4BOYS UNSTOPPABLE IN FIRST GAME AS A TEAM

With a long pre-season, including many skills practices with Assistant Coach Paul Hill, Lee Joffe’s 4th-grade boys came out strong against Byram-A in their inaugural game. It was over early as Edgemont’s wide array of offensive weapons was too much for the Bobcats. Rohan Rao scored the team’s first-ever basket, while PG Lucas Kumar put the game out of reach in the 3rd-quarter with consecutive buckets and finished with 12. The Ruane brother controlled the boards and the team moved the ball beautifully on offense while helping each other defensively.

5GIRLS MAUL JR. WILDCATS

After a long hiatus that included the Christmas break, Edgemont’s 5th-grade girls team returned with a vengeance defeating Westlake 32-12. The game featured a balanced attack with baskets from Morgan Burak, Emma Paraschac, Ema Preldakaj, and Isabella Kolevska.

5BOYS-B ALMOST PULL OFF COMEBACK

Edgemont 5th-grade boys “B” team, under the direction of Coach Billy Murphy, took on the American Legion Patriots of Hastings on Sunday, December 2, in their first official game. After shaking off the early jitters, they erased a 12-4 deficit and tied the game. While they ultimately lost 18-14, it was an impressive showing and a great team effort.

REC TEAM OF THE MONTH (FEB)

BY JULIAN DARVICHE, Edgemont High School. The “Dunkin’ Jelly Donuts” wake up every morning, finish twelve sets at the weight room, knock out the hard studying in school, then come back and put up a hundred free throws each at the gym. It has clearly payed off because they are the Edgemont Recreation Basketball team of the month. These girls, coached by Ori Boyum and Mike Darviche, are undefeated and are putting the “Dunkin” in their name.

I’m warning you now of their size and athleticism which supports their brick defense and their efficient rebounding. They have a way of really sharing the ball and getting everyone involved. Their 2-3 zone has been of the most success for them, but I’d watch out for the guards at the top of the zone to trap and make ballhandlers uncomfortable.

They have inklings of a Jim Boeheim, Syracuse team that has mastered the 2-3. I got the chance to catch up with center Madeline Darviche after a game and she exclaimed:  “we go as hard as we can in the beginning and then we let the third graders make all their shots. In our next games, instead of getting the ball and shooting right away, we should pass it around.” The team has been efficient with the scoring too, beating teams consistently by double digits.

What I’ve noticed, however, which stands out from other great teams, is their tenacious mentality. They are diving on the ball in game and in practice but will giggle and have fun doing it which I think drives their internal team chemistry. The team returned four fourth graders from last year and have been able to build on that experience by working well as a unit. “More importantly, they [the team] made a point to include its new members this year from the very beginning” according to coach Boyum.

It’s hard to remain humble, but they are able to stay comfortable in front of the media and maintain consistent sportsmanship. I think they stack up against the Golden State Warriors fairly well and I’m excited for that potential Finals matchup. Congrats to our Edgemont Rec team of the month. Keep up the good work!

4BOYS IN EPIC COMEBACK

On Sunday morning, the 4th-grade boys had a 10:00am game at Pleasantville, the earliest tip-off of the season. Team manager Joe Naya was worried that the players, known for late-night partying, would not be fresh at game time. Sure enough, the Edgemont boys sleep-walked through the first quarter and found themselves down an ugly 14-1.

4BOYS 14-1

Pack it up, pack it in? Play for pride? Not bloody likely under a Scagnelli-coached team! Edgemont turned up the defensive heat and began to rattle Pleasantville.  Avery Yee sank the team’s first basket and drained a free throw to complete the three-point play. Now fully awake, four different players hit key baskets, allowing Edgemont to claw back to only a 6-point deficit at the half.

The onslaught continued in the third quarter. Just two minutes in, Edgemont vaulted into the lead at 22-21, after which it was anybody’s game.

The fourth quarter was filled with drama. Edgemont hit key buckets and pushed the lead to 7 with 4 minutes left in the game, only to see Pleasantville fight back, again. With 13 seconds left, Pleasantville hit an 18-foot jump shot to draw to within 2 points at 32-30, and immediately set up their press.

Ball handling, decision-making, and free throws are the keys to victory down the stretch. Edgemont broke the press, leaving Pleasantville with no choice but to foul. With 5.1 seconds left, Max Ho stepped to the free throw line. Cooler than the other side of the pillow, he hit the front end of a 1-and-1 to seal the victory.

As Pleasantville’s final shot fell harmlessly to the floor, Edgemont celebrated a hard-fought 33-30 victory. It was a great team effort in an epic comeback. This team has heart!

4BOYS 33-30

5BOYS WIN IN ANOTHER BARNBURNER

Edgemont’s 5th-grade boys team lives on the edge. Much like the 1983 North Carolina State Wolfpack, they thrive under pressure. Last week, they won on a buzzer beater by Jack McKillop. This week’s affair between players from the adjacent towns of Greenburgh and Mt. Pleasant proved to be equally intense.

Mt. Pleasant took an early 12-10 lead, but basketball is all about runs. The boys from the Greenville Census Defined Place took control in the second quarter by holding visiting Mt. Pleasant to 2 points, leading to a 19-14 lead at the half. Big defensive plays by Bennett O’Reilly, Thomas Russo, and Justin Hu in the third quarter kept Edgemont in the lead entering the final marking period. But Mt. Pleasant got hot from the outside and tied the game, sending it into overtime.

Coach Brian kept his squad composed as the teams traded baskets in the first overtime. In the second, Edgemont scored quickly off the tip and played lockdown defense, holding Mt. Pleasant scoreless.

Boo Demarinis led Edgemont scoring with 12. Jake DePietto, Jack McKillop, and Harley Pfeffer had 8 each.

Coach Brian and fans of this 5th-grade squad should consider bringing a chew towel to the playoffs.

tark

4BOYS SURGING WITH 2-1 WEEKEND

Over the weekend, the 4th grade boys pulled out wins in 2 of their 3 games.

On Friday night, the boys fell 24-19 in a defensive struggle against the Byram Hills A team. Edgemont led by 6 at the half, but a suffocating full-court press by the Bobcats closed the gap and put Byram up by 2 entering the final quarter. While the game was undecided until the final 2 minutes, the Armonkians ultimately prevailed.

Edgemont bounced back on Saturday, grabbing a season high 41 rebounds en route to a 30-21 win over Pleasantville. This statistic was gratifying to Coach Scags, who had emphasized rebounding in recent practices. That focus paid off, as strong rebounding offset a weaker-than-usual shooting night.

Our 4th-grade cagers saved the best for last, topping off a busy weekend with a thrilling 29-25 rematch win against a tough Pelham team. In the season opener, Edgemont escaped the raucous Mount St. Michael Academy gym with a one-point win against Pelham, so Sunday’s game was sure to be a barnburner. And the plucky Pelicans of Pelham did not disappoint.

It was deja vu all over again as Pelham jumped out to an early 4-0 lead to start the game. Edgemont weathered the early test and came back to tie the game 4-4 at the end of a first quarter that featured tight defense over the entire 94 feet of the court.

4th vs pelham
Full-court pressure is a new challenge for most 4th-grade ballers and the Edgemonters have gained valuable experience facing it all season. Against Pelham, the seasoning paid off, as Edgemont not only broke the press but exploited it for clean looks at the basket. By halftime, Edgemont led 17-10.

But the Pelicans swooped back. After an even 3rd-quarter, Pelham turned up the heat and the young Panthers found themselves nursing a 1-point lead. But solid ballhandling down the stretch and clutch free-throw shooting are always keys to victory in close contests, and that’s precisely how Edgemont pulled out this showdown.

4th pelham handshake

The 4th-graders are back in action at Byram Hills B (Wampus School) this Friday January 26.

5BOYS READY FOR NEW RO REMATCH

The Edgemont 5th-grade boys travel team opened the season with a loss against a tough team from the Queen City on the Sound. Since then, both teams have gone undefeated…

5th standings

…thereby setting up a potentially dramatic showdown this Sunday at 1:30pm in the Pantherdome at Edgemont High School.

Coach Brian Davis likes his team’s chances: “After a tough loss in the season opener, the boys have rattled off 6 convincing wins in a row at the halfway point of the season. They are playing hard and playing as a team. It’s been great to watch them come together and learn to trust each other on the court. With the improvements they’ve made week-to-week, the outlook for the second half of the season is very promising.”

The game will be narrated live by an announcer during an extremely busy day at EHS, with a total of 10 games on the docket. The 5th-graders expect a large, spirited, and well-behaved crowd in its corner.

4BOYS OVER YORKTOWN IN 2-DAY DUEL

Edgemont’s 4th-grade team, our youngest group of travel hoopsters, sieged Yorktown in a home-and-home series to start the new year. With the two wins, Edgemont improved to 4-3 at the midpoint of the season.

4th boys scags

Solid defense in both games, combined with a strong effort on the boards, unleashed Edgemont’s “shock and awe” fast break which ultimately led to Yorktown’s surrender and retreat.

4th bucket vs yorktown

The team also showed great progress in the half-court offense with improved ball movement, an area of emphasis as the 4th-graders transition from the tough blacktop courts of Greenville and Seely Place to the hardwood floors of the Pantherdome.

At the charity stripe on Sunday, Edgemont sank an incredible 86%, a remarkable rate of accuracy for a 4th-grade squad.

In Saturday’s 39-13 win, Max Ho led with 16 points, followed by Avery Yee with 10. On Sunday, Cam Siegal paced Edgemont with 11, followed by Jacob Naya and Max Ho with 8 each, as Edgemont ran off with a 42-28 victory.

4th boys scags team pic

David Rosen led the way on the glass with 14 rebounds across both games, followed by Max Ho with 13, Wells Cunningham with 10, and Jacob Naya with 9.

The team returns to action at 12:15pm on Sunday at EHS against a tough Byram Hills A team.

5BOYS COMMIT GRAND THEFT AGAINST BRIARCLIFF

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.

5GIRLS MAKE A STATEMENT

The Edgemonsters, seeking their first win of the season, were in high-energy mode from the opening tip. Playing against Sleepy Hollow in the friendly confines of EHS in front of a capacity crowd, one could sense that this was their day.

The game started slow, standing at 2-2 at the end of the first. But in the second quarter, the bench brought fire and fury, with Ava White knocking down two outside shots and Addison Burnside slashing to the rim for an easy two.

Coach Scagnelli called for his patented full-court press, which is feared throughout Westchester County. That unleashed Eliza Press, Farryn Gallup, Macey Miller and Ariana Segal, who together forced numerous turnovers. Press went coast-to-coast for a beauty of a layup, and the momentum was clearly swinging to the home squad. Buckets from Sarah Hu, Sophia Yaghoubi and a free throw from Lindsay Jaffe paced the E-Monsters who netted an impressive 13 in the quarter, putting them at a comfortable 15-2 at the half.

The third quarter brought much of the same, with great moves by Penelope Kraus leading an 8-1 tear. The game ended with Edgemont’s speedy guards pushing the ball down court and controlling the tempo. With the help of great screens by Bella Mauskopf, Hu was able to add six points, making her the high scorer with 12. Isabella Pacia added two baskets as the home fans expressed their appreciation of an outstanding performance, which ended in a final score of 33-9 in favor of Edgemont.

Smiles abounded after the game. Now 1-2 and rapidly improving, the girls are pumped to take on Dobbs Ferry at Greenville on Wednesday at 6:45pm.

5BOYS OWN GLASS

Forward Bennett O’Reilly set the tone early against the Dobbs Ferry Rockfish with a strong drive to the tin, and the Edgemont 5th-grade boys never looked back. Coach Brian Davis, having recently stressed defense and rebounding in practice, was pleased with these stats: 48 rebounds, 22 steals and 3 blocked shots.* Sam Meyer led the team in scoring with 12 points with a burst of production coming in the third quarter. Harley Pfeffer and William Agoglia had 5 points each, as did Jake DePietto who also had 14 rebounds and 4 steals.

Balanced scoring was delivered by the rest of team including Boo Demarinis, Jack McKillop and Thomas Russo. The final score was Edgemont 35, Dobbs Ferry 16.

Now 2-1 with a 2-game winning streak, the Edgemont squad faces Armonk on Friday at 7:45pm at Greenville Elementary.

*The team statistician was questioned about these figures, but he maintains they are accurate.

7GIRLS WIN BIG VS YORKTOWN

The Edgemont Dunking Divas steamrolled Yorktown on Sunday 34-11. Abigail Lewis, after checking in and promptly tripping over the 3-point line, turned in her best performance of the young season with tough defense and several nice passes. Said Lewis: “I will be more aware of that line next game.”

Kaitlyn Kane’s ballhandling was outstanding and she extended the Diva lead early with a breakaway layup.

Jordan Ellenberg, Ava Orlando, and Anisha Rao set perfect screens, played strong defense, and owned the boards.

Gabriella O’Reilly had her usual many steals, and if the court were 50 feet 2 inches wide instead of just 50 feet, she would have had several layup attempts.

Madison Frain, on her way to 4 points, put her defenders in a spin cycle and owned the midrange in a manner reminiscent of a certain player for the Knicks in the 1970s.

Sidney Burak netted a career-high 16 points, while Julia Hu (11 points) carried the scoring load early and distributed the rock in the second half.

Said Assistant Coach Rob Sauerhaft: “At halftime, we instructed the girls to have their heads up and see the open player down the court. I was pleased to see the Divas execute that important fundamental aspect of basketball during the 3rd and 4th quarters.”

The Divas have one more game in December and then in January face a tough schedule against several challenging opponents.

7BOYS-B RALLY BUT FALL SHORT

The Edgemont 7th-grade boys “B” Avengers had a season later start than most teams, and as a result showed some first-game jitters that led to early turnovers. But a stronger second half, powered by the team’s patented “high-low” offense, made it a contest. The Avengers ultimately fell 23-18, but Head Coach Blair Connelly noted the strong effort of his team including its unselfish play.

7BOYS-A STAY AFLOAT VS WESTLAKE

The Edgemont 7th-grade “A” Panthers secured their first win of the season against a Westlake team that refused to go away. Edgemont controlled for most of the contest, but not by enough to light any cigars. Westlake made a run in the 4th-quarter to get within 2, but the Edgemont squad came through in crunch time with strong foul shooting.

Ultimately, the numerical difference in Edgemont’s 40-37 win was Milan Gialleonardo’s halfcourt buzzer-beater at the end of the 2nd-quarter.

Coach David Scagnelli was pleased with the win and looks forward to hitting the road tomorrow night against Briarcliff, which usually produces competitive squads. The 7th-grade Panthers are now 1-1.