Eagles in holiday tourney

Benny Dimirco hoists up a last-second shot against Bedford on Dec. 27. Despite trailing by as many as nine, the Eagles made a late run to make the game interesting.

Benny Dimirco hoists up a last-second shot against Bedford on Dec. 27. Despite trailing by as many as nine, the Eagles made a late run to make the game interesting.

Over the winter break, Eastchester’s hoopsters kept busy, competing at the annual Slam Dunk Tournament held at the Westchester County Center on Dec. 26 and 27.

Though the Eagles may not have walked away with a tournament win, their ability to hang with some tough out-of-section teams in the big venue might bode well for the Class A contenders.

Playing in the tournament opener against CHSAA power Iona, the Eagles suffered their first of two defeats the day after Christmas, falling to the Gaels 79-69. For the Eagles–whose loss to the Gaels was their first of the season–three-point shooting proved the difference maker as the Gaels were paced by 6-foot-7 junior Matt Ryan, who was able to convert on sixth three-pointers on the day.

Although Eastchester sophomore Benny Dimirco led Eagles scorers with a game-high 27 points, coming on eight three-pointers of his own, the balanced scoring of the Gaels proved too much for the Eagles to handle.

Jack Daly shoots the ball on Dec. 27 against Bedford Academy at the County Center in White Plains. Though the Eagles dropped both games in the Slam Dunk Tournament, the step up in competition could be beneficial when sectionals roll around. Photos/Bobby Begun

Jack Daly shoots the ball on Dec. 27 against Bedford Academy at the County Center in White Plains. Though the Eagles dropped both games in the Slam Dunk Tournament, the step up in competition could be beneficial when sectionals roll around. Photos/Bobby Begun

The following day in the consolation game, the Eagles dropped a heartbreaker against Brooklyn-based Beford Academy. Despite trailing by as many as nine points, the Eagles press defense helped them get going late, tying the game at 45 on a three-point play by Dimirco. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Bedford all but sealed the game when Layte Workman hit a jump shot with 30 seconds remaining in order to give the Brooklyn squad a 50-46 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

The Eagles, at 5-2, are still undefeated within Section I and are hoping that, by playing a stiff non-league schedule, they will be prepared if they reach the County Center during this year’s sectional playoffs. They return to Section I action on Jan. 6 against Ardsley. Prior to that, Eastchester will play another tough out-of-section game on Jan. 4, when it plays reigning Section IX champ Kingston at Poughkeepsie High School.

-Reporting by Mike Smith

Jack Daly takes the ball to the hoop against Bedford at the County Center.

Jack Daly takes the ball to the hoop against Bedford at the County Center.

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About Mike Smith

Mike Smith has been with Hometown Media Group since 2007, serving as the company’s Sports Editor. Mike has been commended for his work by the New York Press Association, winning awards in 2008 for “Best Sports Feature” and again in 2009 as part of a team that put together “The Game,” a breakdown of the Harrison-Rye football rivalry, which won for “Best Special Section.” His weekly column, “Live Mike,” offers his unique insights into a broad range of topics in the sports world. He resides in Eastchester, N.Y. and spends most of his free time serving as the player-manager for a competitive men’s baseball team in New York City. Reach Mike at 914-653-1000 x22 or sports@hometwn.com; follow him on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports.