Boys basketball: Byram shakes off cold, advances; Salesian beats rival

Boys basketball: Byram shakes off cold, advances; Salesian beats rival

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Boys basketball: Byram shakes off cold, advances; Salesian beats rival

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With the heat not working in Byram Hills’ gym Monday, the cold outside could be felt during the Bobcats’ Class A first-round game against Sleepy Hollow.

The weather wasn’t the only reason for the chilly feeling on the court, as both teams struggled to produce offensively.

But despite its shooting woes, No. 8 Byram Hills secured a 38-37 win against No. 24 Sleepy Hollow.

The win sets up a quarterfinal game at No. 1 Eastchester Wednesday at 7 p.m. It was also the final game for Sleepy Hollow head coach Rob Rizzo, who announced he would be stepping down.

The Bobcats needed a fourth-quarter comeback to secure the lead and they then withstood the Headless Horsemen’s final possession, which included five opportunities at a game-winning shot.

“This year we were like, ya know, we are going to grind teams out,” said Bobcats senior guard Mike Giacomo, who had 13 points and three steals. “We’re going to grind teams out to the end and get a win, and that’s what we did today.”

It was a necessary change for a team that graduated nearly 80 percent of its scoring from last season. With the exception of junior Andrew Groll (seven points, 15 rebounds), Byram Hills lacks a playmaker on offense.

“We’re definitely more of a defensive-minded team,” Bobcats coach Ted Repa said “We have one major offensive threat, and then it’s kind of like depending on the day how it goes.”

The Headless Horseman made a 10-0 run to take a 37-34 lead with three minutes remaining.

“I was nervous that we were going to start to panic,” Repa said. “I was like, guys relax. It’s a one possession game.”

Brandon Sencer and David Lachs (seven points, five assists) each made layups to give Byram a 38-37 lead with just over a minute remaining.

Sleepy Hollow drew an offensive foul to get the ball back with 25 seconds left. The Headless Horseman then had five chances at a game-winning shot, but couldn’t convert.

Twitter: @Lohud_DeFran

Best of the rest: Kevin Silverberg scored 13 points — including two clutch 3-pointers in overtime — as Salesian rallied to beat CHSAA B rival Sacred Heart 59-51.

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