By Mike Smith
On Feb. 16, a solid season for Mamaroneck came to a close as the Tigers fell in the first round of the Class AA playoffs to a surging New Rochelle squad, 43-35.
The ninth-seeded Huguenots were able to avenge a Jan. 22 loss to the Tigers, advancing to play Mount Vernon in the quarterfinals on Feb. 20.
As was the case in the previous two meetings between the squads, the contest was a defensive struggle as two elite ball-stopping teams traded stops for the better part of four quarters. Huguenots reserve Justin Alleyne proved the difference-maker, coming off the bench for 15 points and 11 rebounds.
According to Mamaroneck coach Ty Carver, the low-scoring affair had less to do with weather-related postponements last week and more to do with the fact that both New Rochelle and Mamaroneck pride themselves on their work in the defensive end.
“These are two teams that thrive off their defenses,” Carver said. “I just feel like they were able to get in that offensive rhythm.”
The Huguenots held New Ro star Derek Dorn to 14 points, but the senior also tallied six rebounds and four steals. Dorn did not play in the Huguenots’ loss to the Tigers earlier in the season.
“Coming in, we had been solid defensively and knew Derek Dorn was very difficult,” Carver said. “We were just trying to do our best to hold their offense and limit their second chance opportunities.”
Will Giddon and Kumar Nambiar both scored 10 points for Mamaroneck, but the Tigers struggled offensively, going 0-for-10 from behind the arc and failing to convert on a few crucial buckets throughout the course of the game.
“I think we missed too many easy opportunities for points,” Carver said. “Against a team like New Rochelle, you can’t do that.”
Despite the playoff loss, Carver said Mamaroneck’s season had many bright spots.
At 10-9 on the year, the Tigers won three league games and earned a first-round home game, despite the loss of Alex Lanni to an injury. The Tigers benefited from the solid play of Dean DeLucia and Matt Bernstein, who were awarded All-League, All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-Section Honors.
“I think it was a very successful season,” Carver said. “We were dealt a blow with Alex’s injury, but the kids gave me everything they had. We only graduate three seniors, one starter this year, so hopefully we can build on this.”