MARC MY WORDS: For a glimpse into the future, check out St. Catharine’s

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CYO team wins state 7th-grade title


Sparked by a solid team defense and a well-rounded roster of individual standouts, the St. Catharine’s of Blauvelt seventh-grade boys basketball team has repeated as New York State Archdiocesan champions.

St. Catharine’s, directed by a coaching troika – Joe Angelini, Brendan Collins and Kevin Clancy Sr. — defeated Our Lady of Sacred Heart of Tappan for the Rockland County title, won the Downstate crown against Our Lady of the Sea of Staten Island, and annexed the Upstate diadem by defeating St. Joseph’s of Dutchess County.

“We have nine great athletes,” enthused Coach Clancy. “Defense was a strongpoint, for sure. But one big fella I really feel you will be hearing from is Matt Zona. He led us in scoring every game, and had a great supporting cast around him.”

The team also has some basketball pedigree with Danny Linehan, whose dad is the assistant varsity coach at Tappan Zee HS.

“He was another true leader all season,” added Coach Clancy.

Anthony Rostek always seemed to be in the middle of the action, CJ Florencia often stepped up when necessary and Kevin Clancy Jr., the coach’s son, also had his best game of the season in the state title game.

The heralded defense was ignited by Liam Collins, Joe Grammarica and Robert Caulfield, and Jacob Sansone came up big and strong as he had throughout the season.

Coach Clancy also wanted to make special mention that before each game, everyone was asked to remember Mickey Reeves, a Tappan Zee HS junior who lost a six-year battle with malignant brain cancer on February 11. The Tappan Zee HS boys and girls teams, he added, also showed Mickey the same respect during the season.

Many members of the community wore Team Mickey shirts to the games, and the coaches and players were thankful for their support – in particular, coordinator Maryanne Pagnani.

“It’s a great community,” Coach Clancy concluded.

ON THE RUN: The women’s track and field team at St. Thomas Aquinas College, coming off a runner-up finish at the Oscar Moore Invitational at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., returns to action April 11 at the Rider (N.J.) Invitational. The 4×100 team of Kaitlyn Mancini of  Merrick, Gabby Sloezen of Westwood, N.J., Laura Gerraputa of Nanuet and Tiana Kirkland of New City broke the school record in a time of 50.47, taking second place overall.  On the field-event side Samantha Gabriel of Spring Valley was second in both the long jump and triple jump, with Breanna Lyn of North Babylon placing third. Spring Valley HS alum Winslow Dorsainvil of Monsey ran 10.82 and 10.98 to win the 100 meters, and also took fifth in the 200 with a time of 22.84.  Dyaln Bestler of Williston Park was third in the 400 hurdles in a time of 1:00.45. The 4×100 team, comprised of Ricardo Reid of Mount Vernon, Lloyd Smalling of Syracuse, Mohammed Ifthikar of Nanuet and Dorsainvil, combined for second in 44.12. The men are also set to compete at the Rider Invitational on April 11. … Junior Samantha McDonald of New City hit a two-run double to highlight a four-run fifth inning as the St. Thomas Aquinas College softball team defeated visiting Mercy College of Dobbs Ferry, 9-7, in the first game of a doubleheader at the Spartans’ field in Sparkill. Mercy bounced back in the nightcap, 8-4. … Senior Anthony Simon of Suffern went 3-for-5 with a run as Cortland outlasted Brockport, 3-2, in 12 innings to complete a baseball sweep. Cortland won the opener, 5-4. … Brittany Grandville of Tappan won in singles and doubles as the Cortland women’s tennis team defeated host Ithaca College, 7-2.

QUICK HITTERS: Sophomore outfielder John Kukura of New City is swinging a solid bat on the Pace University baseball team. The Clarkstown South HS alum is second on the club with 10 RBI and is hitting a third-best .291. The Setters head north this weekend for twin-bills against Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on April 11, and Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., on April 12. … SUNY Cortland athletics will be conducting a fundraiser to benefit Special Olympics during the Red Dragons’ women’s lacrosse game versus Oswego on April 11. Game time is 1 p.m. at the Stadium Complex. Special Olympics is a global organization that currently serves four million athletes across 170 countries, offering 32 Olympic-type summer and winter sports and holds more than 53,000 competitions each year. .… Sophomore attack/midfielder Peter Sharp of Airmont, a graduate of Suffern HS, had three goals and an assist to help the Pace University men’s lacrosse team waylay Southern New Hampshire, 18-7, in Manchester, N.H. Sharp, who is tied for third on the team in scoring, had two first-half goals as the Setters opened a 9-1 lead at the break. Pace travels to Worchester, Mass., on April 11 to meet Assumption College, and returns home on April 15 to host The College of Saint Rose at 3:30 p.m. … The Pace women’s lacrosse team was upended in Manchester, N.H., losing 21-14 to Southern New Hampshire. Captain Angela Kelly of Garnverville is second on the team in scoring with 21 points while Alissa Silvestri of Congers is seeing most of the time in goal. … Sophomore Mike Cruz of West Haverstraw placed sixth in the long jump with a leap of 21-feet 4.75-inches as the Cortland men’s track and field team was the second-best Division III school in a field of 28 teams at the Ramapo Roadrunner Invitational in Mahwah, N.J. … Third baseman Matt Flannery of Pearl River is seeing limited action as a freshman on the Iona College baseball team. The Nanuet HS alum has appeared in 14 games, with eight starts. The Gaels host Monmouth for a three-game series this weekend, with a 1 p.m. twin-bill set on April 11 and a single game at 1 on April 12. Iona then visits local rival Fordham College in the Bronx on April 14 for a scheduled 6 p.m. start. … Junior Tara Monaghan of Stony Point had two goals and an assist as the nationally fifth-ranked Cortland women’s lacrosse team overpowered visiting Geneseo, 17-7, for its ninth win in 10 outings. … Freshman Cara Moran of Tomkins had five saves in goal and Meg McNally of Hillburn collected five draw controls as the Mercy College women’s lacrosse team defeated host Holy Family University, 19-8, in Philadelphia, Pa. Moran shared the goaltending duties with Jillian Rocco of Dix Hills. … Senior right-hander Bryan Greig of New City continues to sparkle on the Mercy College baseball team. The Clarkstown South graduate struck out seven batters in eight innings as the Mavericks defeated the University of Bridgeport, 6-2, in Bridgeport, Conn. Only one run was earned, lowering Greig’s ERA to 2.50, second-best to the 2.39 posted by Matt Nalbone of Islip. Greig, who finished with a 3.09 ERA in 2014 with a 5-3 record on a team that was outscored 223-134, has 31 strikeouts this year with just nine walks. Mercy hosts Nyack College at 9 a.m. on April 11, and then visits Post on April 12 for a doubleheader at noon. … Don Bosco Prep alum Anthony Simon of Suffern went 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI but the Cortland baseball team was undermined by five errors and lost to Brockport, 6-3, at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse. Nationally ranked Cortland is 18-2.

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