MARC MY WORDS: Ostrow the Elder, Jane Adams Jaguars in PSAL playoffs

Nanuet resident marks 30 years as basketball coach

BY MARC MATURO       

Jon Ostrow, l, with assistants Troy Murray, c, and Hameen Barkeley
Jon Ostrow, l, with assistants Troy Murray, c, and Hameen Barkeley

Gabe Ostrow and his dad, Papa Jon, will be busy next week.

Ostrow the Younger, a Nanuet High School alum who has completed a standout defensive career as a lineman/linebacker on the Cortland football team, is attending an NFL Combine at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

Papa Jon, who attended high school on Long Island, then Canton Junior College where he played basketball before being graduated from the University of Rhode Island, will be taking his Jaguars from Jane Adams HS in the South Bronx into the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) playoffs for the first time in five years.

Jon the Elder has been at Jane Adams for 30 years, half the time coaching girls basketball and the last 15 coaching boys basketball.

“We finished strong this year; won our last five games and finished 13-5,” the coach said.

Among those victories were “upsets” against South Bronx Prep, which had beaten the Jaguars by 20 points earlier in the season, and another over Bathgate, which defeated Jane Adams last season.

“Hopefully we’ll get a home game in the playoffs,” Ostrow continued, as he looked ahead to the seeding process.

Ostrow won a PSAL title in 1998 – coaching girls volleyball, during which time the Jaguars’ basketball team reached Madison Square Garden and the PSAL semifinals before losing.

“I still enjoy coaching, still get a kick out of it,” said Ostrow, who is assisted by two former students: Troy Murray, a great player in his day, now in his 17th year as an assistant; and basketball junkie Hameen Barkeley, in his eighth season.

Two current key players for Ostrow are juniors Victor Bakre, a 6-foot-3 forward who poured in 59 points in a close win against Archimedes Academy, and 15-point scorer David Agyapong, also a forward.

Coach Ostrow said he would like to play outside games against Section 1 teams, such as Nanuet, and did scrimmage Spring Valley three years in a row. Spring Valley, of course, is coached by Texas Western legend Willie Worsley, a key player in the 1966 NCAA championship victory over Coach Adolph Rupp and Kentucky.

WILDCATS READY TO STRIKE: Two-time U.S. Lacrosse all-American attack Kaitlyn Rau of Stony Point heads a strong freshman class on the Villanova University women’s lacrosse team. Rau, an alumna of North Rockland HS, is one of three new attackers in addition to three new midfielders, one new defender and one new goalkeeper. Rau, who is known to create space and exhibits outstanding stick work, joins Claire Peck of Essex Fells, N.J., and Amanda Gundlach of Doylestown, Pa., at the front of the field. Fourth-year Coach Julie Young had this to say about the promising rookie class on the Wildcats’ website: “Overall, this group brings a lot of athleticism and confidence which means they will quickly make an impact and start contributing right away.” Villanova, which dropped its season opener at Rutgers, 10-7, looks to rebound in Annapolis on Feb. 25 against Navy and returns home to Philadelphia on Feb. 28 to host Bucknell at 3:30 p.m.

PLAY BALL: The Dominican College baseball team, which is coached by longtime veteran Rick Giannetti of New City, and Nyack College, under the tutelage of Coach Matt Cornacchione, are ranked third and fifth, respectively, in a preseason poll by coaches in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). The Chargers, coming off an impressive 2014 season in which they reached the semifinals of the CACC championship, are led by Jayson Gray of New Rochelle, who who earned rookie-of-the-year honors from both the CACC and East Coast Athletic Conference. Gray made an immediate impact for the Chargers, with 44 hits and 43 runs in his first season. He also stole 43 bases in 46 attempts to lead the league. Dominican is scheduled to open the season with doubleheaders at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry on March 6 and at Pace University in Pleasantville on March 8. Both twin-bills start at noon. Nyack, led by preseason all-East Region selection John Kennedy of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a senior outfielder, finished third in its conference last season with its best showing since 2004. Kennedy batted .356 last year with 21 extra-base hits and 25 stolen bases. His .462 on-base percentage was second in the CACC. The Warriors are slated to start again on Feb. 20 against Franklin Pierce University in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

QUICK HITTERS: Sophomore Taryn Colon of Suffern is a member of the cross country team at New Paltz that  earned United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) Division III all-Academic status. … North Rockland HS alumna Stephanie Frank and Carmel HS graduate Natasha Morrison placed second in doubles as the Westchester Community College women’s bowling team finished third at the Nassau Tournament. At the Suffolk Tournament at AMF Babylon, Frank placed fourth in singles with a 544 series. … Ashley Lew of New City is a freshman member of the softball team at Pace University in Pleasantville. Lew, who is listed as an infielder/outfielder, was a two-time captain in high school and a Rockland athlete of the season. The Setters, who went 14-10 overall last season, have been picked to return to the postseason as they were selected to finish in fourth place in the Northeast-10 Southwest Division by the 15 NE-10 Coaches. … Senior team captain Greg Torchon of Spring Valley had nine points and six rebounds as the Potsdam men’s basketball team fell to Oswego State, 83-55. The Bears look to rebound with back-to-back home games at Jerry Welsh Gymnasium against Geneseo on Feb. 20 and Brockport on Feb. 21. … Clarkstown South HS alum John Kukura of New City went 0-for-3 but scored the Setters’ only run as Pace University lost its season opener in baseball, 2-1, to unbeaten Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla. Pace scored in the bottom of the third inning when Kukura, who reached on a fielder’s choice, came around on a double by Michael Gulino of Meriden, Conn. Pace, which completed its brief southern sojourn at 0-4 following three more losses to FIT, is scheduled to play at Silver Lake Park in Harrison on Feb. 27-28 against Bentley University, and against St. Thomas Aquinas College on March 1. … North Rockland won the boys 4×400 meter relay at the Millrose Games at the New Balance Armory in upper Manhattan as Wyatt Brooks came from behind to edge out Mount Vernon’s Rai Benjamin in the anchor leg. The Red Raiders clocked 3:23.29 to Mount Vernon’s 3:23.33. … Senior center Brandone Roberts, a transfer from Nyack College, posted a double-double with 21 points and 17 rebounds as the Mercy College women’s basketball team fell to visiting NYIT, 103-77, in Dobbs Ferry. … Meghan King of New City and Diana Desir of Spring Valley were two of four senior volleyball players at The College of New Rochelle to be recognized for their academic standing by the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. … St. Thomas Aquinas College track standout Winslow Dorsainvil of Monsey was the top collegian and overall runner-up in the 60 meters with a time of 6.86 at the Valentine’s Day Invitational at Boston University. STAC heads to Huntington, L.I., on Feb. 21 to compete at the East Coast Conference (ECC) Championships at St. Anthony’s HS. … The Dominican College women’s basketball team snapped a 16-game winning streak held by the University of the Sciences as Lashonda Hathorne of Queens led all scorers with 23 points to spark a 65-59 victory in Orangeburg. Hathorne, a senior guard/forward, recorded her 1,000th career point with 4:24 to go in the first period. The Lady Chargers, 10-6 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action under veteran Coach Bill Diener, host Goldey-Beacom College on senior day, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m., and then visit Nyack College on Feb. 24 at 5:30 p.m. Both contests are the front end of doubleheaders with Coach Joe Clinton’s men’s team, which is 11-5 in the CACC, and plays at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively. … Right-handed pitcher Chris Haggerty of Valley Cottage, a  Nyack HS alum, is a senior graduate-student member on the baseball team at Villanova University. The Wildcats are in San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 20-22 for games against Northwestern, Notre Dame, Incarnate Word, and a team to be determined, and then travel to Port Charlotte, Fla., to compete in the Snowbird Classic Feb. 27-March 7. … Taylor Pedersen of Nyack is a senior defender on the women’s lacrosse team at the University of Vermont. The Catamounts, who opened the season with a 12-11 victory against Colgate, meet Boston College on Feb. 21 in Burlington, Vt., and then challenge Siena on Feb. 25 in Loudonville.

THIS & THAT: Anyone at least 16 years of age who are interested in becoming a youth lacrosse official are asked to contact Chuck Cohen at 845-398-1325 or email chuck@magnifyit.com. Training classes are scheduled Feb. 24-25-26 from 7-9 p.m. at Nanuet High School.  No experience necessary but former players and coaches are welcome.