The legendary rapper Kurtis Blow said it best: “When Willis Reed stood so tall, playing D with desire, that’s basketball.”

The Edgemont 5th-grade boys may not be familiar with that 1984 cult hip-hop classic, but they did rack up 22 steals in their 28-22 win over Briarcliff on Sunday at Edgemont High School. Thomas Russo set the tone early with a powerful pickpocket that sparked a 10-0 run at the end of the first quarter.

Scoring was balanced, led by Boo Demarinis and Harley Pfeffer with six each. Sohta Cheung-Naito netted 4 points as did Jack McKillop, who delivered key buckets down the stretch.

Justin Hu, Jake DePietto, Bennett O’Reilly and Sam Meyer crashed the boards for a team total of 28 rebounds. The Briarcliff Bears made a 12-2 run early in the fourth, but Edgemont held on, forcing nine turnovers in the period. William Agoglia’s well-timed steal was the dagger that turned the momentum in the last two minutes.

Coach Brian Davis commented: “The boys have been playing a brand of team basketball that is tough to beat. If we can keep up the great ball movement, balanced scoring and ferocious defense, we can compete with anyone in this league.”

This defensive-minded Edgemont team hopes to keep the pressure on in a makeup game this Thursday. Their next regularly scheduled game is on Friday, January 5th in Armonk vs. Byram Hills.