The College Sports Notebook is compiled by veteran sports writer and columnist Marc Maturo, a lifetime member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). The notebook will be published every Thursday. Please send items of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In top form, Walker powers Bonnies with career-best outing
Alaina Walker of Pomona is at full strength, and again leading the charge on the St. Bonaventure University women’s basketball team.
Walker, a 5-foot-9 senior guard, who had missed part of one game and all of the next after being injured, led the Brown and White in rebounding for the eighth time this season as St. Bonaventure defeated UMass, 61-49, for its first Atlantic 10 victory of the campaign.
The seasoned senior also scored a career-high 21 points, and shared game-high honors in assists with four.
“Alaina is the straw that stirs our drink and has been the last three years. She plays with great passion,” 13th-year head coach Jim Crowley, a two-time A-10 coach of the year selection, told the Rockland Times. “Her ability to generate tempo and finish around the rim is key to our offense. And the work she does on defense is second to none, and sets the standard for the way our team defends. Alaina is one of the best all-around guards we have ever had in our program.”
Walker, continuing to be a major force off the boards from the guard position, pulled down eight rebounds.
“She has a great desire for the ball, and probably gets two-four rebounds a game just because she wants it more than the other players,” Coach Crowley added. “Her best ability is her knowledge of where the shots are coming from and where they will likely bounce off. She has a great feel for who is going to shoot and from where, and uses this knowledge to get the rebounds.”
St. Bonaventure, lifting its record to 8-10 overall, built a 27-17 halftime lead as Walker paced all scorers with nine points, putting UMass (3-15) in a hole from which it could not recover. The Bonnies then bolted to a 17-point bulge in the second half. Although the Minutewomen made a comeback, a 12-0 run by the Bonnies, behind Walker and junior Doris Ortega of Harlem, sealed the outcome and snapped a four-game losing streak.
St. Bonaventure travels to Hagan Arena in Philadelphia, Pa., for a game on Jan. 26 against Saint Joseph’s (12-5) at 3 p.m. Saint Joseph’s, which won 22 games last season, lost to the Bonnies in the A-10 Championship semifinals.
The Bonnies return home on Jan. 30, hosting the formidable Charlotte 49ers (14-4) at 7 p.m.
A FIRST FOR CHARGERS: The high-flying Dominican College men’s basketball team, which elevated its record to 14-3 with a 71-58 victory over Felician (N.J.) College, has been ranked in the NABC/Division II poll, marking the program’s first-ever appearance in the rankings as an NCAA Division II institution.
The Chargers, breaking into the Top 25 under veteran Coach Joe Clinton of Pearl River, are one of three teams from the East Region in the rankings and the lone team from the CACC. Franklin Pierce University of Rindge, N.H., and Assumption College of Worcester, Mass., both of the Northeast-10 Conference, are ranked 22nd and 23rd.
Dominican defeated Franklin Pierce University, 67-63 on Jan. 3 and fell to Assumption College, 52-64, on Nov. 18.
The Chargers, who are 8-1 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play, are home on Jan. 26 to take on Chestnut Hill (Pa.) College in the annual Bobby Mulligan Memorial Game at 4 p.m. at the Hennessy Center in Orangeburg. Mulligan was a member of the Dominican College men’s basketball team when he tragically passed away on Aug. 30, 1987. Prior to the start of his senior year, Mulligan had amassed 912 career points and would have assuredly reached the 1,000-point mark. He was posthumously added to the list.
In the come-from-behind win against Felician, A.J. Burton of New Rochelle led four Chargers in double digits with a career high 21 points while guard Leon Porter II of Laurel, Md., had 15 points.
MAGER MAGIC: The Oneonta State men’s basketball team is struggling, but sophomore guard Zach Mager of New City is doing all he possibly can trying to stem the tide. Mager, an alum of Clarkstown South HS, leads the Red Dragons in scoring with 17.6 points per game, and ranks second in assists with 2.4 per game, and second in steals with 13 on the season. The Red Dragons (2-12) hit the road for their next few games, traveling on Jan. 25 to meet The College at Brockport at 8 p.m., on Jan. 26 to challenge Geneseo at 4 p.m., and on Jan. 29 for a game against Hamilton College in Clinton.
JASKOT STARS: Freshman distance runner Meagan Jaskot of Blauvelt ran an indoor personal best as well as a Spartan record in the 3,000-meter in a time of 10:34.36, and finished 8th overall, as St. Thomas Aquinas College competed in the NYU Team Challenge at the New Balance Track and Field Center in upper Manhattan.
The Lady Spartans also set a school record in the 4×800 behind Allison Borriello of Montgomery, Gabriela Sloezen of Westwood, N.J., Rebecca Fortoul of Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., and Keeley Bateman of Pearl River in a time of 10:04.05 placing fifth. Bateman, a junior, also finished sixth with a time of 3:05.42 in the 1,000.
Junior George Erazo of North Babylon finished third in the 400 with a time of 48.99 and finished eighth in the 200 with a personal-best indoor clocking of 22.64. Garvenchy Nicolas of Brooklyn was fifth in the 1,000 with a time of 2:35.39.
STAC is back in action Jan. 25-26, competing in the two-day Terrier Classic at Boston University.
IN THE SWIM: The SUNY Geneseo women’s swim team (4-5), including freshman Caroline Russo of Blauvelt, hopes to reach the .500 mark on Jan. 24 when it visits Oswego College at 1 p.m. The men’s team, which hopes to improve upon its 5-4 mark, includes sophomore Bryan Schaubof Blauvelt, a butterfly/freestyle specialist, and freshman Yonghoon Jun of Nanuet, another butterfly/freestyle specialist.
HORSE SENSE: Tappan Zee alumna Nicole Pfister, a junior, is a member of the SUNY Geneseo equestrian team, which is celebrating its 10th year. The Blue Knights are scheduled to participate at the Cazenovia Show on Feb. 23 at Cazenovia College. Junior Kathryn Galyon of Pearl River, who competes in novice fences and intermediate flat, is on the team at Morrisville State, which visits Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs on Feb. 16 at 9 a.m.
JASPERS SELECTED: Two-time defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) baseball champion Manhattan College was selected to take the league crown again, according to the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll. Senior infielder Nick Camastro of Lagrangeville was projected at Player of the Year. Jaspers head coach Jim Duffy returns 23 players from last year’s championship roster, including sophomore right-handed pitcher Mike Scarinci of Nanuet. The Pearl River HS graduate went 6-4 with a 4.88 ERA in his rookie season, making 24 appearances with five starts. Manhattan faces a tough 54-game schedule, featuring season-opening series at southern powers Florida International and Florida Gulf Coast. The Jaspers begin their run for the program’s fourth MAAC championship on Feb. 22 at Florida International.
KC IS OK: Junior forward KC Jentzen of Pearl River scored 18 points, adding five rebounds and four steals, as the Dominican College women’s basketball team defeating visiting Felician (N.J.) College, 72-47, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference contest at the Hennessy Center in Orangeburg. Senior Bianca Harris of Teaneck, N.J., added 15 points, a team-high nine rebounds, four assists and four steals as the Lady Chargers moved to 10-6 overall and 7-2 in the conference. Dominican College is home again on Jan. 26, meeting Chestnut Hill (Pa.) College at 2 p.m. in the 12thSue Heller Memorial game on Baxter Court.
PEREZ POWER: Junior swingman John Perez of Haverstraw came through with team-highs of 16 points and four steals, and also four rebounds as the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team beat host SUNY Potsdam, 85-63. The Cardinals (11-5, 7-2 SUNYAC) visit Buffalo State at 8 p.m. on Jan. 25, and then visit Fredonia State University at 4 p.m. on Jan. 26.
THIS & THAT
BOULDERS YOUTH CAMPS SET: The Rockland Boulders, the county’s representative in the Can-Am Baseball League, will be conducting five-day summer camps for boys and girls aged 7-to-14. The camps at Provident Bank Park in Pomona are offered June 24- 28, July 15-19, which includes a Boulders game on July 16 in “Dugout of Dreams,” and August 5-9, which also includes a Boulders game. Feature instruction will be led by new Boulders manager Jamie Keefe and team players. “Our goal is to make everyone’s experience a memorable one,” Keefe was quoted as saying. “If your kids play baseball, then this is their chance to learn from the pros.” Camp is in session from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day, and lunch is included in the registration fee of $249 per session. Space is limited, and all are encouraged to register early to secure preferred dates. Contact the Boulders at 845-364-0009.
CALLING ALL SCHUSSERS: All residents of the county are eligible for discounted ski resort tickets, through a joint cooperation program offered by the Orangetown Parks and Recreation Department and the State Recreation and Parks Society. The participating resorts in New York include Hunter Mountain (weekday $42 or weekend $53) and Ski Windham (any day $54), and in Vermont, Killington Ski Resort (any day $70). More resorts are expected to join the program. A flyer with resort and price information is available at http://www.orangetown.com, or by calling 845-359-6503.
SUPER BOWL ALTERNATIVE: For anyone not interested in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, and might be looking for an enjoyable option, consider heading to West Point for the annual Army-Navy Indoor “Star” Track Meet. The women’s competition begins at noon, and the men are scheduled at 3:30.
GO BILLS GO: Erstwhile Tappan Zee HS assistant football coach John Anselmo, who was a three-sport standout at Cortland State, will get his first shot in the NFL after being named Special Teams assistant with the Buffalo Bills.
GEORGIA-BOUND: Premier wide-receiver Ricky Jeune of Spring Valley, who was a key player on the football team at St. Joseph’s Regional in Montvale, N.J., has made a verbal commitment to attend Georgia Tech. Jeune is one of three receivers the Yellow Jackets have added for the Class of 2017 in a bid to bolster the team’s passing attack.
ROLL RAIDERS ROLL: The North Rockland HS girls bowling team has amassed an astonishing 105-0 record for Coach Joan Nelson. That’s not a typo; that’s 105-0, good enough to be accorded No. 1 ranking in county historian Tom Doherty’s mid-term scholastic report card. At No. 2 is Coach Rod Shelling’s Suffern hockey team, which is the county’s highest-ranked team in the state. North Rockland’s wrestling team under Coach Jeff Swick is unbeaten in the county and in Section 1, garnering No. 3 status. Positioned at No. 4 is the undefeated girls basketball team at Pearl River, under venerable Coach Lorraine Moylan, and No. 5 is the boys basketball team at Spring Valley, which is state-ranked and on a roll for Coach Willie Worsley.