New York High School: Mount Vernon

State Federation tournament preview

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
10:38
AM ET
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.

Game of the Week: Boys & Girls vs. Rice

January, 26, 2011
1/26/11
4:09
PM ET
GAME OF THE WEEK

WHO: NO. 1 BOYS & GIRLS VS. NO. 5 RICE

WHEN: Friday 6 p.m.

WHERE: Long Island University’s Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center in Brooklyn

WHY THIS GAME IS IMPORTANT: The SNY Classic takes over Long Island University this weekend with four of the top teams in the metropolitan area. While St. Anthony’s (NJ), ranked No. 2 in ESPN Rise’s Fab 50, will tangle with Mount Vernon, we’re going to focus on Saturday’s NYC battle between PSAL and CHSAA powers.

Boys & Girls returned to the No. 1 spot in our poll this week and also are ranked No. 27 in the Fab 50 poll. This game starts a hellacious four-game stretch for Boys & Girls in which it will face No. 5 Rice, either St. Anthony’s or Mount Vernon, No. 2 Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. The Kangaroos have been playing at a high level as of late and will need to keep it up for this stretch.
Rice will be looking for its biggest win of the season. The Raiders have been up and down over their past eight games, going 4-4. While they have beaten St. Raymond and Xaverian, they also have losses to St. Peter’s and Loughlin on the resume. Rice can certainly play with any team in the city, but as of now, it appears they might be on that second tier of teams.

KEY PLAYERS:

Boys & Girls senior guard Mike Taylor
Boys & Girls junior forward Leroy Fludd
Boys & Girls senior forward Malik Nichols
Rice senior forward Jermaine Sanders
Rice senior guard Devaughn Reid
Rice senior forward Emmanuel Andujar


Coaches:

Boys & Girls: Ruth Lovelace
Rice: Dwayne Mitchell

HOW THEY GOT HERE



Boys & Girls (17-3, 10-2 Brooklyn AA)
Nov. 30: 95-65 win vs. George Westinghosue
Dec. 2: 69-59 win at South Shore
Dec. 7: 76-54 win at William E. Grady
Dec. 9: 94-62 win vs. Paul Robeson
Dec. 14: 78-68 win at East New York Transit Tech Dec. 16: 62-60 loss vs. Lincoln Jan. 4: 70-56 loss at Thomas Jefferson Jan. 6: 86-46 win at George Westinghouse Jan. 11: Forfeit win vs. South Shore Jan. 13: 88-62 win vs. William E. Grady
Jan. 18:
76-67 win at Paul Robeson Jan. 20: 73-57 win vs. East New York Transit Tech
Rice (10-6, 4-2 CHSAA AA)
Dec. 7: 79-35 win at All Hallows
Dec. 14: 57-49 win at Salesian
Dec. 17: 1-0 win at St. Francis Prep
Dec. 18: 73-66 win vs. Plainview (NJ)
Dec. 27: 61-60 win vs. Wheeler (GA)
Dec. 28: 87-63 loss to Douglas Academy
Dec. 29: 62-58 win vs. Gonzaga
Dec. 31: 87-63 loss vs. Atlanta Christian
Jan. 2: 69-54 win vs. Penn Wood
Jan. 5: 57-50 loss at St. Peter’s
Jan. 8: 63-54 loss vs. Northland (Ohio)
Jan. 14:
75-63 win vs. St. Raymond
Jan. 16: 78-63 win vs. Middletown (RI)
Jan. 17: 72-63 loss vs. Long Island Lutheran
Jan. 21:
53-45 loss vs. Bishop Loughlin
Jan. 23: 50-45 win at Xaverian

Mount Vernon loses tough battle with California's Taft

January, 15, 2011
1/15/11
10:42
PM ET
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- As Mount Vernon’s players sidled up next to Taft’s just before tipping off Saturday’s HoopHall Classic contest at Springfield College, the Knights’ tall task against this California squad became painfully clear.

Staring back at the Knights were the likes of 6-10 center Kevin Johnson and 6-foot 5-inch forward C.J. Blackwell, players certain to use their size to neutralize the Knights’ speed.

Ultimately, though, it was Taft’s quickness at the game’s outset that made the difference.

Johnson scored seven of his 26 points and pulled down seven of his 13 rebounds to fuel a 14-4 game-opening run, paving the way for a 72-56 Toreadors’ victory.

“I was hoping we could make a few more plays, but we came out with some haze at the start of the game,” said Knights coach Bob Cimmino, whose team was outrebounded, 49-35. “We knew they had size and would need to drop in help defense, but we just didn’t do what we needed to do early.”

Also hampering Mount Vernon (8-2) was the sprained left ankle suffered by leading scorer Jabarie Hinds. The West Virginia commit almost didn’t play after sustaining the injury in a Friday practice, but he did his best to keep the Knights competitive by scoring their first eight points.

After watching the first-half deficit balloon to 15, Hinds got some help from Mount Vernon’s 2-2-1 full-court press. Using their speed, the Knights forced several turnovers on Taft’s lob passes amidst the pressure, and after a Joshua Doughty 3-pointer, the Toreadors led by only eight at halftime.

But the problem that initially hampered the Knights resurfaced at the start of the second half.

Second-chance points and the size to pull in passes over Mount Vernon’s press allowed Taft to outscore the Knights 14-6 in a five-minute span, pushing the lead to 47-31.

Mount Vernon again responded with 3s on consecutive possessions that sliced the deficit to 10. But these offensive spurts didn’t come often enough, as the Knights struggled from the field and shot just 29 percent.

“We had a little run at some points, but we didn’t get enough stops to get closer,” Hinds said. “Turnovers hurt us and they were able to capitalize on them.”

The loss was the third straight for the Knights at the HoopHall Classic, but their gritty effort behind their injured star gave Cimmino a few positives to take from Saturday’s game.

“It gives you an identity as a team and the kids love to travel,” Cimmino said. “Of course, we’d like to get a win, but it’s a great experience and opportunity.”

MACK MODE

After his 28-point outburst on Saturday, a lot more people are going to know the name “Myles Mack.” The 5-foot-10 guard is part of a big 2011 Rutgers recruiting class that includes Kadeem Jack and Jerome Seagars.

Here’s what ESPNU basketball recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi had to say about Mack:

“The bigger the stage the better this young man has played. He was on fire from the outside, he played terrific defense. This is what he expect from Myles Mack, but more importantly, long term, it’s going to help Rutgers out in the long term.

“I think he has a chance to rebuild Rutgers basketball. He’s like the pied piper. Everybody likes Myles Mack; they like to be around him and hang out with him after games. So I think he’s going to attract other talent to Rutgers.”

LIVING LEGENDS

While St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley was shouting orders to his team from the sideline during Saturday’s game against DeMatha, legendary Stags coach Morgan Wooten was in the stands watching. This past fall, Hurley was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, further connecting the two after Wooten became the first high school coach to ever enter the HOF in 2000.

And even after Wooten watched Hurley’s Friars whip up on his former team, both men had nothing but good things to say about the other.

“I’m in it long enough to have played in 1963 as a sophomore in high school, being in a tournament against a DeMatha team coached by Morgan Wooten,” Hurley said. “He’s the standard for high school coaching.”

“When I made the Hall of Fame, my hope was it would shed a lot of light on the high school game and the contributions that high school coaches are making,” Wooten said. “Bob’s such a classy guy, and now that he’s in there, I hope more coaches can keep the ball rolling.”

THIS AND THAT

You wouldn’t know it from the final score, but Hurley admitted to a few butterflies before Saturday’s game. And who could blame him? The Friars were facing one of the country’s top teams in DeMatha on national television. “We played well, but I said the prayer twice before the game,” Hurley said to his assistants as they walked back to the locker room afterward.

Hinds showed no signs of limping on his right ankle during and after the Knights’ contest. The senior said he doesn’t expect to miss any games.

In Saturday’s other action, Oak Hill Academy, the top-ranked team in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings, fell to Milton, 75-69. That means a New Jersey team will be the atop the next standings, as St. Patrick’s currently sits at No. 2 and St. Anthony is ranked No. 3.

Both have momentum coming off the Friars’ blowout of DeMatha and the Celtics’ big win against Winter Park on Friday. However, St. Anthony could gain the upper hand should the Celtics lose to Bishop Gorman during Monday’s HoopHall contest.

Brandon Parker covers high school sports for ESPN RISE. You can follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker.

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