come through.

"That was the one shot that I took and I knew was going in because I didn't even think about it," Fiorello said of his 3-pointer that gave Moore Catholic the lead for good against Bishop Ford on Saturday.

Firoello's three started a string of six straight points from him as he helped Moore Catholic rally to stun Bishop Ford, 55-52, in overtime on Saturday at Mount St. Michael. The Mavericks (20-5) trailed 40-30 entering the fourth quarter but rallied to tie it at 45-45 entering overtime.

In the extra period, Fiorello, who scored 11 points, scored six straight points for his team to give it a 53-49 lead and the Mavericks held on to advance to the semifinals to face Iona Prep.

"If that didn't go in, I never would have heard the end of it, never, oh my God," Fiorello said of his big 3-point shot.

IONA PREP 66, LASALLE 45: Last season, Iona Prep entered the Class A semifinals as the underdog of the final four. This year, after defeating Lasalle 66-45 in the quarters on Saturday, the Gaels (22-3) enter as perhaps the favorite among the four remaining teams.

"Last year we were underdogs and we had to overachieve just to get to where we are right now," Iona coach Vic Quirolo said. "This year, expectations were we have an opportunity to maybe get far into the playoffs."

Iona Prep had beaten Lasalle (9-13) twice in close games earlier this season but led by double digits for mostly the entire game as it rolled to a victory. Isiah Ice led Iona with 18 points. The Gaels will now get a rematch in the semifinals with Moore Catholic, who bested them earlier this year.

"We had a close game with them and it's great to get a second shot at a team that beat you in a close game," Quirolo said.

ST. EDMUND PREP 67, ST. JOSEPH BY-THE-SEA 48: In this same gym in the quarterfinals last season, St. Edmund walked off the court with its season over after a loss to Iona Prep. On Saturday, the Eagles made sure their season would go on at least one more game as it throttled St. Joseph by-the-Sea, 67-48. St. Edmund advances to face Xavier in the semifinals.

"We knew that was on the same court, same place, just a different team and we had to bring it all today," said senior guard Matt O'Neill, who led all scorers with 19 points.

St. Edmund (19-6) led 12-11 after one but blew the game open in the second quarter to take a 32-14 lead and never looked back. St. Edmund's players talked about winning this game in memory of Jose Rodriguez, who died during basketball tryouts this season.

"It means a lot (to get to the semifinals)," O'Neill said. "We're doing it for Jose. We're doing it for our fans back home and it shows our school can get respect and we have to keep going."

XAVIER 53, SPELLMAN 43: Xavier defeated Spellman in the nightcap at Mount St. Michael. Xavier (14-9) beat Spellman (10-13) for the third time this season and swept the season series between the two schools. Xavier is now headed to the semifinals where it will meet St. Edmund Prep. Xavier won the meeting between the two schools, 55-45, earlier this season.

Xavier led by 10 at the half and Spellman cut it to five but Xavier was able to hold on. Matt Crockett led it with 18 points while Brendan Ferguson had 13.

"This is another step toward playing for a City championship," Xavier coach Joe McGrane said. "We came into the season hoping to play for a City Championship and this is a good step forward."

East tops West in All-American game

January, 4, 2012
When Iona Prep senior Justin Combs was selected to the Semper Fidelis All-American team, he said it was like a dream come true. Tuesday night in Arizona, he got to live that dream.

“Everything was great,” said an excited Combs. “It was very intense, there was a lot of talent. It was a fun time competing against the best of the best. The entire thing was sort of surreal.”

Comb’s West team eventually lost to Erasmus Hall star Wayne Morgan’s East team 17-14 in the inaugural edition of the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl at Chase Field in Phoenix Tuesday night.

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
East cornerback Justin Combs is headed to UCLA in the fall.
Both players played their natural positions, cornerback, and played every third play of each drive, as did most players who competed in the game. Neither scored or recorded an interception, but both were happy with the way they played.

“I didn't play a lot, but I got a couple of reps,” Morgan said. “The atmosphere was so exciting it was easy to play with intensity. I played good, I broke up a big passing play on third down in the first quarter.”

“No balls were caught against me at all. I grinded. I'm proud of that,” Combs added.

The two players have never had a chance to meet each other until now despite playing just 33 miles apart from each other for their entire high school careers. But they got a chance to strike up a relationship thanks to their New York connection.

“We finally got to meet,” Combs said. “We've been in the same state for a long time. He's always been ranked No. 1 and I was No. 2 so I always wanted to meet him. He was really cool, someone who I would want to keep in touch with.”

The East jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a touchdown pass in the first quarter. In the second quarter the West came back as it went up 14-7, but the East tied it back up by half time. The second half was a tight defensive half that was only separated by a field goal.

“We tied it up in the first half,” Morgan said. “Then in the second half our defense did a real good job and we got a field goal to win it. It was exciting to play a role in our defense winning the game.”

Combs, the son of rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, is headed to UCLA in the fall while Morgan is still deciding between Syracuse and UConn.

Combs & Morgan play in All-American Bowl

January, 3, 2012
Two of New York City's biggest football stars from this season in Iona Prep cornerback Justin Combs and Erasmus Hall cornerback/quarterback Wayne Morgan will represent the Big Apple Tuesday at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix, Ariz. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. kickoff.

Combs, the son of rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, will play for the East team. Combs has verbally committed to UCLA. This past season, he completed 46-of-74 passes for 614 yards with four touchdowns, rushed for 196 yards and one touchdown and had one interception on the season, according to stats available on He helped his team to a 7-5 record and a spot in the CHSFL Class AAA semifinals.

Morgan was named on's PSAL players of the year and will represent the West team. The do-it-all senior helped his team to the PSAL title game where it ultimately lost to Lincoln. He completed 38-of-67 passes for 664 yards and five touchdowns, rushed for 500 yards and five touchdowns, and had one interception, two fumble recoveries, one sack and two defensive touchdowns on defense according to stats on the PSAL website. He is choosing between Syracuse and UConn.

The Bowl game consists of 100 players chosen from all around the country. It will be played at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Final NYC top ten poll

December, 7, 2011
The high school football season is over in New York City. Lincoln ended it with a dramatic 20-12 win over Erasmus Hall for the Public Schools Athletic League title. Let's take a look at the last poll of the year:

1. St. Anthony's (10-0): How would a matchup of St. Anthony's vs. Lincoln gone? For one, there would have been a lot of running involved.

2. Lincoln (13-0): One year after losing a heartbreak at Yankee Stadium, Lincoln returned to the title game and brought home the title this year.

3. Erasmus Hall (9-4): A lack of a legitimate passing game came back to doom Erasmus Hall on Tuesday night against Lincoln.

4. Tottenville (10-2): With Brandon Barnes returning, there's no reason to not think that Tottenville won't be among the city's best the next year.

5. Stepinac (9-3): Stepinac will be losing some key seniors from this year's team. Will the Crusaders be able to turn in another great campaign next year?

6. Xaverian (7-3): It would be intriguing to see Xaverian play some of the elite Brooklyn teams in New York City like Lincoln and Fort Hamilton.

7. Fort Hamilton (8-3): Fort Hamilton has to wonder if it would have made it to the title game had Marvin Centeno not been injured.

8. Iona Prep (6-4): With quality players returning across the board, Iona Prep will be in the hunt for the CHSFL title next season.

9. Dewitt Clinton (8-4): For the second straight season, Dewitt Clinton has proved to the best team from the Bronx.

10. Boys & Girls (7-4): To show Brooklyn's strength in the PSAL: Boys & Girls is the 10th best team in the city but the fourth best team in its borough.

Iona's Justin Combs headed to UCLA

November, 29, 2011

Jeff Skopin/ESPNNewYorkRecruited as a cornerback, Combs also filled in at quarterback for Iona Prep, completing 46 of 74 passes for 614 yards this season.

Justin Combs doesn't know who will be coaching him next season at UCLA.

Yet, that didn't prevent the Iona Prep senior cornerback from verbally committing to the Bruins on Tuesday, making good on a private commitment he had made more than a month ago.

"I was committed before and I just thought I'm still going to go with them because I have faith in the program," Combs said. "I have faith that everything is going to work out."

Combs, the son of rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, chose the Bruins over Virginia, Iowa and Illinois despite UCLA firing head football coach Rick Neuheisel on Monday. Combs is a three-star recruit and the No. 8 prospect in New York for the Class of 2012, according to ESPNU. He will play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in January.

"It was like love at first sight when I visited there," Combs said. "I loved the whole tradition of UCLA and the school and the academics and just everything about it."

Not wanting to announce his commitment to the Bruins during the middle of his team's season, Combs kept his commitment private except to the members of the Bruins' coaching staff and some family members. He added that he also wanted to make the decision with his family.

On Monday, the school canned Neuheisel, who was in his fourth year at the school, and named offensive coordinator Mike Johnson the interim coach if the Bruins reach a bowl game. Combs called it "shocking," but reiterated that he has faith in the program. He finally let the news out on Tuesday, wanting it to be a surprise. Combs plans to study business and finance.

"It was kind of a relief and excitement at the same time," Combs said. "Now I can just relax and be excited and celebrate. I have to work 10 times harder for the next level. It's just an accomplishment and I have to keep on building. It's a big time in my life."

Combs said his father's advice was to go wherever he felt was the right place for him to go. He added that he has family in California.

"As a parent, today is one of the proudest moments of my life," Sean Combs said in a statement released by DKC Public Relations. "This is everything a father could want for his son, for him to excel at what he loves to do and is truly passionate about. Justin is a shining example of what hard work, determination and a strong mentality can achieve. I am honored to call him my son and am happy that he is fulfilling his dream."

The 5-9, 175-pound senior will be playing cornerback for UCLA, his primary position at Iona Prep. He had one interception for the Gaels this year but also played quarterback at times. He completed 46 of 74 passes on the year for 614 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions, according to Iona Prep went 6-4 this year.

He said that playing quarterback has helped him as a defensive back because he has learned tendencies and signals that quarterbacks use. He is able to think about what he would do in the situation and how he would attack a defense or which side of the field he would throw to.

Combs hopes to let his play do all the talking for him at UCLA -- no matter who the coach is.

"I'm going to let me actions speak for themselves," Combs said about what type of play he will bring to UCLA. "I'm just a hard worker who is dedicated."

Click here for a photo gallery of Justin Combs and the Iona Prep Gaels when they played Xaverian early in the season.

Week 13: NYC top 10 poll

November, 29, 2011
Just one game remains this season. Erasmus Hall and Lincoln will meet for the Public Schools Athletic League title on Dec. 6 at Yankee Stadium. Every other team is already looking to next year. With that in mind, let's check out the poll:

1. St. Anthony's (10-0): Like we say every year, it would have been sweet to see St. Anthony's take on the PSAL champion. Up next: Season over.

2. Lincoln (12-0): Lincoln is back to the finals after beating Dewitt Clinton. Can it make up for last year's loss? Up next: Dec. 6, vs. Erasmus Hall.

3. Erasmus Hall (9-3): Erasmus Hall is one win away from winning the PSAL title as the five seed. Up next: Dec. 6, vs. Lincoln.

4. Tottenville (10-2): Tottenville has to wonder what would have happened had Brandon Barnes not gotten injured. Up next: Season over.

5. Stepinac (9-3): Stepinac defeated its rival White Plains on Thanksgiving to pick up its ninth win. Up next: Season over.

6. Xaverian (7-3): Despite losing in the semis, Xaverian is taking steps in the right direction as a program. Up next: Season over.

7. Fort Hamilton (8-3): Fort Hamilton was supposed to have been the other team in an all-Brooklyn final. Up next: Season over.

8. Iona Prep (6-4): The question for Iona now becomes what school will Justin Combs commit to? Up next: Season over.

9. Dewitt Clinton (8-4): Dewitt had a heck of a season but fell short in the PSAL semifinals against Lincoln. Up next: Season over.

10. Boys & Girls (7-4): Boys & Girls in the top 10 is more proof of how good Brooklyn was this year. Up next: Season over.