Saturday, January 18, 2014

Fluid Ball Movement And Hot Shooting Propels Panas, Mahopac And Somers Gut Out Wins

An 11-point lead withered down to one, but Walter Panas’ fluid ball movement wouldn't falter.

Buoyed by the benefits of kicking in the extra pass, Shawn Sullivan’s squad spread the floor, whipping the ball around the perimeter.

Then, Brandon Collins laced a 3-pointer from the left wing.

The Panthers produced a carbon copy of that play, as Collins bagged a 3-pointer from the identical spot one possession later.

 Collins’ third straight 3-pointer ignited Panas’ bench while simultaneously sparking a back-breaking 12-2 spurt.  

Drives from William “Trey” Hodge and Tyler Mason followed, as the Panthers sprinted away to stamp a 63-50 victory over longtime Section 1 rival Yorktown.

The third quarter fireworks, fueled by Collins' deadeye shooting, provided needed breathing room. Collins, who plays with the New York Pride under Aldo Redendo on the AAU circuit, finished with 21 points.

 Heading into halftime, the Huskers chopped away at the deficit.

Sophomore guard Luis Cartagena knifed to the rim for a layup and senior Conor Colgan swished a corner 3-pointer, pulling Yorktown within one, 27-26.

Panas' fleet of shooters kept getting loose off of picks, ready to catch-and-pop.

Sharing the ball methodically set the table for the second half onslaught. 

Don’t pepper them with considerable Sectional contender talk just yet, but Walter Panas is now 10-2 and on the periphery of a sleeper story.

 This win follows a signature 51-49 victory over Peekskill, another heated border-town rival.

Panas had the flair for crunch time against the Red Devils. Tim McCauley carved his way from near mid-court into the foul line, lofting a game-winning, buzzer-beating floater.

On Friday, McCauley was the kick-starter. The cerebral guard scored eight of his team's first 18 points, creating a nine-point bulge the Panthers nearly frittered away.
Tom Parish deposited a deep 3-pointer to extend the Panas lead to 21-10.

Yorktown countered with efficiency in the half-court set.

 Matt Broder got loose for a floater, Nick DeGennaro hit Mason Dyslin for a corner trey, and Ricky Corrado buried a pair of free throws.

The Huskers pulled to within four, 32-28, as Corrado bulldozed to the bucket.

Yorktown never got closer, as Panas’ wealth distribution and searing 3-point shooting swelled the lead.

 The carnage had been done.

Mahopac Survives John Jay Scare: RJ Martinez was every bit of the jack-of-all trades the Indians needed him to be. A senior guard who wears multiple jerseys for Mahopac, Martinez stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 17 points, 13 boards, five assists, and five steals.

The Indians survived a thriller, 48-46, as John Jay misfired on their final possession.

Senior forward Ryan Simone was the linchpin in the paint, scoring 12 points and tearing down 16 rebounds.

On Saturday, Mahopac renews its annual blood feud with cross-town rival Carmel. This chapter of the rivalry has an intriguing subplot. Martinez, who has surfaced as a key offensive threat under Kevin Downes, transferred in from Carmel last summer.

Expect the hostilities to be as ramped up as they’ve ever been.

Fortunate Fourth: Somers hit 13-of-14 free throws in the fourth quarter, staving off Carmel in a 57-52 win Friday.

 While no single player will fill the void left by scoring cyborg John Decker, who eclipsed the 1,000-point milestone and authored a 59-point game last season, Matt Moros has emerged into the featured piece of the Tuskers offense.
Moros was at it again on Friday, pouring in a game-high 21 points, 15 coming during the decisive fourth quarter.