Tappan Zee, Spring Valley roll into the postseason
Lynch & Co. unstoppable force; Therneus & Tigers roaring
As they have done all season and did again to punctuate a once-beaten regular season with a resounding victory over R.C. Ketcham, a sparkling cast of senior standouts anchors the Tappan Zee High School boys basketball team.
A 64-49 win over Ketcham that closed the Dutchmen’s regular season with an almost-spectacular 19-1 record — lone loss at Rye to snap an 18-game win streak — came appropriately enough on “Senior Night,” led by Kevin Lynch, Matt McGivney and Kiernan Gibson.
Lynch, a leader throughout the season on the front line, poured in 17 points and pulled down 21 rebounds while Gibson, a guard, and McGivney, another guard, each scored 14 points for veteran Coach George Gaine of Tappan, a graduate of Manhattan College and one-time two-sport competitor at Pearl River HS who now teaches physical education at TZ.
The trio was honored on “Senior Night,” of course, along with two other starters, Ryan Holder – a third-year varsity starter – and guard Matt McLeary. The senior contingent also numbers guard Jeremy Klomberg and forward Jahvon Capers.
Gaine, who began his coaching career at Fieldston HS in the Bronx as a junior in college, is now approaching the end of his 14th season guiding the Dutchmen varsity.
During his tenure, the Dutchmen have annexed five league titles, two sectional championships and placed second in the state tournament in 2012 to Harborfields, a powerhouse team on Long Island that finally prevailed, 67-58, after a fierce game-long battle.
In order to reach that game, Tappan Zee merely had to eliminate four-time state champion Jamesville-DeWitt, which had won 25 straight and whose only loss was to the Dutchmen.
In the championship foray against Harborfields, guard Pat Peterson, who played at Ramapo College, scored 20 points. Pat’s younger brother Sean is a junior guard on the current Tappan Zee team that includes other juniors Jonathan Weissberg, Tommy McGivney, Jackson Muncan and Ryan Maloney. Other players are ninth-grader Danny Linehan and sophomore forward Aidan Cunney.
Along with the obvious input from Lynch, a Division II-III prospect who is being actively recruited, Gaine credits Holder, the senior forward, as being the team’s defensive stopper.
“He does a lot of the little things that make a difference,” Gaine noted. “Mentally and physically he’s a scrapper.”
Coach Gaine is assisted by two former players: Pat Waldron of Palisades and Danny Linehan of Blauvelt.
Waldron, who came to Tappan Zee following a stint as a girls assistant coach at Division I Manhattan, “means the world to use,” said Gaine.
Linehan, a 1990 TZ graduate who played baseball and soccer at Manhattan College, “was one of the best players to play at Tappan Zee.”`
Looming directly ahead is the Section 1 Tournament, and perhaps lofting a championship Golden Ball at the venerable Westchester County Center in White Plains. The Dutchmen are expected to open the tournament at home on Saturday.
TIGERS CONTINUE TO ROAR: Coach Willie Worsley’s Spring Valley HS boys basketball team, having compiled a noteworthy 18-2 record while annexing its fifth straight league championship, open Section 1 Tournament play at home on Saturday afternoon against either Ossining or Suffern.
The Tigers’ only losses were inflicted by perennial powerhouse Mount Vernon HS and the Wadleigh Harlem Hellfighters.
The Spring Valley cause features a number of outstanding performers, including leading scorer Madenson Therneus, a 6-foot-3 junior forward who is averaging 18 points and who is also considered a leading defensive player.
Senior guard Andre Williams has a 12-point norm, and is complemented by consistent 3-point shooters Dino Green, a senior, and guard Elijah Bishun, a junior.
The front line’s strength relies on Miguel Garcia and Stony Brook University-bound Devan Lawson, a 6-4 presence whose performance as a tight end/defensive end on the gridiron earned him a full collegiate scholarship.
Not to be overlooked, noted athletics director Bill Pilla, is versatile senior Michael Maynes, who does it all on the hardwood, proving you can be a jack of all trades and a master of them all.
RED RAIDERS ON A ROLL: Led by sophomore Nicole Cona and seventh-grader Victoria Varano, the North Rockland girls bowling team won its 13th straight Section 1 team championship at Fishkill Bowl. The Red Raiders rolled away from runner-up John Jay-East Fishkill by a total pinfall of 570. Cona posted a 1,436 series in the six-game tournament in a field of 87 keglers. Varano was second overall, totaling 1,284 in her Section 1 debut. Megan Dobrinski of Suffern, who averaged 191-plus in the season, is going to the state championships along with Julia Lynch of Clarkstown. The championship tournament is scheduled March 4-5 at AMF Gates Lanes in Rochester.
COLLEGIATE CLIPS: Albertus Magnus HS alumna Kelly Guarino of Stony Point, a redshirt sophomore guard on the women’s basketball team at New Jersey Institute of Technology, was named Female Athlete of the Week for her performance through February 6. Guarino helped the Highlanders defeat Lipscomb, 76-68, scoring 17 points and adding five rebounds and four assists. Guarino also scored a season-high 20 points in the Highlanders; 74-64 loss to Kennesaw State. … North Rockland HS alumna Alex Bertolino of Garnerville, a junior guard, is averaging six points and two rebounds a game for the women’s basketball team at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill. The Lady Spartans, who went 16-8 through 24 games, close the regular season with back-to-back road games against Bridgeport on Feb. 18 and Mercy College on Feb. 22. The Mercy game will be held at Westchester Community College in Valhalla at 5:30 p.m. The Lady Spartans’ leading scorer is Jenna Erickson, a junior guard from Melrose with 15 points and three assists per game. … North Rockland HS graduate Alex D’Angelo of Thiells, a sophomore who competes at the 125-pound weight limit, is 7-3 this season and 18-17 in his career on the wrestling team at SUNY Cortlandt. Matt Caputo of Stony Point (sophomore/149 pounds) also competes for the Red Dragons, who are preparing for the NCAA Division III Regional Qualifier Feb. 25-26 at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. In a final tune-up, Caputo earned a pin in 32 seconds as the Red Dragons, ranked 17th nationally in Division III, defeated Hunter College, 53-0, and Oswego, 39-6, in a tri-match at Corey Gymnasium in Cortland. … Wakeema Cabey of Spring Valley competes on the Nyack College track & field team as a junior sprints specialist. The Warriors will be at the Armory in upper Manhattan on Friday for the Artie O’Connor Invitational.
THIS & THAT: The NYS Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame will induct Gary Gray, Rich Korn and Chris Roff on March 26 during the Federation Championships weekend at 10 a.m. at the Glens Falls Civic Center (Heritage Hall). Gray coached the boys team at Nyack HS, Korn the girls at North Rockland HS and Roff the boys at North Rockland. For information and tickets contact Kevin Metcalf at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joe Sigillo at email@example.com. … Following several years of national recognition (this year’s indoor track and field team is ranked 24th in DII), along with conference titles and academic all-Americans, St. Thomas Aquinas College is inaugurating a Spring Kickoff and Tribute Dinner. The affair, which will also honor Larry Beckerle and Chris Muniz, is set for February 19 at Patriot Hills Golf Course and Country Club in Stony Point. For information contact Coach Lorne Marcus at 845-398-4053.