Byram Hills Rally in State Semifinals Falls Short 50-48 By Rich Monetti
March 13, 2016 On Saturday morning in Glen Falls, Byram Hills Boys Basketball team took the floor on the biggest stage of their lives in the Class A State Semifinals against Elmont Memorial. Unfortunately, an unnerved first quarter dug too deep a hole for the Bobcats to overcome, and the curtain came down when a three pointer at the buzzer did not drop to pull off a miracle.
Looking shaky, the Bobcats shot 2-15 in the first and trailed 18-5. Travis Robinson-Morgan, Elmont’s center, was no help either. His length and athleticism kept the Bobcat’s interior offense in the red, and the Spartans swatted away four shots in the first quarter alone.
On offense, Elmont went on the run, spread the offense above the arc and attacked the middle. But the deficit was only 9-5 at the two minute mark. Robinson-Morgan lead the way for Elmont with a three and two, while Sinon found Jared Friedberg on an alley-oop and Matt Groll got inside for two more.
In a blink, though, Victor Olawoye sunk two at the line and Robinson-Morgan got inside for two and outside for three more. He would close the quarter with a long jumper that might have had the Bobcats thinking they bit off more than they could chew.
A KC Ndefo put back to start the second added two more, but Groll going inside and ended a 14-0 run. As such, the Bobcats made sure that they wouldn’t add giving up to the bad taste left in their mouth from the tough start. Getting some rhythm, Groll and Filippelli got four more, and Sinon found Milone on the break to let Elmont know they were still in the building.
Unfortunately, Yasir Lawrence and Olawoye sprinkled in threes, and the Bobcats still had 14 points to make up with 2:08 left in the half. But Ben Leff got underneath for a three point play, and after a Groll steal, Sinon free throws gave Elmont something to think about by closing to 30-19 at the half.
The start of the third weighed even heavier on Elmont as settling for threes was met by a trio of deuces for the Bobcats. Sinon found Friedberg for layup, and Milone dished and did it himself by first driving to the rim and then feeding Groll after running the floor off the defensive boards.
But Byram’s 6-0 run was quickly set back. After Ndefo finally got Elmont on the board with a free throw at three minutes in, Lawrence followed Jalen Burgess’ miss from the foul line to get the lead up to nine at 34-25.
Fortune favored the Bobcats next. Robinson-Morgan’s fourth foul sent the center’s 12 points and tough interior defense to the bench at 3:53 with Elmont up 11.
Now the Bobcats turn, Filippelli made the most of the void. In between four Sinon points, the senior forward popped two and got his team’s first three pointer of the game to end the third at 38-34.
The sixes once again had it to start the fourth. Darius Celestin hitting a couple of layups in between free throws from Lawrence, a 6-0 run had Byram Hills down ten again with 6:45 remaining.
Not yet ready to turn the page on the season or point south for the bus ride home, Sinon got in the act from downtown and Groll scored two more underneath to get within five with five to go.
A couple of free throws set Byram back again, but a deep three from Sinon at 3:12 had another four point deficit on everyone’s mind again. Now 46-42, and following a missed three from Elmont, Groll’s put back had only two points to make up at the forefront of the Bobcat’s hopes.
Another Elmont miss, and anguish and exhilaration awaited the arc of Filippelli ’s three pointer. But the glimmer did not fall Byram’s way, and after the teams traded turnovers, free throws for Elmont seemed to put the game out of reach at 50-44 with 65 seconds remaining.
Three better than two, Jared Friedberg’s triple made it a one possession game with 47 seconds remaining. Playing conservative, Elmont worked the clock, hoisted a shot and Groll took in the rebound with 8.3 remaining.
Following a timeout, Byram had to go the length of the floor, and Elmont fouled Sinon on the way up to prevent Byram from launching a game tying three. With 4.3 remaining, Sinon sunk the first, and all awaited whether he would intentionally miss the second.
Going for the miss, the shot came up short. Matt Groll got his hand on the ball and as the ref blew an inadvertent whistle, the ball kicked back toward center court. After the referees conferenced, they gave the ball to Byram Hills since the possession arrow was in their favor.
Set up under the basket, Sinon was actually able to get free in the corner, but the open look didn’t last long. His contested three glanced off the side of the rim and the Bobcat’s magnificent season ended.
BASKETBALL, BOYS - record 21-6 12/04, Fri.; Byram Hills vs. Children's Village, 77-54 WIN 12/05, Sat.; Byram Hills vs. Tappan Zee, 63-55 Loss 12/09, Wed.; Byram Hills @ Yonkers, 58-48 WIN 12/10, Thu.; Byram Hills hosts Yorktown, 74-59 WIN 12/15, Tue.; Byram Hills hosts Woodlands, 53-47 WIN 12/17, Thu.; Byram Hills @ Harrison, 44-32 WIN 12/19, Sat.; Byram Hills vs. White Plains @ Harrison HS Tournament, 53-46 WIN 12/21, Mon.; Byram Hills vs. Ridgefield, CT 55-51 WIN 01/04, Mon.; 4:30PM, Byram Hills vs. White Plains 47-43 WIN 01/06, Wed.; 6:15PM, Byram Hills vs. Harrison 45-40 Loss 01/08, Fri.; 7:00PM, Byram Hills vs. RYE 47-43 WIN 01/12, Tue.; 4:30PM, Byram Hills @ Pelham 44-41 Loss 01/14, Thu.; 6:15PM, Byram Hills vs. Eastchester 67-50 WIN 01/22, Fri.; 6:15PM, Byram Hills @ Fox Lane 61-55 Loss 01/25, Mon.; 4:30PM, Byram Hills @ Port Chester, 79-47 WIN 01/30, Sat.; 2:00PM, Byram Hills @ Harborfields, 47-43 Loss 02/01, Mon.; 6:15PM, Byram Hills hosts Pelham, 67-63 OT WIN 02/03, Wed.; 4:15PM, Byram Hills @ Eastchester, 58-47 WIN 02/09, Tues.; Byram Hill VS Rye. 49-42 WIN, LEAGUE TITLE
02/16, Tues.; Byram Hills VS Panas HS @ BHHS, 59-34 WIN 02/19, Fri.: BHHS VS Pelahm @ BHHS, 46-38 WIN 02/22, Mon.: Section 1, Class A Semi-final BHHS VS Lourdes @ County Center, 47-39 WIN 02/28, Sun.: Section 1, Class Finals, BHHS vs Tappan Zee, 46-45, WIN, SECTION CHAMPS! 03/01, Tues.; State Regional Semifinal, BHHS vs Red Hook, @County Center, 53-45 WIN
03/05, Sat.; State Regional Finals, BHHS vs Johnson City, @ SUNY Cortland, 50-48 WIN, REGIONAL CHAMPS! 03/12, Sat; Class A State Semi-Final, BHHS vs Elmont @ Glen Falls, 50-48, Loss
ICE HOCKEY, BOYS - record 13-6-1 11/24, Tue.; Byram Hills @ Pawling, WIN 2-1 in OT 12/06, Sun.; BHHS hosts New Rochelle @Brewster Rink, 2-1 WIN 12/07, Mon.; BHHS vs. Harrison @Playland, 9-5 Loss 12/12, Sat.; BHHS vs. Pearl River @Sport-O-Rama, 8-3 Loss 12/13, Sun.; BHHS hosts B'cliff @Brewster Ice Rink, 8-5, Loss 12/16, Wed.; BHHS vs. Mamaroneck Black, 10-6 WIN 12/19, Sat.; BHHS hosts Harrison @Brewster Ice Rink, 3-2, Loss 12/21, Mon.; BHHS vs. Housatonic NW, 4-1 WIN 01/03, Sun.; BHHS vs ETBE @Brewster Ice Rink, 4-2 WIN 01/06 Tues.; BHHS VS Nyack/Tappan Zee, 11-1 WIN 01/08, Fri.; BHHS hosts Fox Lane @Brewster Ice Rink, 5-1 WIN 01/10, Sat.; BHHS VS Sheehan, 4-3 Loss 01/11, Mon.; BHHS vs. New Rochelle @Hutchinson Arena, 4-1, WIN 01/15, Fri.; BHHS vs. Joel Barlow HS @Danbury Arena, 5-2 WIN 01/19, Tue.; BHHS vs. B'ville @Hutchinson Arena, 11-0 WIN 01/23, Sat.; BHHS vs. Irvington @W'chester Sktg. Academy, 7:10PM 01/26 Mon.: BHHS vs. RYE, 5-4 Loss 01/29, Fri.; BHHS hosts Mamaroneck Black @Brewster Rink, 6-4 WIN 02/06, Sat.; BHHS vs. Mt Pleasant @W'chester Sktg. Academy, 4-3 WIN 02/10 Wed.; BHHS vs. Rivertown @Bear Mountain Rink, 5-2 WIN 02/13, Sat.; BHHS hosts Irvington @Brewster Rink, 3-3, TIE
Track & Field 02/12/16, North Shore, RESULTS 02/07, Section 1 Class B Championship, Results 01/17, League II-D Championship, RESULTS 01/96 Ocean Breeze, RESULTS 01/08, Hispanic Games, RESULTS 01/06, Rockland Coaches, RESULTS 12/29/15, Marines, RESULTS
BASKETBALL, GIRLS - record 3-12 12/04, Fri.; Byram Hills hosts Maria Regina, 53-32 Loss 12/05, Sat.; Byram Hills hosts Pearl River, 56-24 Loss 12/07, Mon.; Byram Hills @ Nyack, 42-29 Loss 12/09, Wed.; Byram Hills hosts Yonkers, 54-25 WIN 12/11, Fri.; Byram Hills hosts White Plains, 46-24 Loss 12/15, Tue.; Byram Hills @ Westlake, 6:15PM 12/18, Fri.; Byram Hills @ Harrison HS Tourney, 57-48 Loss 12/21, Mon.; Byram Hills @ Tappan Zee, 54-31 Loss 01/08; Fri.; Byram Hills @ Rye, 01/12, Tue.; Byram Hills hosts Pelham, 54 -34 Loss 01/14, Thu.; Byram Hills @ Eastchester, 64-47 Loss 01/19, Tue.; Byram Hills @ Port Chester, 53-37 Win 01/22, Fri.; Byram Hills hosts Harrison, 46-33 Loss 01/25, Mon.; Byram Hills hosts Port Chester, 01/28, Thu.; Byram Hills hosts Rye, 4:30PM 02/01, Mon.; Byram Hills @ Pelham, 6:15PM 02/03, Wed.; Byram Hills hosts Eastchester, 53-32 Loss
Bobcats Advance 53-45 over Red Hook in First Round of States By Rich Monetti
March 2, 2016 Following Byram Hills thrilling 46-45 victory over Tappan Zee on Sunday night, the chances that the Bobcats would be too emotionally spent to compete at their best on Tuesday night had to be high. But Matt Groll, Skylar Sinon and crew had plenty of bankroll in reserve, and left Red Hook feeling overdrawn by the final tally.
The game began with Red Hook guards’ Nick Michitsch and Dennis Hare showing off some pretty impressive handling skills. Off the opening tip, Michitsch got Matt Milone going for an inside fake and slickly getting to the rim for the first two points.
Hare then got into the act with a steal, and Red Hook seemed poised to set an early tone, but could not convert on the fast break. Taking the opening, Jared Friedberg’s hard baseline drive put those considerations aside and Byram was on the board with a three point play.
Following a pullup jumper by Skylar Sinon, an air ball by Beau Smith foretold a lack of compliment for the ball handling abilities of the Raiders. And daring Sinon on the next possession to see if he was ready with his own precision might not have been the best play. Left open above the arc, Red Hook had their answer and an 8-2 deficit.
Among missed jumpers by Michitsch and Colin Bemis, Hare’s pullup was matched by a tough spin move by Matt Milone at 2:15. The quarter’s scoring closed at 10-7 on Hare’s three point play in traffic, but not before a few more missed jumpers by the Red Hook guard.
Nonetheless, Red Hook would go inside out to pull even in the second. A Beau Smith runner and Bemis post up on Groll and a pop from three tied the score at 14-14 at 5:55.
Sinon and Louis Filippelli teamed to answer high and low too and not let the momentum shift. Sinon dancing with his dribble to shake the defense, his miss at the rim was followed in heavy traffic by his forward to regain the lead.
Cleanup duty next belonged to Groll on a miss by Friedberg. Corralling the rebound in the paint, the senior center banged his way through the Red Hook bigs and off the glass for an 18-17 lead.
Another Sinon miss, though, led to a fast break basket the other way for Smith, but Byram Hills made sure they were still on run. The Red Hook crowd swept up in the showtime, the Raiders lost track of Byram Hills’ main event. Groll was left all alone on the other end and had an easy layup to regain the tie at 20.
Groll followed his disappearing act by making sure he wasn’t missed by standing tall on a charge by Smith. A couple of foul shots by Milone closed the Bobcats half scoring at 22, while a jumper by Hare equalized things.
Out of the break, Groll electing to pass. At the top of the key, he arched a perfect pass over the interior defense into Filippelli who converted two on the foul line. Michitsch wasn’t shy about matching in his main forestay with some dribble penetration that freed Bemis up for two down low.
Not done, a great ball fake froze Friedberg and freed the flashy Red Hook guard for the rim. His shot was batted away by Groll, but he did give Red Hook a 26-25 lead with a foul shot at 4:47.
A little less elegance on the other end, Matt Nowlin still got the job done. Driving baseline, he got caught in the air under the basket and managed to get the ball in to Groll. Taking a high hop, Groll powered to the basket, and Smith now caught in the air, came down in a heap as the Bobcat center got underneath him.
Slowly getting up, both teams caught their breathe with the Bobcats leading 29-27, and Coach Repa gave Sinon a little more time to gasp on the bench, which signaled a shift that would leave Red Hook panting. The Raiders stepping up their defense, the Bobcats couldn’t find an opening, and with the shot clock running down, the ball came to Sinon’s backup. Forgetting his freshman standing, Willie Samsen notched his belt and drained a three that started an 11-1 run.
Following another tough inside layup for Filippelli, a little controversy didn’t help Red Hook’s cause either. Michitsch ahead on the break, he appeared to go in for a basket and foul, but the refs ruled a charge and the third closed with Byram up seven.
Then before Red Hook blinked, Sinon was off in a flash. After Groll shook the double down low, he kicked out to the sophomore guard who got to the rim for two, and then as the Red Hook bench was counting down the shot clock, Sinon exploded into the paint for a short pull-up.
The lead extended to 40-28 as Milone found Nowlin alone on the back door, and the Byram side of the arena was poised to celebrate with 5:22 left.
Red Hook missing the message, Michitsch went in hard for a three point play, and off a Groll miss, a Nick Morrissey layup cut the lead to seven.
The game again in reach, Red Hook went full on the rest of the game. Going with the full court press, a Byram Hills’ turnover got the Raiders in position for two more. Hare’s penetration found Bemis and suddenly the lead was only five with four minutes to go.
The Bobcats managed to again grow the lead to nine on two free throws by Filippelli at 2:55, but the difficulty with the press ensued and Red Hook wasn’t giving in. After Smith hit a jumper, the Red Hook press yielded a turnover and then a foul by Nowlin. Two more free throws brought Red Hook to within five at 44-39 with 2:24 to go.
Trading baskets again, Byram seemed ready to turn the corner on a Smith miss, which left Milone and Friedberg all alone for the rebound. But they mishandled the ball, and Red Hook had it out of bounds.
This time, though, Groll held Byram Hills’ place. Smith making a move to the hoop that would have cut the lead to three, the senior center planted himself and took the charge at 1:15.
Even so, the Bobcats still had to beat the press, and Groll did the honors in doing some forgetting of his own. The ball coming to his 6’7” frame, he ball handled his away up court, and found Sinon all alone for the two that iced the game.
Bobcats Win 46-45 Thriller to Take Section One Title By Rich Monetti
February 29, 2016 Byram Hill’s regional final basketball matchup on Sunday at Westchester County Center against Tappan Zee was a tossup. When Dutchman Rob McWilliam’s halfcourt heave thudded off the glass at the end of the game buzzer, the slim margin of error favored the Bobcats in winning the Section One, Class A Title.
Both teams showcased a determined defensive effort, the first quarter netted only a combined 11 points – a Tappan Zee free throw by Center Sean Peterson breaking the ice at 5:52.
Byram Hills was strong up the middle as Matt Groll held his ground, while Tappan Zee’s frenzied guard play stymied the perimeter and deterred the ball movement inside to Matt Groll. But it was Groll finding Skylar Sinon cutting to the hoop that got Byram Hills on the board. Taking the baseline opening, the sophomore made a reverse layup look easy once the rim closed with too much Tappan Zee traffic.
In between a number of rolls off the rim by both teams, a Groll put back and Louis Filippelli putting some muscle on a reverse layup of his own tallied all of Byram’s first quarter points. A jump shot by Kevin Lynch and a layup from McWilliams accounted for Tappan Zee’s five points.
The second quarter seemed to have Byram Hills settling into a better offensive rhythm, but a couple key plays on defense by Tappan Zee kept the game contained.
Nonetheless, Matt Nowlin opened the quarter by nailing a three. Bringing the Byram Hills student body roaring to its feet, they sensed the Bobcats outside shooting was on track.
Possibly feeling the same thing, Tappan Zee’s next few possessions included a running prayer thrown at the backboard by McWilliams, which he followed with a layup that missed everything, and then Peterson forcing a pass into forward Victor Clervil that was batted away.
The inbound then no better, tough ball denial had the ball going the other way, and the crowd ready to turn the sea change into a tsunami. But Ben Leff picked Matt Milone’s pocket and converted two free throws to stay close at 9-7.
Undeterred and after a scramble for the rebound on the Tappan Zee end, Sinon came up with the ball and located Groll down court. The Bobcat center shook the defense and got to the rim for an 11-7 lead.
But before, the crowd could get in gear, Tappan Zee found some touch above the arc too. Ryan Holder’s three put Byram on hold at 11-10.
After Groll couldn’t convert down low, and McWilliams matched him by missing from three, Groll was able to put back Sinon’s missed jumper at 4:31 for a 13-10 lead.
Following two bricked free throws by Peterson, Sinon got the better of gravity on offense. Driving into the paint, he juked and found enough opening to go just above the defense for a short swish.
Peterson answered with a roll to a hoop and a 15-12 score. But when Tappan Zee hesitated in covering Milone above the arc, he took the dare and for an 18-12 advantage.
Kevin Lynch answered inside to cut the lead to four, and no one missed the foreboding when Groll committed his third foul with 32 seconds remaining. A free throw by Lynch cut the lead to three, and hoping to cushion Groll’s foul trouble with a bigger lead, Byram Hills froze in its tracks. Tappan Zee forced a five second violation on Milone, and Lynch hit a jumper at the buzzer to end the half down 18-17.
Nonetheless, a Sinon layup opened the third, but Tappan Zee knew Groll would be back on his heels, and they took advantage. Peterson took the next possession inside, and now Byram Hills feeling the tide changing, McWilliams stole the inbounds and got the lead on a layup.
Filippelli’s subsequent three only paused Tappan Zee, while making everyone wait for their short lived 23-21 advantage. Off the front rim, the Byram Hill’s crowd endured an eternity as the ball took its time off the backboard and finally through the net.
But Tappan Zee could afford to let the kind bounce roll off them. Lynch got the ball inside off Groll’s standoffishness and rolled to the hoop for a three point play. The middle opened up next time down, Lynch then kicked it out to Gibson for a 27-23 lead.
Following two free throws from Filippelli, Lynch pounded out six straight points. The final one after ripping the ball from Groll to extend the lead to 33-25 at 3:00.
The Tappan Zee side now doling out the decibels, Groll’s short jumper now played pause until Milone put the muffs on Tappan Zee on both ends. Coming open off a Sinon miss, he nailed a three and returned the steal he lost earlier to cut the lead to one on two free throws.
Peterson didn’t shrink, though, muscling an offensive board for the three point play. Sinon would answer with another shake and bake inside the paint to close the quarter down 36-34.
Between a Sinon layup, a two and a three to start the fourth gave Tappan Zee a five point lead. But the outside success might have gotten Tappan Zee off their inside game.
The Bobcat guards taking the cue, Matt Nowlin responded with a three off a Sinon kickback and then converted a layup on another Sinon dish to tie at 41 with 4:50 remaining.
Staying outside, Gibson misfired but Tappan Zee did get down to business again – Peterson easily going glass against Groll on a layup.
The crowd now off its center too, they were ready to straighten as Milone came clear on a three. Unable to knock it down, they went into a decided slouch as McWilliams’ jumper opened a four point lead with shot clock expiring.
2:55 remaining, those turned out to be Tappan Zee’s last points, and when Sinon came open this time for a three, the tournament MVP came through and paved the for his center to register the deciding basket.
After Gibson came up way short on jumper, Groll dove head long into the scramble and got the ball to Sinon before he was fouled. Off the inbound, Sinon found Groll in the paint, and he rolled to the hoop for the game’s final points with 1:05 remaining.
But the drama was far from over. After the ball rolled off Peterson’s leg following an offensive rebound, and McWilliams fouled Nowlin at the top of the key, 28 seconds remained on both the shot and game clock.
10 seconds later, Tappan Zee put Nowlin on the line. His one and one was short, and all was still up in the air as the rebound bounced up off Groll’s hands. But Nowlin would grab the board and get the ball to Sinon, who was fouled with 9.2 seconds left.
Their best shooter on the line, the championship only awaiting his proficiency – until he also rimmed in and out. But Groll got the rebound and found Sinon for a redo that went further than everyone hoped. Fouled with 4.2 seconds left, he missed again.
But too much court and plenty of blue jerseys in between, a miracle was Tappan Zee’s only recourse once securing the rebound. Nonetheless, McWilliams shot from halfcourt still held everyone’s heart in their throats until the prayer careening of the backboard was silenced by the roar of the crowd and a dream fulfilled.
Byram Hills Win the Golden Ball By Geri Mariano
February 29, 2016 The vibe at the Westchester County Center was fiercely intense as Byram Hills (19-5) played Tappan Zee (22-2) for the Section One, Class A Championship. The Bobcats regained and held on to the lead late in the 4th quarter for a thrilling 46-45 victory.
Fans were fashionably dressed in navy blue and red for their respective teams. And unlike the Oscars, there was no baited anticipation about which envelopes would be opened; instead, it was the suspense about which team would score first in what would be a physically grueling game from tip off to final buzzer.
The nearly filled-to-capacity seats were full of vocal fans for both Bobcats and Dutchmen. With loud cheers, chants and applause, the competing fans followed the ball up and down the court as there were many ball turnovers.
The first point in the first quarter, however, came on a foul shot sunk by Tappan Zee. Sophomore Skylar Sinon quickly scored the first two points for Byram Hills. The Bobcats continuously hustled after the ball, grabbing rebounds, evading guards and getting it back over and over to the Byram Hills basket and teammates. The slim victory was a true team effort with scoring from starters Sinon, Matt Milone, Matt Groll, Lou Filippelli and Liam Nowlin off the bench.
Key three point shots lead the Bobcats back after falling behind by several points in the 4th quarter. Byram Hills was ahead at the half 18-17, and then lost the lead early in the 3rd quarter, which ended with Tappan Zee ahead 36-34.
Play in the 4th quarter was furious with missed shots, rebounds recovered and the Bobcats and Dutchmen raced up and down the court trying to regain advantage. Aggressive defense was the key and led to numerous fouls against both teams. Unlike the first half, Bobcats saw a few chances from the foul line and had two shots from the line with seconds left in game. Both opportunities failed to put the game away, but sheer will kept the Bobcats tough enough to keep the ball from Tappan until one Dutchman desperately sent the ball across the court, missing for Tappan Zee at the buzzer.
The Bobcats’ fans went into a frenzied celebration and in the "Fear the Hills" emblazoned from the balcony crowd and on plaques, t-shirts and medals that were handed out after handshakes between the teams. Then the Bobcats hoisted their Golden Ball trophy, then Coach Ted Repa raised the trophy, tapped his heart to thank the fans.
Lower Hudson Basketball Coaches Association awarded all-section accolades to Sklar Sinon, who was also named Most Valuable Player, and All-Conference went to Byram Hills Matt Groll.
Byram Hills Bobcats head back to the Westchester County Center on Tuesday to go up against Red Hook, Section 9 Champions, in the State's Regional semifinal round at 7:45 p.m.
Bobcats Continue on The Path to Gold By Geri Mariano
February 24, 2016 Though only 10 miles south from Byram Hills High School, the venerable Westchester County Center is much larger in space, noisier, and has a different type of excitement than the home gymnasium. That is where the Varsity Boys Bobcat Basketball team beat favored Lourdes 47-39 Monday night in the Section 1 Class A Semi Final.
After waiting for the previous game to finish, the teams and fans were welcomed to the arena and were asked to respect a sportsmanlike atmosphere. Both teams' bench players were announced and then each team's starting players were introduced onto the floor. With the anthem finished and the crowd's applause, the game started fast and the excitement accordingly rose and hopes escalated.
Sophomore Skylar Sinon led the Bobcats’ scoring with 21 points, tallying the first basket in the opening minute and much later the last regulation basket. Unlike the quarterfinal win over Pelham, the BHHS offense was on full display by various players. Sinon told this rookie sideline reporter that the win was, “A complete team effort; everyone contributed with everyone scoring at different times when we needed it."
Though the boys had heard they were expected to lose, Sinon said, “We had lots of steals, pushed the ball, and they couldn't keep up." Rebounds were snared aggressively. Along with Sinon, Matt Groll, Matt Milone, and Lou Filippelli bolstered the score with ongoing baskets, including several 3 pointers (three by Sinon alone) and key foul shots in the 4th quarter, which boosted the late surge. At halftime the Bobcats were comfortably ahead by 15. Lourdes came within 4 with less than a minute to go in the 4th. However, 4 for 4 foul shots made by Sinon and Milone extended the lead to 7 and cinched the win.
BHHS students filled the stage end of the arena, awash in white to cheer on the Bobcats. More Bobcat faithful fans, including the North Castle Town Board and Byram Hills School Board members, sat in the arena seats, floor level, and in the balcony while cheerleaders chanted enthusiastically and clapped to help keep momentum going for the number 2-seeded home team.
Sinon credited the enthusiasm saying, “The crowd was awesome and we fed off the energy." The team will need this ebullient support and more in the finals on Sunday night, February 28, when they face the daunting Number 1-seed Tappan Zee at Westchester County Center, where the talented, confident young men will play to bring home the coveted golden ball. Tip-off time is 7:00 p.m.
Byram Hills Falls 11-4 in First Round of Hockey Sectionals By Rich Monetti
February 24, 2016 Eighth seeded Byram Hills faced off on Sunday against number nine seed Mt. Pleasant at the Brewster Ice Arena for round one of the Section One, Division Two Tournament. Their third meeting, the Bobcats looked to take the season series and move ahead. But the split they had earned may have been deceiving and could have foretold the Bobcats’ early exit.
Losing 8-5 in December, Byram Hills responded with a 4-3 victory on February 6. But several key players from the Mt. Pleasant squad also play on the Mid-Fairfield travel team and played previously that day. Full strength on Sunday, Mt Pleasant made the Bobcats pay – exploding for six unanswered goals in the first period.
Trading only real estate through the first five minutes of the game, the onslaught began unassumingly after a holding penalty on Zach Rigano at 10:11 of the first. Forty seconds later, Mt. Pleasant clustered round Byram Hills’ goalie Grace Lunder, and Matthew Bramson tapped the first goal in off assists by Michael Sala and Greg Kramer.
Mt. Pleasant again descended on the goal at 6:53, and this time Sala was left out as Bramson beat Lunder on assists from Kramer and Kyle Dearborn. Back on their heels, Byram seemed determined to not let the game get away. But Mt Pleasant goalie Spencer Rockmore came up with a point blank stop on Ethan Behar’s blast after his brother Matthew’s wrist shot came free to the right.
The arc of the game clearly established, the flight of the puck was no help either. At 4:50 on a Kramer shot inside the blue line, the puck deflected up, which Lunder seemed to lose sight of, and rose over her shoulder and under the crossbar for goal number three.
Vincent Spaziante didn’t leave as much to chance 39 seconds later on a Dominic Fensore assist, and if any doubt remained, Lunder could not contain her frustration after Fensore registered goal number five. A relatively easy wrist shot put on Lunder’s glove side, the sophomore seemed to have the gimme. But the puck kicked out as she closed the leather and her stick went flying as the net got company again.
Nonetheless, Byram Hills got another good chance after Fensore was whistled for interference. But the lopsided score didn't have Rockmore on snooze. The Bobcats powerplay on its game and working the triangle, the Mt. Pleasant goaltender had the angle as Zach Rigano couldn't convert on a rebound.
Mt. Pleasant, on the hand, didn’t come up short when they went around the horn and this time Shayan Farjam found the net for a 6-0 lead with 21 seconds remaining in the first.
Two more goals would follow before Byram Hills finally broke the ice. Jeremy Steinfeld took a Joe Rocco pass to briefly pause Mt. Pleasant at 7:33 of the second. However, three more goals tallied to 11 and third period goals by Rocco and the Behan brot
Bobcat Basketball Fan By Geri Mariano
Updated February 20, 2016 Thirty years out and sitting on the sidelines of a home playoff game can still be thrilling, nail-biting and heart-pounding. After the Bobcats' first-round win over Panas 59-34 on Tuesday, tonight's 46-38 win over Pelham in the Section 1 Class A quarterfinal had less scoring but more tension.
Pelham's team and supporters came out ready to play and cheer. The visitors’ bleachers behind their team was full and vocal with chants of "DEFENSE!" And defense is what dominated the game, as players were aggressive in blocking shots and turning over the ball repeatedly from the perspective of this amateur spectator.
Foul shots figured heavily in the win, especially in the final two minutes as the Pelicans closed in to within 3. But Bobcat starters held off Pelham's fierce last attempts by putting away the game with unanswered foul shots.
This Byram Hill alum lost her voice cheering for the hometown boys and jeering the refs on missed calls. In addition to a terrific game, even when tense, it was fun seeing the parents, high school students and younger kids come out to support our competitive young men.
The No. 2-seeded Byram Hills (17-5) head to the Westchester County Center on Monday February 22 at 6:00 p.m. in quest for the “Gold Ball,” against No. 3-seeded Lourdes.
May the home town show up to roar for the Bobcats!
New School Record Set
Last night at the North Shore Pre National meet, the Byram Hills girls shuttle hurdle relay team shattered the old school record by almost 2 1/2 seconds. In the sprint medley relay there was a near miss as the team came up 6/10 of 1 second behind the existing standard record.
The relay record setters were Lindsey Steeg (9.8), Carly Schwartz (8.5), Sophie Karp (9.9) and Julia Zaborowsky (10.1) Complete Meet Results More meet results are listed below
Cheerleaders Send their Coach Off with a Tournament Victory By Rich Monetti
February 7, 2016 Jaclyn Antoinette just announced that after nine years she will no longer be the Byram Hills Cheerleading Coach. “This has been my life,” she said in fighting back the tears. But she got a sendoff Saturday afternoon at the 2016 Tiger Tournament at Putnam Valley High School that should make life after a little easier.
Placing first in the 20 team tournament, she praised her girls and signified what is required to achieve success in this sport. “Cheerleading takes a lot of patience, heart and dedication,” said Antoinette.
Of course, if taking flight is your specialty, a fear of flying is the first thing that must pass. On the other hand, Junior Flier Julia Gizzi dove head first when she took on the role and has rested any fears on her teammates. “I have total trust in them,” she said.
This includes the knowledge that her ascent will put her first if things come tumbling down. “They will get underneath me or even get hurt themselves before letting me fall,” said Julia.
The faith manages to make it to the sidelines too. “My mom gets nervous when I’m up in the air, but she knows I’ll be fine,” said Julia.
Janet Segatti knows firsthand the feeling. “My older daughter was a flier, and my first thought always was; catch her,” she said with enough confidence to know her daughter was in good hands.
Foremost in that regard would be Byram Hills’ Captain Olivia Costantino. “At the center of the pyramid, I’m part of tossing the girls in the air,” the senior joked.
But laughter plays no part in developing the needed pectorals. “Cheerleading is a lot of rigorous work and muscle building,” said Olivia, who plans to major in Art when she settles on a college.
So much more than being a cheerleader, Olivia asserted, the perils fall prey to the chance to develop something new. “The excitement of learning the next move makes playing the game worth the risk," she said.
Either way, the Bobcats can’t lose in their coach’s philosophy. “Our priority is to be a team and represent Byram Hills,” said Antoinette.
In this, her legacy has left a behind a foundation that should keep the team flying for years to come.
Byram Hills Soccer Trio Sign College Commitments By Rich Monetti
February 6, 2016 On February 3, Byram Hills High School celebrated the soccer careers of Carly Barnett, Kelsey Goldring and Jessica Kennett, signing respectively with SUNY Binghamton, Quinnipiac University and the University of Delaware. The trio arrived four years ago with some high marks on the field, according to Byram Hills Athletic Director Rob Castagna.
“Their careers were even better than advertised,” he said.
Unable to attend, Coach Mike Martino agreed and said he wouldn’t be shocked by more of the same accolades, according to the note he left with the Athletic Director.
“Today is the first page in a book you have never read,” Castagna conveyed. “You should embrace it and run with it."
These girls are know for not standing around, according to Kelsey’s mom, Kathleen Goldring. “I couldn’t be any more proud because they’ve all worked hard for a long time,” said Goldring.
Jessica Kennett went the distance too in her mom’s estimation and even sunk to great depths to do so. “She would always be asking if she could go to the basement and dribble,” said Gioia Kennett.
The subterranean setting didn’t limit her line of sight nor make her soft. “She had such great vision of the field and her fierce, toughness also made her successful,” said Kennett.
The Barnett’s could probably attest the same, and their odometer might just say as much. Rarely missing a game, said Bob Barnett, “We really put on the miles.”
No problem, the wear and tear shows only on the tires. “Carly just puts her nose to the grindstone and gets the job done,” said Barnett.
Mickey Goldring’s British accent betrayed how much he knows about getting results on the soccer field, while watching his daughter always has him hanging on and brings him back. “I get so nervous that I feel I'm kicking every ball from the sideline,” said Dad.
Thinking like her dad, Kelsey attributes synergy to the success she’s had with her teammates. “We played together so long that we were always able to push each other and play proudly for Byram Hills,” said Kelsey Goldring.
As such, the great moments were too much a blur to single anyone out. ”They were all great together,” she said.
Just playing for Byram Hills was honor enough for Jessica Kennett and being in sync with her mother shows that pride has everyone paying close attention on the sidelines. “I think the ability to see the whole field made me successful,” she echoed her mother’s insight.
Still, Jessica had no intention of forgetting her father. “I give my dad a shout out for all he’s done to help me,” she beamed.
Finally, Carly Barnett situated success at Byram Hills to each player knowing their role “This let us look to each other so we could all be dynamic in our roles,” said Carly. And she’ll never forget reaching the Sectional One, Class A last year. “That was our goal and we got there,” she concluded.
Byram Hills Falls to Eastchester By Rich Monetti
February 5, 2016 Wednesday night at Byram Hills High School after a back and forth first period, a short hook by Gabby Ricardi at 4:57 of the second period gave Eastchester a 17-15 lead. The Eagles would never look back in their 53-32 victory. Even so, the girls Byram Hills Basketball Team did stay within reach all through the third quarter. But every time the Bobcats converted a big hoop, the Eagles answered right back until the home team could no longer keep up.
Nonetheless, Ashley Polera made sure the game did not get away at the outset. Making a three to tie the score at eight at 4:20 of the first, she then cut into the passing lanes for the steal and converted another three point play after getting fouled on the break.
Following Jillian Hyland’s layup for Eastchester to make the score 11-10, Byram Hills put their bodies on the line by drawing three successive charging fouls – Polera going down in a heap on her obstruction. The slight guard then left Eastchester with their hands in the air as she went off the dribble for an underhand layup to close the quarter at 14-10.
Undeterred, Eastchester answered with 5 straight points – including a layup from center Amanda Shkreli and a baseline floater by Ashely Anello. A Byram Hills foul shot by Michaela Milano gave Eastchester no pause, and before the Bobcats knew it, Ricardi got inside a few more times to extend the lead to 22-15.
But not ready to relinquish, Jenna Trainor found Milano inside for a layup, and once again, Polera did a number on the Eastchester defense to wow the crowd. Going between the legs and behind the back, she got to the rim to close within three.
Unfortunately, Byram Hills was denied momentum going into the locker room. Ricardi came free on the right, and drained a three as the clock ran out to close the half with Eastchester leading 24-19.
Polera would brush the buzzer beater aside nonetheless. Starting the third, she again got inside for a layup, and then her playmaking found Maggie Walsh inside for a miss, which was put back by Milano.
Eastchester didn’t sat back, though. A three by Lauren Gresia and a short jumper Cassidy Mitchell put Byram down by seven.
Ready with plenty of fight back, Walsh didn’t let all the traffic down low deter her on a Polera miss. Muscling the rebound, she then went up strong among the morass and completed the three point play on the foul.
A great feed inside to Walsh from Polera on the next possession seemed to poise the Bobcats for a run of their own. But her missed layup quickly had the action going the other way, and Ricardi made them pay on the break with a three point play.
Dana DiCristofaro kept the back and forth going by taking Polera’s place as the playmaker. Ball faking into the paint, she found her backcourt-mate wide open on the baseline for an easy layup to get within five again.
Hardly leaving the crowd time to gasp, Shkreli answered with two on a runner and the Eagles had another seven point lead at 35-28.
Up to the end to end, Polera retook the playmaking and found Walsh for the layup off the penetration. Unfortunately, the uproar was again short lived.
Patiently working the ball around the perimeter, Gresia was the beneficiary and sunk the three to extend to 38-30 lead. Taking the momentum again and starting with the ball in the fourth, Ricardi followed Gresia’s miss, and Byram Hills proved to have only a single one up left in them.
Polera found Arielle Zaccagnino for the layup underneath to pull within eight, but the next 11 points belonged to Easchester – leaving Byram Hills on the outs for good.
Before Raucous Crowd, Bobcats Fall 61-50 By Rich Monetti
January 24, 2016 Friday Night at Fox Lane High School, home court advantage was essentially a factor of which team rallied their respective sides of the gym. Thus Byram Hills appeared on the verge of succumbing to the decibel disadvantage and an eight point deficit late in the half. But they fought through the noise and when Matt Groll dunked at the buzzer on a fast break, the 26-24 Fox Lane lead paled in comparison to the uproar from the Byram Hills student body. Unfortunately Byram Hills didn’t overcome the same scenario in the second half and left quietly in a 61-50 defeat.
The gym packed to capacity, a Sean New runner and a roll to the hoop for Fox Lane center Matt Redhead began the game with a boom for the Foxes. Not succumbing to the sound effects, Skylar Sinon answered with a jumper and a layup to ensue a frantic back and forth.
A double clutch drive through the paint for Emmett Robin, a reverse layup by Redhead off a great look from Sean New, and then a jumper by New, gave Fox Lane a two point lead, while a coast to coast layup for Jared Friedberg, and two post ups from Groll let the Bobcats keep pace.
Moments later, an inside position again for Groll netted a free throw and Byram Hills’ only lead of the game was with 35 seconds remaining the first. Jamal Jackson-Blake made sure it was short lived after New freed him up for a layup on strong dribble penetration to close the quarter.
More playmaking from New, found Redhead going backdoor for the dunk to extend the lead to 14-11 and set the stage for the Bobcats and Foxes to again match each other in the stands and on the scoreboard. Groll got inside twice off feeds from Sinon and Milone, while Jackson-Blake found Alex Olsen on the break for two and 16-15 lead.
A three by Robin again went in search of separation until Groll and Lou Filipelli followed suit. With a great over the top feed, Groll found Filipelli on the baseline and the forward’s strong move kept it status quo at 19-18 with 3:34 remaining in the half.
But Jackson-Blake had some baseline moves of his own. Drawing a crowd down low, he kicked it out to New who drained the open three and sparked thunder from Fox Lane’s faithful. The noise deafening, Groll closed late on Redhead from ten feet away, and the Fox Lane center was able to convert the three point play from the line.
The lead grew to eight after New picked Sinon’s pocket and ended up on the foul line for free throws at 1:57. The largesse now coming from the bleachers had home court definitely working in Fox Lane’s corner.
But Groll put on his muffs and silenced the crowd with six straight points including the breakaway dunk to close the half at 26-24.
The crowd settled in again, the third began with the teams exchanging threes. Fox Lane worked the ball around the perimeter before Robins’ penetration opened up Jackson-Blake, and before the Fox Lane faithful could exhale, Filipelli gave the other side of the gym the chance to let loose.
The audio advantage was again short lived. Robin’s dish inside to Redhead made the score 31-27, and after Sinon missed an open three at 6:40, Olsen barreled through paint past Filipelli for a six point lead.
The lead would grow to seven after a mad half court scramble got everyone out of their seats and sat Byram Hills down as Jackson-Blake came away with the layup. But once again Groll cut through the noise and got inside for six more points.
Down 39-38 at 1:28 of the third, the sounds soon shifted permanently. Aaron Winkler muscled in for a put back three point play and Nicolas Rosati’s three gave Fox Lane a seven point lead to close the quarter.
This time, though, the Bobcats were drowned out. A jumper by New and a put back by Olsen made the score 49-38 before Byram could make a peep. The lead would grow to 55-39 on a New jumper half way through and Fox Lane never looked back.
Byram Hills Routs Eastchester 67-50 By Rich Monetti
January 15, 2016 Last night at Byram Hills High School, after the Bobcats and Eastchester exchanged a couple of early baskets, any thoughts of another hell bent back and forth game were quickly exorcized by Skylar Sinon. Eastchester seemingly misplacing their scouting report, they did the same with Sinon. So the Bobcat sophomore stinger calmly buried consecutive open threes, and the rout was on.
Finding Sinon, leaving a little extra space for forward Lou Filipelli was more understandable, but he didn’t hesitate to make the Eagles pay either. Sandwiched between a low post move by Matt Groll, Filipelli sunk two open threes and a 16-4 lead at the 3:41 mark of the first.
On the other end, Eastchester’s offense fell prey to Byram Hills tough interior defense – leaving guards Ben Dimirco, Steve Galgano and Jack Hefferman trying to find open lanes in the paint or hitting long jumpers. The shooting touch – long or short - not there, Matt Groll emphasized the point inside by denying Eastchester Center Andrew Shultz to close the first period with a 22-8 lead.
The lead blowing up to 27-8 early in the second, Sinon simply let the Eagles chase. On a long outlet pass from Filipelli, Sinon stopped on a dime, and when the defense cruised past him, the crowd’s gasp silenced his swish from eight feet away.
But Eastchester was to have some due. Hefferman hit an open three, a little dribble penetration from Dimirco freed up John Arcidiacono at the top of the key and four point play above the arc for Dimirco pulled Eastchester within ten.
The blip, though, was quickly met by some tough and touch on the heels of Matt Nowlin. Drawing a charge on a pass inside by Dimirco, he took a little space for himself down court and buried a three to make the score 30-17 with three minutes remaining in the half.
Getting within nine on a couple of free throws by Shultz, Eastchester ended the half as they began it. Letting Sinon get comfortable above the arc again, he stepped up for the three, and the Eagles reluctantly took flight for the locker room with a 37-23 deficit.
The second half essentially followed the same script with Byram’s biggest lead extending to 19 on a Filipelli put back 90 seconds in the third, while Eastchester got within 11 on two separate occasions. But a fall away jumper by Jared Friedberg at 4:50 of third and a pull up jumper a minute later by Sinon kept the game on message.
The rest was just filling out the stat sheet.
Bobcats Win Pink the Rink 5-1 Against Fox Lane
January 11, 2016 Last Friday's fourth annual Pink the Rink fundraiser was an outstanding victory for Byram Hills. The Varsity Hockey Team defeated their rivals Fox Lane 5-1, but there was a more important win in the battle against breast cancer. The team ran benefit activities all week, doubling the $4,000 they raised last year to $8,000, which was donated to the American Cancer Society.
The stands at Brewster Ice Arena were filled with classmates, alumni, teachers, friends and family when the puck dropped at 5:00 p.m. The Bobcats dominated the game from start to finish.
In front of a roaring rooting section, Willie Mann started a siege that didn't stop as he put the Bobcats on the scoreboard early in the first period. John Fontana scored next, followed by goals from Ethan Behar, Joe Rocco and Robert Lunder.
Fox Lane’s goalie Abbie Ives faced an unrelenting onslaught of 42 shots. Byram’s goalie Grace Lunder fended off 16 of the 17 Fox Lane shots.
The Rumble for the Ribbon Cup remains with Byram Hills for another year. This year's Bobcats set a higher bar in fundraising and game play for next year's team to top.
Byram Hills Wills 47-44 Victory over Rye By Rich Monetti
January 9, 2016 The Bobcats 44-40 loss to Harrison on Wednesday couldn’t have been far from anyone’s mind Friday night at Byram Hills High School. Skylar Sinon and Matt Groll certainly not absent of the angst, the duo had another difficult defense challenge their respective strengths of shooting and inside play. But both tallied high on the intangibles en route to a 47-44 victory over Rye.
As such, Byram found they had no time to wallow. Rye’s Charlie Nagle made the point by hitting consecutive threes for a 6-0 start.
Three Byram turnovers were no help either until Lou Filippelli settled the crowd by finding Groll for a layup at the six minute mark. The clogged middle that Groll fought all evening resulted in his first roll off the rim, and a couple steals kept Byram stymied.
But Sinon kept the game from getting away with own denial. Rye Guard Brett Egan was seemingly in on an open layup when Sinon cut across and slapped the ball away.
Not leaving himself out in the backcourt, Liam Nowlin passed on letting fly for the moment and found both Sinon and Groll for layups to tie the score with 3:10 remaining.
Unfortunately, the six point run was met with an eight point outburst for Rye. The Garnets growing fat off the penetration of Nagle and George Kirby, center Mark Croughan converted a layup, and Michael Carty knocked down a two and a three to close the quarter at 14-6.
Croughan was in no short supply in the dishing either, and the Bobcats had to count themselves lucky that his teammates frequently could not convert. Nonetheless, the Rye frontline frustrated Groll down low, while Egan and guard Zack Samberg extended the lead on high by draining threes for a 20-11 lead.
Byram Hills now clearly on the defensive opted to press and go full court to got Rye out of its element. Outside an assisted layup from Croughan and a free throw, the Bobcats answered with threes from Sinon and Willy Samsen and kept the half close at 23-20.
The third quarter began with Groll again failing to climb the Croughan wall, but that didn’t deter two subsequent inside moves that tied the score at 6:34.
More great passing and missed layups followed for Rye until Nagle’s dribble behind the back found Croughan to launch a crosscourt pass that netted a three for Michael Carty. A couple of layups off steals boosted Rye cause and allowed them to take two five point leads.
But Sinon again was a stop gap - only his usual shooting prowess was not the vehicle. Missing a couple of open jumpers, both times he fought for the rebound and found Filipelli and Samsen for five more points.
Otherwise, the Bobcats seemed poise to cruise when Groll buried Nagle on a drive, but the ball knocked out of bounds, Kirby hit a jumper to close the quarter at 37-32. The minor momentum shift didn’t deter, though.
Groll’s finish of Sinon’s opening quarter miss said as much, and a little shake and bake in the paint by Nowlin tallied two more. Rye still up one, Croughan took matters upon himself on a follow after a great behind the back pass again netted a miss.
Even so, Rye stuck to the game plan, and this time Kirby’s playmaking had Nagle converting the three for a 42-38 lead with 5:07 remaining.
Things getting tenuous again, Sinon hit the skids. Unable to handle a pass from Groll, the sophomore guard dove through a sea of Rye and called time with the ball.
His big man determined to not let the effort go to waste, Sinon earned a break as Groll followed his own miss and cut the lead in half. Doing double duty, Groll’s block on defense lead to free throws and a one point deficit.
Sinon then took his turn. Dribbling frantically through Rye’s pressing defense, he found Nowlin who put the Bobcats up for good at 44-42.
Still 3:46 remaining, no one was leaving. But Groll manhandling Nagle’s miss gave the crowd happy feet, and when he stole the ball at half court for what appeared to be a breakaway basket, a mass shuffle seemed in order.
Possibly mistiming his jump, Groll’s dunk reached only the rim and had him falling to the floor in frustration. The kind of play that drives NBA coaches crazy for not taking the layup, Coach Repa knew where he was and had nothing but encouragement for his center.
As Nagle stepped into the passing lanes for a steal, and headed for the tie, Sinon raced back and lifted the ball right back.
The icing was provided on Byram’s last possession as Rye swarmed Sinon in the corner. At one point falling to the floor, Sinon maintained his dribble and found Groll in the paint. A foul, a free throw and the final seconds were a formality.
Harrison’s Strong Outside Shooting Levels Byram Boys 45-40 By Rich Monetti
Updated January 8, 2016 Last night at Byram Hills High School, the Bobcats had a decided edge in the paint to visiting Harrison. Matt Groll was Byram’s usual strong option inside and ate up the defensive boards in providing few second chances. But the visitors‘ proficient outside shooting and dribble penetration balanced out the floor and proved too much in the end.
Groll actually began with some playmaking penetration of his own by finding Matt Milone underneath for Byram’s first field goal. But Harrison also pestered Groll enough to get a number of his incursions to roll off the rim or outright deny him.
It was center Zach Evans’ stuff of Groll that would put Harrison on its horse. Earning a breakaway layup, Evans was fouled and opened up a 7-3 lead, which the Bobcats never eclipsed.
A reverse layup underneath the swipe of Groll by guard Jeff Solomon extended to the lead to 9-3, and after another penetration by Jack Hochman, Byram Hills got its first look at the Huskies shooting prowess. Omar Nesheiwat’s ten footer made the score 11-5.
After Groll closed the first period with two free throws and a 13-7 deficit, he thundered another defensive board to start the second. Skylar Sinon followed suit by getting the skinny on a put back to pull within four.
Another reverse layup by Andrew Carton, and a two by Solomon put the score at 17-12. But a pullup by Sinon and a corner three from Willy Samsen tied score at 4:30.
Seeing double again, AJ Mugee went reverse this time, and after Sinon sunk two free throws, Jack Hochman seemed almost out of town on a three that gave Harrison a 22-19 lead. Harrison would close the half at 26-21 with a long two from Hochman and a layup from Tyler Gersten.
The start of the third did have Byram Hills making the most of its inside out game. Groll draw the charge in the paint, and Sinon didn’t let the momentum go to waste above the arc to pull within two.
Unfortunately, more inside harassment kept Groll at bay and a few missed open jumpers limited Byram Hills to only two more points in the quarter. Harrison answered the futility with another three from Hochman, a short jumper from Evans and a buzzer beating ten footer from Gersten after a mad scramble for the ball.
Down 36-26, Byram Hills went right to work. Sinon slapped the ball away from his man, Groll corralled and found Sinon under the basket, where he faked two Harrison defenders for a short turnaround layup.
After Gersten stood down Groll in the paint to get the charge, the Bobcats got the message and got in step with their defense. Applying pressure, a Harrison turnover led to a put back by Groll, which was followed by a 10 second violation for the Huskies on their next possession.
The Bobcats unable to convert, the visitors were definitely rattled. Fouling Groll 30 feet from the basket in Byram’s next possession, the center took two from the charity stripe and then followed Jared Friedberg’s drive to cut the lead to two.
The Bobcat defense still in overdrive, Sinon got a half court steal and finished a three on one break with a no look pass to Lou Filippelli for the easy layup.
Tied at 36 with 3:50 remaining, a Harrison timeout settled the rocking home bleachers back into place. The long corner three from Harrison’s Michael Nannariello that followed the stoppage did the same for its occupants.
Still, after Groll hit two foul shots, Liam Nowlin missed a chance to grab the lead on an open three, and Harrison had their opening.
Evans finding an opening, his layup extended Harrison to a 41-38 lead. 80 seconds remaining, the Huskies once again kept Groll harrowed. On Sinon’s penetration, the center could not convert and was blocked on the put back attempt.
Still, the Bobcats would not relinquish and a full court press yielded a turnover. Sinon capitalized by charging tall through the paint and getting Byram within one on a runner.
Byram fouling Mugee, the front end of his one and one bounced around the rim before dropping through and foretelling the end. He calmly made the second, which left Harrison swarming the arc on Byram’s last gasp.
Sinon throwing up a prayer, Harrison closed the game with two final free throws.
Byram Hills Hockey Ices Bronxville 4-2 By Rich Monetti
January 4, 2016 With 4:52 seconds remaining in the second period, Byram Hills found themselves in a 1-1 tie after the entire Bronxville frontline seemingly crashed the net and got one past Byram Hills’ goalie Grace Lunder. But the score didn’t convey the mastery the Bobcats hydroplaned across the ice, and all the condensation created around the Bronxville crease had to eventually tip the game decidedly in Byram’s favor.
Led by the playmaking of Ethan Behar in the first and throughout, Byram Hills moved the puck around the triangle and kept Bronxville on the run and in their own zone. Undeterred, the 6:28 mark of the first finally got the Bobcats on the board. Willie Mann swung the puck behind the net to Mike DiMarco who found Rob Lunder at the point for a wrist shot past Bronxville’s Michael Rosabella.
The Bobcat offense acting as more than sufficient defense, most of Bronxville’s threats were mostly of the crash and not capitalize variety. A point blank shot stopped by Lunder at the 7:13 mark stood firmly as the wall Bronxville’s brute force was up against.
The second period was more of Behar weaving, dancing and creating for his teammates. However, the minus alluded to above occurred when Eddie Cho bulled the puck past Lunder and straightened up the Byram Hills crowd in their seats.
The Bobcats, though, weren’t taken aback. Keeping the puck and game plan moving, Robert Bastone paralleled the puck from the right point to Matthew Behar on the left, and he slapped it home for a 2-1 lead with 1:06 remaining in the second.
Not done yet, Byram Hills cleared their own zone, and as Bronxville’s defenseman hesitated in anticipation of on an icing call from the ref, Ethan Behar raced down to keep the puck alive. Getting control behind the net, he kept it in the family and found his brother who put the puck past the helpless Rosabella with 16 seconds left in the second.
The lead looking and feeling very comfortable in the third, a delayed penalty around the seven minute mark finally had Bronxville mounting a flurry in the Bobcat zone. But Lunder once again stood tall, and an Ethan Behar goal off the crossbar at the 3:00 mark put the game out of reach for good – save a late goal by Leo Getzinger by Bronxville.
Bobcats 2016 Pink the Rink Fundraiser
December 31, 2015 The Byram Hills Varsity Ice Hockey Team will hold their 4th Annual "Pink the Rink" hockey game against their Fox Lane rivals at Brewster Ice Arena on Friday January 8 at 5:00 p.m.
The team will wear pink jerseys and socks, playing to honor those affected by breast cancer. The team will hold a fund raising bake sale at the high school this week every day but Wednesday, on January 4, 5, 7 and 8. Commemorative shirts will also be on sale, a popular item that sold out last year.
Fund raising events at the game will include Chuck a Puck, souvenir towels, bracelets and baked goods for sale.
For a $50 sponsorship, the team will skate in honor of or in memory of a person affected by breast cancer. The names of those honored will be announced at the start of the game and will also be displayed on our "Honoree Banner". To sponsor, please send a $50 check, made out to the "American Cancer Society" to Charity Lunder, 68 Whippoorwill Road East, Armonk, NY 10504. Please be sure to name the honoree on the check.
When Byram Hills plays Fox Lane the game is always exciting! Come out to support the team, support the cause, and make this an evening to remember.
The team provides this link to the American Cancer Society web site, where donations supporting the fundraiser can be made:
December 17, 2015 Byram Hills High School cheerleaders came in first place in their school division championship and were awarded Grand Champions overall at the New Rochelle Cheer Competition on December 5.
“A great start to the competition season,” says cheerleader mom Janet Segatti.
School Records Broken at Kickoff Track & Field Meet at the Armory By Coach Greg Govan
December 7, 2015 We had record performances from our teams Saturday at the Kickoff Meet held at the Armory.
The bell rang loudly two times last night. The ringing bell is my signal to search for the lime green, the brightly colored shirts that are awarded to school-record holders. I came loaded down with just a single one as I did anticipate one on opening day. It did not require a whole lot of guessing and hoping. Last winter season, Emily Resnik threw 29’ 02 1/2 at the Section 1 Open Meet and then in the spring, again at the Open Meet, tossed the shot 31’ 09 1/4”. A “better distance” was achieved at the County Championships (32 05.5”), but that was mistakenly with an 8-pound ball.
I missed the first throw. Joey Moschitto told me it landed right on the 30 foot line. I was down by the heavy fencing surrounding the throwing area, to see the second effort was well short of the mark. I thought about asking Emily what the distance was on throw # 1 and giving her the shirt right then, but the competition was still in high swing and there would be a focus interruption. On the final throw, I saw it land well past the 30 foot mark (31’ 05.5”) and went over to her anxiously to present her with the shirt she is wearing in the picture. The previous record of 29’ 06” was set by Bonnie Pears in 1988.
The other lime green shirt I had written in on my scheduling calendar for later in the season. Never before had we broken two school records at the season premier. Last indoor season Sam Mayers jumped 14’ 07.75” at the County meet and slightly further during the spring (14’ 09.25”) at the Pleasantville Invitational. She was not especially excited about competing in the event so I thought there was work to do on her mental preparation.
Back up in the grandstand I watched Sam prepare for her first run toward the takeoff board. After she landed I witnessed her quickly hop out of the pit and progress rapidly to the officials as they measured the mark. I immediately thought it had to be a good jump since jumpers know when they have “hit one.” Excitement was evident as she rushed to hug her teammate who was the lone fan supporting Sam. The other 47 participants from our team were immersed in their electronic devices, unaware there was a track meet going on, much less real participants from “their team” who might benefit from their interest and support.
I hustled down to find out what happened and was told “I think I broke the school record” as Sam was not 100 % sure about the mark. Her jump was 15’ 03.5”. I confirmed her suspicion and she just relaxed for the remainder of the evening, still taking 1st place in the event despite not participating in the finals. The old mark of 15’ 03” was set in 1988 at the League 7 Championship meet, at Rockland Community College, by Lisa Waterbury.
We have had more school records set at a single meet. Twice during the record-shattering rampage of 2006 – 2007, the teams set four. At the Hispanic Games on January 6, 2007, Katie Bakas shattered the 1-mile record in advance of the boys 4 x 800 m relay record going down and then in rapid succession new standards were set by the girls 4 x 400 and 4 x 200 m relays. The team hit another four-bagger later in the season. On February 17, 2007, at the Hall of Fame Classic, new marks were set by the boys in the sprint medley relay and the 4 x 800. The mark in the 4 x 800 was the first time the team dipped under the mystical 8:00.0 barrier. The girls were magical in the sprint medley and 4 x 400 relays. The girls’ effort in the 4 x 400 marked their first performance below 4:20.0. That season brought in a basket of 22 new school records.
While I do not expect nearly as many this season, I believe we have at least two events for the girls where standards can be lowered at least once and perhaps multiple times. In addition, perhaps more progress can be made in the long jump and shot put.
Sam may disappoint me as she has indicted she is retiring from the event: “Retiring at the top” she says, unlike so many old and depreciating professional athletes who live on and on, while continuing to depress the fans and drain their favorite team’s financial capabilities.
Bobcat Rally Falls Short in 63-55 Finals Loss to Tappan Zee By Rich Monetti
December 6, 2015 Saturday night, the Byram Hills Winter Classic Basketball Tournament had Tappan Zee entering the finals with exceptional outside shooting, a strong inside presence and a tenacious defense. The Bobcats showing plenty of the same in their opening round victory against Children’s Village, a dog fight seemed at the ready. But in the first half of the final tournament game, Bobcat center Matt Groll definitely tilted the floor, and by the time he returned for meaningful minutes in second half, the Bobcats were left with a hole too deep to dig out of.
Tappan Zee didn’t wait long to show Byram Hills what they were up against on the perimeter. Well defended and above the arc, Rob McWilliams let fly and nestled the net for the game’s first three points.
Matt Groll answered right back with a strong roll to the hoop. But after Tappan Zee’s other sharp shooter, Kieren Gibson, swished another three, Groll’s problems began.
Defending All-Tournament Center Vic Clervil on subsequent possessions, Groll was whistled both times and was out of the game at the 5:15 mark of the first.
Down 11-4, Byram Hills did keep pace initially. A Jared Friedberg layup and a perfect feed from Lou Filippelli let Matt Milone sink two free throws.
Unfortunately, Byram Hills 4-0 run was met by 15 consecutive points and a 23-8 lead for the Dutchman. However, the absence of Groll didn’t put Clervil on the loose. But the sky certainly seemed to open every time McWilliams got the ball, and defenders draped all over him still had the net at his mercy on three triples.
A four point play by Skylar Sinon gave Byram Hills some much needed pause to close the quarter at 23-12, and now the Bobcats had good cause to regather around their center to start the second.
Tappan Zee put the Bobcat center to the test right away. Getting the ball into Clervil, he was denied as Groll stood his ground and stayed straight up. On the other end, Groll went strong to the hoop and Byram Hills seemed back in business at 23-14.
Still, Tappan Zee, knowing the score, sent Clervil right back to work and got Groll off his feet. Appearing to go straight up on the block, the referee didn’t agree and the displeasure echoed through the gym as the Byram Hills center went the bench.
Falling on Tappan Zee’s deaf ears, a Gibson three ball quieted the grumbling and a redo of the first period was in order. But before the sharpshooting took flight again, Tappan Zee went inside to Matt McGuiney and Kevin Lynch for a 31-19 lead.
A three point play and a corner jumper by Skylar Sinon appeared to put the brakes on another onslaught, but Gibson took long aim again and extended the lead to 34-24. Not be outdone, McWilliams first showed short range ability on a runner and was out of this world with a long three from the corner to put Byram Hills down 41-26 at halftime.
The second half again put Groll to the fore, but the first two incursions by Clervil had the ball rolling off the rim, and the Bobcat anchor straight up and on his feet. The defensive tone set, Groll established on his end in traffic after Lou Filippelli found him under the basket for the first points of the quarter at 5:48.
Remaining in the act, Filippelli gave and received by finding Matt Milone for a layup and then converting inside after Milone returned the favor with his own precision pass. The score 41-32, Groll’s heady defense still had him walking on eggshells, and Clervil successfully posted up twice for a 45-32 lead.
On the other hand, the inside strategy seemed to cool Tappan Zee’s deadeye shooting, and now it was Sinon who had the visitors not believing what they were seeing. Coming open at the top and the right corner, the sophomore suddenly had the Bobcats with in seven to close the quarter.
Frantic play on both ends to start the fourth, the centers would finally exchange baskets and keep the margin at seven with 5:35 remaining.
Otherwise, Byram Hills would get within five twice. First off the hard work of Sinon, the shooting guard kept an offensive rebound alive and got the ball to Milone for a layup that made the score 47-42. Then it was Jared Freidman finding Milone on the break at the 3:46 mark and a 49-44 game.
But the early deficit was just too much. When the lead grew to nine after Clervil posted up Groll, the teams traded baskets until the Tappan Zee Center put an exclamation point on the tournament with a game ending dunk.
Bobcat Boys Face Children’s Village in First Round of Winter Classic Basketball Tournament By Rich Monetti
December 4, 2015 Last night the Bobcats hosted the first round of the Byram Hills Winter Classic Basketball Tournament. But Andrew Groll no longer there to clog up the middle and play go to for Byram, Children’s Village would get first glance at how Coach Ted Repa has filled out the home whites in absence of his star center who graduated last year.
Bobcat big men Ben Leff, Willy Samsen and Connor Ahern put sore eyes on Children’s Village, while good ball movement, outside shooting and team defense had the visitors reaching for their hankies after the 77-54 route. And most of the barrage had Matt Groll stationed on the bench to give the newcomers their first look at varsity play.
After Shawn Bernard opened the game with a three to give Byram Hills the early lead, layups and put backs rolled off the rim, jump shots fell as bricks, and even Byram Hills’ stinger Skylar Sinon couldn’t connect on several open looks.
But the erratic play of Children’s Village clearly implied that an onslaught was only a matter of time - despite an early 7-5 lead for the visitors. This was glaringly apparent as the Hawks point guard Tyrone Jenkins launched a rainbow three that actually hit the rafters above.
On the other hand, the guard’s highly unconventional shot did fall several times, but once the Village gave up the lead on Matt Nicolelli’s three at 3:22 of the first, the luster was all Bobcat.
So too was the thunder. After Leff drained a three at the beginning of the second for Byram, the freshman center came up with a steal, got ahead of the field and threw down a two handed dunk to break the lead open to 23-9.
Matters only got worse as Children’s Village finally got a chance to see heir to Andrew in brother Matt. Opening the third and no dust to shake off, Groll made a move at the top of the key and finished strong at the basket to give Byram Hills a 40-17 lead.
The expanse mostly had the Byram Hills faithful with a definite attention deficit. But the small crowd did suddenly take notice as Lance Ronneii flipped a circus shot over his head on the break and cut the Bobcat lead to 15 in the middle of the third.
Children’s Village would close to 55-41 moments later, but the run amounted to nothing more than a blip on the way to the eventual blowout.
The championship game is tonight at 8:00 p.m. against Tappan Zee High School.