New York High School: Truman

Recruiting: Pearson, Astel decide

April, 19, 2012
Truman senior forward Krystal Pearson has never been away from her home Bronx for more than a week, so as she decided which school she would attend, she had to make sure that her future college would make the transition rather easy for her.

"Going to college, I want to make sure I'm happy and feel comfortable," Pearson said. "I wanted the feeling like I'm going from my family to another family."

Towson found the comfort she was looking for at Towson and she signed her National Letter of Intent with the Tigers. She chose them over VCU, Florida Atlantic and Cleveland State.

"I'm very excited with my new team, my new coaching staff and am excited to be living on a campus soon," Pearson said. "I'm happy to be able to play Division I basketball."

Pearson, who averaged 15.4 points and 12.4 rebounds this year, made her decision after coming back from a trip to Ireland. She did not want to wait any longer because Towson was recruiting another player in case she decided not to choose it.

She added that if she performs what's asked of her, there is the chance for playing time right away. Her coach, John Burke, believes that Towson is a great fit for Pearson.

"She's the best player I ever had," Burke said. "She can do it all. She left a legacy and players now want to come to Truman. She puts on the map basically. She's a legend in my eyes.

ASTEL TO MANHATTAN: Having the opportunity to play her college basketball close to home in New York City appealed to McKee/SI Tech senior forward Kaitlyn Astel.

"I think the distance played a big factor," said Astel, a Staten Island native who committed to Manhattan on Saturday. "I definitely liked the location and they had a lot of interest in me."

Astel chose Manhattan over Cleveland State, and a pair of Division II schools in Philadelphia University and New Haven. The senior narrowed her list based on whether schools offered engineering, as that's what she plans to major in.

The forward made her decision after returning home from a vacation. She talked it over with her family and realized that Manhattan fit her the best. Astel averaged 20 points and eight rebounds for MSIT while leading it to the PSAL Class AA title game.

"It's a huge relief because I've had people asking me the whole year about it but I couldn't rush the process," Astel said. "It's really exciting to have made it to a Division I school and I think I made the right choice."

Her coach, Peter LaMarca, believes it's a perfect match.

"Kaitlyn really wanted engineering and they have that and it's a great school and they play Division I," LaMarca said. "She lives there, her family can go see her and she's going to excel. I think Manhattan got a steal, I really do."

PSAL girls quarterfinals recap

March, 3, 2012
The Public Schools Athletic League is down to its final four teams in the girls Class AA tournament after the quarterfinals on Saturday. South Shore, Murry Bergtraum, McKee/SI Tech and Francis Lewis are the last four teams left after winning on Saturday at Hunter College. Here are the highlights from the game.

No. 1 South Shore 46, No. 9 Midwood 30: The top-seeded Lady Vikings received a scare from Midwood but used a 13-0 run in the final minutes to grab the 46-30 win. South Shore led 33-30 with about four minutes left before holding Midwood scoreless the rest of the way.

"We only gave up 30 points and clamped down at the end of the game but I thought we should have been much better on defense," South Shore coach Anwar Gladden said. "We have to get back and be better on the defensive end of the court."

Aaliyah Cooley led South Shore (21-5) with 21 points and had three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and five in the game. Midwood fell to (9-15) in the loss and South Shore will feet fourth-seeded McKee/SI Tech in the semifinals.

"We were having trouble scoring in the halfcourt and (Cooley) knocked down some big shots," Gladden said.

No. 2 Murry Bergtraum 60, No. 7 Lincoln 40: Murry Bergtraum started its quest for a 14th straight PSAL title on a great foot as it handled Lincoln. The Lady Blazers (16-7) were up 19-2 after the first quarter and never looked back against Lincoln (12-10).

"It was good to see them come out like that," head coach Ed Grezinsky said.

Murry Bergtraum received a big game from freshman Ashanae Mclaughlin, who had 16 points, while senior Shequana Harris added 12. Grezinsky said he needs someone to step up each game and today his freshman star was able to do that for him

The Lady Blazers now head to the semifinals where they will face Francis Lewis, a team that beat them last time out. The teams split the season series.

"They're a very good team and they're gelling," Grezinsky said. "They're a tough opponent and they will be a tough game for us."

No. 4 McKee/SI Tech 64, No. 5 JFK 51: McKee/SI Tech used an incredible performance from his backcourt of Kaityln Astel and Kelin Walsh as the two combined for 62 of his team's 64 points in the Seagulls' win. Walsh had 33 points while Astel had 29.

"They were unbelievable together, words can't even describe it," MSIT coach Peter LaMarca said. "Walsh had 15 points in the second quarter which was all of our points."

MSIT (24-2) led JFK (17-11) by about seven to 12 points for most of the game and JFK cut it to three late but MSIT held them off. The Seagulls now will meet top-seeded South Shore in the semifinals. The teams did not play each other this season.

"I've kind of always believed from the beginning we could be a very good team," LaMarca said. "We have strong senior leadership. Astel is a star and Walsh has come back from ACL surgery to be one of the best point guards in the city. I don't think we're sneaking up on people."

No. 6 Francis Lewis 47, No. 3 Truman 34: Francis Lewis averaged two regular season losses to Truman by defeating the Lady Mustangs in the quarterfinals. The game was tied 17-17 at the half and Francis Lewis (14-9) took control in the second half to best Truman (20-7).

"Defensively, we were able to do more of what we wanted to do," coach Stephen Tsai said.

Tsai credited the play of Sherice Gayle, a senior forward/center who only started playing at the end of the year and had a big effect on Saturday's game. Francis Lewis now will meet Murry Bergtraum in the semifinals and the Lady Patriots won the last meeting between the two.

"Our girls had a lot of ups and downs this season," Tsai said. "We lost to Truman twice and I think the girls wanted to prove a point to get (to the semifinals)."

Girls basketball poll: Feb. 27

February, 27, 2012
Some of the tournaments have already begun but most of them begin this week. The best in New York City will be vying for conference and division crowns. Here's this week's poll.

1. Nazareth (15-2)/(LW: 1): Nazareth beat Christ the King for the second time and is the top seed in the Brooklyn/Queens Division I tournament.

2. Bishop Ford (20-4)/(LW: 2): Bishop Ford is the No. 2 seed in Brooklyn/Queens Division I and faces St. Francis Prep.

3. Molloy (17-8)/(LW: 4): Molloy rebounded from two tough losses to beat CK and JFK this week. It's the No. 3 seed in Brooklyn/Queens Division I and faces Mary Louis Academy.

4. Christ the King (12-13)/(LW: 3): CK drops a spot after losing to Molloy and Nazareth. It's the No. 4 seed in the Brooklyn/Queens Division I tournament and will face Bishop Loughlin.

5. South Shore (20-5)/(LW: 5): South Shore awaits the winner of Benjamin Banneker vs. Midwood in the PSAL quarterfinals.

6. Bishop Loughlin (11-11)/(LW: 6): Loughlin will play Christ the King in the Brooklyn/Queens Division I quarterfinals.

7. Moore Catholic (18-5)/(LW: 7): Moore Catholic meets St. Joseph Hill in the Archdiocesan semifinals.

8. Murry Bergtraum (15-7)/(LW: 8): Murry Bergtraum will meet the Lincoln vs. Brooklyn Collegiate winner in the quarterfinals.

9. McKee/SI Tech (22-2)/(LW: 9): MSIT faces Manahttan Center in the first round.

10. Truman (19-6)/(LW: 10): Truman meets Boys & Girls in the first round.

Girls basketball poll: Feb. 20

February, 20, 2012
It certainly was an interesting week. Nazareth lost to a New York City team for the first team this year in Bishop Ford, Christ the King lost to Bishop Loughlin but defeated Molloy and Moore Catholic lost its first league game. Let's check out the poll.

1. Nazareth (14-2)/(LW: 1): We can excuse Nazareth for one slip-up to Bishop Ford, but that will certainly make the league playoffs more interesting.

2. Bishop Ford (20-4)/(LW: 4): Bishop Ford ascends two spots thanks to its win over Nazareth and Bishop Loughlin the past week.

3. Christ the King (12-11)/(LW: 3): CK stays right where it was after losing a tough game to Bishop Loughlin but then rebounding for a win against Molloy.

4. Molloy (15-8)/(LW: 2): We can't penalize Molloy that much for losing games to Nazareth and Christ the King this past week.

5. South Shore (19-5)/(LW: 6): South Shore is the No. 1 seed in the PSAL Tournament and will be well rested for its quarterfinal game next Saturday.

6. Bishop Loughlin (11-11)/(LW: 7): Loughlin played tough this week, beating Christ the King but losing to Bishop Ford in a tight one.

7. Moore Catholic (18-5)/(LW: 5): Moore Catholic drops down the rankings for the second straight week as it lost to Cardinal Spellman.

8. Murry Bergtraum (15-7)/(LW: 8): Murry Bergtraum did not play this week as it prepares as the No. 2 seed for the PSAL Class AA tournament.

9. McKee/SI Tech (22-2)/(LW: 9): MSIT also had the week off for the tournament as it will be the No. 4 seed and will have a first round game against Manhattan Center.

10. Truman (19-6)/(LW: 10): Truman, like the previous two teams, was off this week in preparation for the tournament where it is the No. 3 seed and will host Boys & Girls.

Girls basketball poll: Feb. 13

February, 13, 2012
Nazareth showed its power by handing Manasquan (N.J.) its first loss of the season on Sunday, but Bishop Ford drops a few spots in the poll after three losses in recent weeks. Christ the King also picked up a win against nationally ranked Cicero-North Syracuse. Here's this week's poll.

1. Nazareth (13-1)/(LW: 1): Nazareth defeated Bishop Loughlin and then took down Manasquan at The Mecca Challenge in the Bronx.

2. Molloy (15-6)/(LW: 4): After wins against Long Island Lutheran and Bishop Ford this week, Molloy has earned its way up to the No. 2 spot in the poll.

3. Christ the King (11-10)/(LW: 5): CK is finally above .500 and did it dramatic fashion by taking down Bishop Ford and nationally ranked Cicero-North Syracuse.

4. Bishop Ford (18-4)/(LW: 2): Bishop Ford drops due to its loss to Christ the King this past week, the third loss for the Lady Falcons in recent weeks.

5. Moore Catholic (17-4)/(LW: 3): Moore Catholic stayed undefeated against Staten Island teams but lost a tough game to LaSalle (R.I.)

6. South Shore (19-5)/(LW: 6): South Shore went 1-1 this week, winning vs. Midwood, and earned the No. 1 seed for the PSAL playoffs.

7. Bishop Loughlin (10-10)/(LW: 8): Loughlin evened its record with wins over Cardinal Spellman and a Pennsylvania team on the weekend.

8. Murry Bergtraum (14-7)/(LW: 7): Tough week for Bergtraum as it falls to Francis Lewis and then loses to Long Island Lutheran.

9. McKee/SI Tech (22-2)/(LW: 9): MSIT has not lost a game to a New York City team all season and will be the No. 4 seed in the Class AA Tournament.

10. Truman (19-6)/(LW: 10): Truman finished the year strong and has been rewarded as the No. 3 seed for the Class AA playoffs.

Girls basketball poll: Feb. 6

February, 6, 2012
Nazareth flexed its muscles this week as it put dominated Bishop Ford and Christ the King and showed that no team in New York City is on its level. There were also some upsets all around New York City. Let's check out the rest of the poll for this week.

1. Nazareth (18-1)/(LW: 1): Nazareth went 3-0 with wins over Bishop Ford, Mary Louis and Nazareth. That's what you call a quality week.

2. Bishop Ford (16-3)/(LW: 2): Bishop Ford lost to Nazareth and Christ the King but salvaged the week with a win against an out-of-state foe.

3. Moore Catholic (16-3)/(LW: 4): Moore Catholic is quietly putting together one of the finest seasons in the city and it is now 16-3 after a pair of wins this weekend.

4. Molloy (13-6)/(LW: 4): Molloy rebounded this week for a pair of nice wins against St. Francis Prep and Mary Louis Academy.

5. Christ the King (7-10)/(LW: 6): CK had great wins against Bishop Loughlin and Bishop Fort but ended its week on a sour note as Nazareth blew them out.

6. South Shore (18-4)/(LW: 3): South Shore lost a tough game to Lincoln and needs to find its groove before the PSAL playoffs begin.

7. Murry Bergtraum (13-5)/(LW: 7): Bergtraum is clicking at the right time and had a quality win against Francis Lewis in league play.

8. Bishop Loughlin (8-0/(LW: 8): Loughlin lost to CK but was able to rebound to beat St. Francis Prep. Loughlin is another team that needs to get it together.

9. McKee/SI Tech (18-2)/(LW: 10): MSIT picked up another league win and is going to face Curtis this week in a battle for the division title.

10. Truman (17-6)/(LW: Unranked): Truman is now 17-6 and swept JFK with a win this past week, which puts the Lady Mustangs back in the poll.

Girls basketball poll: Jan. 2

January, 2, 2012
Same exact poll this week as no team deserved to fall out of the rankings this week. Let's look at the poll before a big week that will include a big game pitting Nazareth against Bishop Ford.

1. Nazareth (3-0)/(LW: 1): Nazareth demolished St. Francis Prep and had its game canceled against Lincoln.

2. South Shore (11-1)/(LW: 2): South Shore won the Diamond State Classic and defeated Mary Louis Academy and St. John the Baptist.

3. Bishop Ford (7-1)/(LW: 3): Bishop Ford had the week off and is preparing for its big game against Nazareth.

4. Molloy (6-2)/(LW: 4): Molloy snapped its two-game losing streak by beating Notre Dame Academy last week.

5. Christ the King (2-6)/(LW: 5): Christ the King got in the win column this week by winning a pair of games.

6. Moore Catholic (6-1)/(LW: 6): Moore Catholic had the week off and will return this week against North Unterdon.

7. Bishop Loughlin (3-2)/(LW: 7): Bishop Loughlin picked up a win against Lincoln this week to move above .500.

8. McKee/SI Tech (11-1)/(LW: 9): MSIT is now 11-1 after defeating Midwood at the Murry Bergraum tournament.

9. Mary Louis Academy (4-6)/(LW: 8): Mary Louis went 1-2 at the Diamond State Classic, falling to South Shore in the semifinals.

10. Truman (11-3)/(LW: 10): Truman went 3-0 at the Grand Street Campus tournament and is still in first in the PSAL Bronx/Manhattan/Queens Division.

Girls basketball poll: Dec. 26

December, 26, 2011
No changes to the poll this week as there were no upsets in New York City. In the biggest game of the week, Bishop Ford took down Molloy in a battle of two of the top teams in the CHSAA. This week, there's no real blockbuster between any of these teams. Let's check out the poll.

1. Nazareth (2-0)/(LW: 1): Nazareth stays in first and will return to the court Wednesday against St. Francis Prep.

2. South Shore (8-1)/(LW: 2): South Shore also had the week off and will head to an out-of-state tournament.

3. Bishop Ford (6-1)/(LW: 3): Bishop Ford is clearly the biggest challenge to Nazareth in the CHSAA after it defeated Molloy, adding to its already impressive resume that has wins over Christ the King and JFK.

4. Molloy (5-2)/(LW: 4): Molloy has lost two in a row after falling to Bishop Ford on the road.

5. Christ the King (0-6)/(LW: 5): CK hasn't won but four of those losses came in the nationally renowned Tournament of Champions in Arizona.

6. Moore Catholic (6-1)/(LW: 6): Moore Catholic won its first two games at its holiday tournament before forfeiting the tournament finale.

7. Bishop Loughlin (2-2)/(LW: 7): Bishop Loughlin will return to the court this week against Lincoln.

8. Mary Louis Academy (3-4)/(LW: 8): Mary Louis picked up a nice win against Cardinal Spellman and is inching closer to getting back to .500.

9. McKee/SI Tech (10-1)/(LW: 9): MSIT orchestrated a huge comeback to defeat Staten Island rival Curtis and is looking like the top team on Staten Island.

10. Truman (8-3)/(LW: 10): Truman defeated Benjamin Banneker to stay in first in the Bronx/Manhattan/Queens division in the PSAL.

Girls basketball poll: Dec. 19

December, 19, 2011
The story of the week in girls hoops has to be Bishop Ford, which is now 6-1 after beating New Jersey power St. John Vianney. Bishop Ford certainly looks like it will be one of the biggest threats this season to Nazareth, which also opened its season with two conference wins.

1. Nazareth (2-0)/(LW: 1): Nazareth played as everyone expected as it took care of Mary Louis Academy and Bishop Loughlin this past week.

2. South Shore (8-1)/(LW: 2): South Shore picked up a pair of nice wins in the PSAL with victories over Francis Lewis and Lincoln. South Shore is looking more and more like the best team in the league.

3. Bishop Ford (6-1)/(LW: 4): Bishop Ford is riding high with wins against Mary Louis, St. Francis and St. John Vianney this week. The Lady Falcons are a premier team in New York City.

4. Molloy (5-1)/(LW: 3): Molloy drops one spot for its loss on Sunday to Ossining, but that loss came just one day after a tough win against a very solid Bishop Loughlin club.

5. Christ the King (0-2)/(LW: 5): CK will be tested greatly in the Nike Tournament of Champions this week, with premier teams in the country in the field.

6. Moore Catholic (4-0)/(LW: 6): Moore Catholic secured a pair of wins over Maria Regina and St. Joseph Hill to get to 4-0 before it goes out of state for its holiday tournament.

7. Bishop Loughlin (2-2)/(LW: 7): Sorting out teams No. 7 through No. 10 is tricky. Loughlin stays put despite an 0-2 week because it had respective losses to the No. 1 and No. 4 team.

8. Mary Louis Academy (2-4)/(LW: 8): Same case for Mary Louis. It lost to Bishop Ford and Nazareth but beat Murry Bergtraum. We're not going to penalize too much for that.

9. McKee/SI Tech (8-1)/(LW: 10): MSIT lost its first game to an out-of-state opponent and now gets to face Staten Island rival Curtis this week.

10. Truman (7-3)/(LW: unranked): Truman had a great week with its win over JFK and beats out teams like Benjamin Banneker and Murry Bergtraum for the last spot.

Girls basketball preview

November, 21, 2011
Basketball season is upon us. Here at, we break down the top teams, players and games to get you prepared for the upcoming season.


Nazareth: Despite graduating three Division-I players, the Lady Kingsmen should once again be the team to beat in the city. Transfer students Brianna Butler, Sadie Edwards, and Destini Feagin will join a formidable core that includes floor general Darius Faulk and the young sharpshooter Bianca Cuevas.

Christ the King: There is no doubt that the Royals took a hit with the loss of Player of the Year Bria Smith, but she left behind one of the best core groups in the city. Sophomore Sierra Calhoun will have to take on a larger role and will have Lauren Nuss, Rayne Connell, and Taylor Butigan returning as support.

Murry Bergtraum: The Blazers will be playing this season with heavy hearts as their expected leader, Tayshana "Chicken" Murphy, was killed this past September. They will try to use her memory as motivation as Shequana Harris will try to lead them to their 14th consecutive PSAL title.

South Shore: Seniors Fannisha Price and Jenice Winter have now gotten to Madison Square Garden twice and lost both times. Head coach Anwar Gladden said that he has never seen such a focused group as they are determined to get back and win it all this time.


Moore Catholic: Mavericks head coach Rich Postiglione admitted that he was concerned about his team as they transition from a more physical one to one that is about shooting and speed. Luckily for him, he has two of the best shooters on Staten Island in Jamie O'Hare, who transferred from the now closed St. Peter's, and Christina Rubin.

Mary Louis: The Hilltoppers lost a key player in Karin Robinson, but guards Reana Mohamed and Jasmine Nwajei are returning and if talented freshmen Mei Lyn Bautista and Jordan Agustus can contribute, TMLA should be among the strongest teams in the city.

Archbishop Molloy: The Stanners have a talented squad lead by Amani Tatum and Carolyn Gallagher, but they will have to adjust to new coach Scott Lagas, a new system, and injuries to two players Alexa Dietrich and Dallas Pralle, who should be out until at least January.

JFK: The Lady Knights went 10-2 last year and only lost in the PSAL semifinals to eventual champion Bergtraum. That’s important because they only graduated three seniors and have starters Joyalevern Mcfarland, Deaisia Acklin, and Leshuana Phinazee returning.


Francis Lewis : The Patriots are very similar to JFK in that they were both good teams last year that made it to the semifinals and have key starters returning. Coach Stephen Tsai said that seniors Jasmine Davis, Tyese Purvis, and Jazmine Hamlet display such strong leadership that they are often seen helping him run practices.

McKee/SI Tech: Curtis is the sexy pick for the best PSAL team in Staten Island, but Seagulls head coach Peter LaMarca isn’t ready to cede the island. He has four starters coming back including Kaitlyn Astel, whom he called one of the top 10 players in the city and perhaps the most underrated.

Bishop Ford
: The Falcons didn't like how their season went last year and nearly the same squad is returning this year to prove that it was a fluke. Point guard Aaliyah Lewis will lead this team offensively, but she will need Shanice Vaughan, Ajannae Gates, and Jeane Jennings to step up their games as well to prove their doubters wrong.

Benjamin Banneker: As a sophomore last season, Africa Williams lead the entire PSAL with 29.06 points per game and coach Jonathan Anderson said she is just getting better with age. She joins captain and junior Jenipher Rodriguez and "secret weapon" sophomore Diara Adger to form a core that will be strong this year and next.


Nazareth guard Darius Faulk; Nazareth guard Brianna Butler; Christ the King guard Sierra Calhoun; Murry Bergtraum guard Shequana Harris; South Shore forward Fannisha Price; St. Peter's guard Jamie O'Hare; MSIT guard Kaitlyn Astel; JFK guard Joy McFarland; Molloy forward Carolyn Gallagher; Mary Louis guard Reana Mohamed


Chris the King at Nazareth—Dec. 3
Murry Bergtraum at South Shore—Dec. 9
Murry Bergtraum vs. Mary Louis Academy—Dec. 18
South Shore at JFK—Jan. 20
Nazareth at Mary Louis Academy—Feb. 1

Week 5: Five games to watch

October, 7, 2011
While Don Bosco takes on St. Edward in a game of national interest, there are plenty of other good matchups in the New York City leagues this week. Let's take a look at the best of the rest.

No. 1 St. Anthony's at No. 2 Archbishop Stepinac (Friday, 7:30 p.m.): In a game that we all wished we could have seen last season, the top-ranked teams in the CHSFL will meet in an early-season clash at White Plains High School. Both teams are carrying long winning streaks and have not lost since 2009 and are defending champions of the AAA and AA divisions in the CHSFL. This game will be a great measuring streak for Stepinac to see where it stands among the big boys in the league and St. Anthony's will look to win its third straight road game against a CHSFL contender.

No. 8 Iona Prep at No. 10 Fordham Prep (Sunday, 5 p.m.): Iona Prep is coming off its first loss of the season and surely does not want to drop back-to-back games. Fordham Prep, meanwhile, is 3-1 but hasn't beaten a top team in the CHSFL yet. This game might show us more whether Fordham Prep deserves to be among the top teams in the CHSFL. In its only game vs. a contender this season, the Rams lost 51-0 to St. Anthony's. They need to do better against Iona Prep.

Canarsie to No. 9 Dewitt Clinton (Sunday, 11 a.m.): Two teams that are off to 3-1 starts meet up Sunday in the Bronx. Canarsie is the more surprising of the two to get off to a fast start although it has yet to beat that quality opponent in the PSAL. Dewitt Clinton, meanwhile, has been playing great ball and it's lone loss came to Tottenville. A Canarsie win would mean more in significance than a Dewitt Clinton win since the perception is that the Governors are the better squad.

Boys & Girls at Truman (Sunday, noon): Truman got its welcome to the Championship Division when it got thumped by Lincoln last week to lose its first game of the season. This weekend, the Mustangs will look to get back on track against a good Boys & Girls team that defeated previously unbeaten Port Richmond. Truman has a lot to show and will get that chance at home. Boys & Girls looks to keep its momentum going in the right direction.

Grady at Beach Channel/Channel View (Sunday, noon): We head to the Bowl Division to see this clash of two undefeated teams. Grady and Beach Channel/Channel View are both 4-0 to start the year. The two teams are currently ranked first and second in the power points and Grady is five points ahead of Beach Channel/Channel View.

Week 4: Five games to watch

September, 30, 2011
While the Game of the Week takes place in New Jersey, there are plenty of great games in New York City this weekend. Let's take a look at five of the games that we're keeping our eyes on this weekend.

No. 1 St. Anthony's at No. 8 Holy Cross (Sunday, 3 p.m.): One week after dominating Fordham Prep, St. Anthony's hits the road against for another tough game, this time against Holy Cross. While St. Anthony's was expected to be a great team this season, Holy Cross is somewhat of a surprise team so far this season as it has gotten off to a 3-0 start. Let's see how they play against the bad boys of the CHSFL at home this Sunday in arguably their biggest game of the season.

No. 9 Xaverian at No. 4 Iona Prep (Sunday, 1:30 p.m.): This is probably the most-anticipated game of the early CHSFL season so far. Both of these teams were projected to be near the top of the CHSFL standings and they meet in an early-season clash in New Rochelle. The only unexpected factor in this game is Xaverian's win-loss record and most would have projected these two teams to be undefeated. If Iona Prep can knock off the Clippers, they suddenly find themselves with two losses just four weeks into the season.

No. 1 Tottenville at Erasmus Hall (Sunday, noon): Erasmus Hall is team with enough talent to possibly make a run to the PSAL title. Instead, two weeks into the season, the Dutchmen find themselves with two losses and the third could be on the way with mighty Tottenville coming to town. Tottenville has been every bit the power that we've expected this season and they are not the team a reeling team wants to face as it tries to snap a losing streak.

Truman at No. 5 Lincoln (Sunday, noon): In its first year being moved up to the championship division, Truman is off to a 3-0 start but all three of those wins have come against teams who a combined 0-9 this season. They'll get their first chance against a big boy of their new divisions when they head to Lincoln, who has a 14-game regular season win streak. It's a tall task for sure for the Mustangs, but will be a test to see how close they are to the elite teams in the league.

Port Richmond at Boys & Girls (Sunday, noon): Port Richmond looks like its making its way back to the top of the PSAL rankings but is another team that has feasted against the bottom tier teams in the league. Sunday, they face their toughest test so far when they travel to take on Boys & Girls, a team whose record is deceiving. Boys & Girls defeated Curtis easily before losses to Erasmus Hall and Tottenville. You can be sure the Kangaroos don't want to fall to 1-3.

Tournament spotlight: Holiday Madness

December, 27, 2010
TOURNAMENT SPOTLIGHT: Holiday Madness Tournament

WHEN: Dec. 27-29

WHERE: M.S. 219, Bronx, NY

Boys side:Dewitt Clinton (5-4 Bronx A West)
Riverdale/Kingsbridge (4-5 Bronx A West)
Frederick Douglas Academy III (10-0 Bronx B East)
Acorn (4-3 Brooklyn A East)
Harry Van Arsdale (6-1 Brooklyn A West)
Medgar Evars (4-0 Brooklyn B West)
Norman Thomas (7-0 Manhattan A East)
Seward Park (1-6 Manhattan A Southwest)

Girls side
Truman (3-3 Bronx AA)
Dewitt Clinton (2-4 Bronx AA)
Lincoln (2-2 Brooklyn AA Group 1)
James Madison (0-5 Brooklyn AA Group 1)
Medgar Evers (5-2 Brooklyn AA Group 2)
School of the Future (5-2 Manhattan A South)
Bayard Rustin (1-8 Manhattan A West)
Beacon (7-1 Manhattan A West)

Beacon vs. Madison (Girls)
Clinton vs. Medgar Evers (Girls)
Bayard vs. Turman (Girls)
Future vs. Lincoln (Girls)
Acorn vs. Clinton (Boys)
Seward vs. Van Arsdale (Boys)
Medgar Evers vs. Norman Thomas (Boys)
FDA III vs. Riverdale/Kingsbridge (Boys)

BEST GIRLS QUARTERFINAL: Clinton vs. Medgar Evers: It’s the only matchup pitting two AA Teams against one another. Medgar Evers should win the game, but will receive a tough test against Dewitt Clinton.

THE FAVORITE: Medgar Evers: They have the strongest record of the AA teams and should be able to take down the rest of the teams in the tournament.

THE SLEEPER: Truman. Truman has an easy side of the bracket and if it makes the finals, the Lady Mustangs definitely could bring home the title.

GIRLS PREDICTIONS: Beacon over Midwood; Medgar Evers over Clinton; Truman over Bayard; Lincoln over Future;

Semis: Medgar Evers over Midwood; Truman over Lincoln

Championship: Medgar Evers over Truman

BEST BOYS QUARTERFINAL: Dewitt Clinton vs. Acorn: Two solid teams from the A meet up in the quarterfinals. Dewitt Clinton is coming into the game off a win in its last league matchup, while Acorn enters off a loss. This should be the most competitive game of the bunch.

THE FAVORITE: Norman Thomas: Yes, Fredrick Douglass Academy III is 10-0, but it plays in the B Division. Norman Thomas’ 7-0 mark in the A Division is more impressive and makes the team to beat.

THE SLEEPER: Medgar Evers: The team is undefeated in league play and is on the same side of the bracket with Norman Thomas and FDA III, but has the potential to upset both of those teams.

PREDICTION: Clinton over Acorn; Van Arsdale over Seward Park; Norman Thomas over Medgar Evers; FDA III over Riverdale/Kingsbridge

Semis: Van Arsdale over Clinton; Norman Thomas over FDA III

Championship: Norman Thomas over Van Arsdale

Truman upsets Beach Channel/Channel View for Bowl title

November, 28, 2010

Chris Hunt/
Isayah Muller rushed for 295 yards in Truman's win over Beach Channel in the PSAL Bowl Division championship in November.

NEW YORK -- The most surprising part about Isayah Muller’s astounding 295-yard rushing performance Sunday was that no one was surprised.

Granted, the Truman senior has done whatever he’s wanted throughout the Public Schools Athletic League playoffs, but took it to another level Saturday as his one-man track meet at Midwood Athletic Field in Brooklyn led No. 2 Truman to the PSAL Bowl Division championship with a 23-20 win over top-seeded Beach Channel.

“We need a play, call Isayah’s number and he’ll get it for you,” Truman quarterback Xavier Hamilton said. “It’s amazing to have someone like that on your team.

That’s exactly what happened. On Truman’s (10-2) first offensive play of the game, coach John-James Shepherd called on Muller and he provided an 80-yard cutback run that set the tone for Truman’s unstoppable running game. Muller another 82-yard touchdown run and a 53-yard gallop in the second half that highlighted his 295 rushing yards on the day on 20 attempts.

“He’s everything that everybody said,” Beach Channel coach Victor Nazario said of Muller. “There were no surprises in this game. It was about stopping No. 21 (Muller) and No. 7 (Hamilton) for them. No. 7 didn’t really hurt us but No. 21 played a hell of a game.”

Shepherd said all week he had been telling his assistant coaches that he knew Muller would have a big game. It wasn’t just the fact that in Truman’s last three wins he’s posted games of 177, 162 and 166 yards either. Muller needed to carry an even bigger load this weekend since Hamilton had injured his throwing shoulder in last weeks’ semifinal win against August Martin.

“To him, there’s no such thing as pressure,” Hamilton said. “You put the ball his hands and it’s like he’s in a zone. You look in his eyes and there’s no reflection. He just gets the ball and does what he has to do.”

Defensively, Beach Channel (10-2) couldn’t find an answer for Muller but managed to absorb the blows and strike back quickly.

Dolphins’ quarterback Patrick Burello hit junior wideout Henry Adegunie for a 29-yard strike late in the first quarter that ended with Mahmamed Sidibe punching in a 1-yard score that put Beach Channel ahead 8-7 after a two-point conversion. Burrello found Adegunie again in the second quarter for a 5-yard connection in the end zone that made it 14-7.

But Muller came right back. He ripped through another whole in the defensive line for a 53-yard gain with two minutes left in the first half that set-up a Hamilton nine-yard rushing TD. Muller gave Truman a 23-14 lead with an 82-yard run – the same play Truman used to start the game – with 6:59 left to play. However Muller would find some magic of is own, again finding Adegunie of a soaring touchdown catch to make it a one-score game with 3:43 remaining.

All Truman had to do though, was what they had done all afternoon – hand the ball to Muller. He ran the last five plays off the game for 33 yards and two first downs and while the clock ticked away he not only carried the ball, but also his entire team.

“I really wasn’t tired,” Muller said. “This is my last game of my high school career. I didn’t want to take one step off that field. I’m still not tired. I could play the whole game all over again.”

PSAL Bowl and Cup finals preview

November, 23, 2010
While the Championship Division hits the semifinals, the Bowl and Cup Divisions play their finals this weekend. Let’ analyze the matchups


No. 1 Beach Channel/Channel View vs. No. 2 Truman (Sunday, 12:30 p.m.): The top two teams in the Bowl Division meet with the league title on the line. Due to unbalanced scheduling, where each team in the league does not face each other, these teams did not meet during the regular season.

Beach Channel/Channel View was the best team in the division from start to finish, with just one blemish on its record, a 28-12 road loss to John Adams on Nov. 7. In it semifinal, it defeated No. 4 South Bronx 24-6.

Truman is riding a three-game wining streak into the finals after its second loss of the season a 28-6 loss to Tilden on Oct. 30. In its semifinal, the Mustangs defeated No. 3 August Martin.

Ehalt’s prediction: Beach Channel/Channel View has played the best football in the division from the first game and don’t expect that to change. The Dolphins win the title.


No. 3 McKee/Staten Island Tech vs. No. 4 Petrides (Sunday, 10 a.m.): While the Bowl Division features the top tow teams, the Cup Division features a pair of teams that pulled two first-round upsets.

No. 3 McKee/Staten Island Tech enters the final on a four-game win streak after suffering its second loss of the season against Stevenson, who the Seagulls upset in the semifinals. McKee/Staten Island Tech scored 16 points in overtime for the win.

After barely making the playoffs, as it beat out George Washington by just 15 power points, Petrides made its way to the final by defeating No. 1 Lafayette, 22-15. Petrides led 8-0 heading into the fourth quarter and held on for the narrow win.

These two teams on Nov. 7 and McKee/Staten Island Tech won 20-14 at home.

Ehalt’s prediction: McKee/Staten Island Tech already beat Petrides and will use that as motivation to win the championship.