LINCOLNDALE – Just six days had passed since Somers suffered its first loss of the season. The short wait was still interminable enough, knowing it came against rival Yorktown, a game the Tuskers would pine for whether they had one win or 10.
The teams met again Friday night at Somers High School and treated a deafening crowd to more drama. Much to Somers delight, this result was different, with the host surviving a comeback and finishing strong to win 53-48.
“It came down to who wanted it more and our kids have been really, really putting all their effort into this particular game. They really, really wanted it,” said Tuskers coach Chris DiCintio, whose team improved to 11-1 despite losing all five starters to graduation. “I thought their heart, at the end, prevailed.”
Somers led by double digits for much of the first half thanks to 13 first-quarter points by senior Matt Maloney, a transfer from Iona Prep who has led the team in scoring. Anthony Maestri and Pat Cousin hit 3-pointers late in the half to give the Tuskers a 29-19 lead, but their cushion was flattened in the second half.
Yorktown senior Mason Dyslin led his team back, and teammate Jesse Bambach finally moved the Huskers (9-4) in front, 42-41, on a baseline jumper with 4:10 remaining. Dyslin, who had 24 points, pushed the lead to three on the next possession, but it was almost all Somers in the final three minutes.
Pat Melly and Tommy Gargiulo scored to help the Tuskers regain the lead. Their defense then forced three straight steals. Only a technical foul with 1:14 remaining gave Yorktown hope, but Maloney responded with perfect free-throw shooting. He finished with 25 points and was 10 for 10 at the line.
“We have nine seniors here, so we have a lot of experience,” Maloney said. “We were able to keep our composure down the stretch and finish the game out.”
Best of the rest: Rickey McGill had 32 points and six assists and Kai Mitchell had 27 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Spring Valley in a 100-71 win over visiting Nyack. … Brendan Roche and Matt O’Neill had 11 points each for Pelham in a 51-46 win at Port Chester. … Justin Watson 16 points and eight rebounds for New Rochelle in a 65-52 win at Mamaroneck. … Derrick Felder had 24 points and nine rebounds for Saunders in a 46-45 win at Yonkers. … Marco Morency had 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists for Mount Vernon in a 87-68 win over visiting Scarsdale. Caleb Krohn led Scarsdale with 36 points. … Kevin Mackin had 28 points for Nanuet in a 74-69 win at Pearl River. Thomas Armour had 26 points for Pearl River. … Wendell Brand had 27 points and Joey Good had 14 points and seven assists for Sleepy Hollow in a 63-60 OT comeback win at Ardsley. …Mike Morelli had 31 points for Lakeland in a 66-59 win over visiting Peekskill. … Salim Green had 32 points and Vincent Conn had 24 points for Rye Country Day in a 71-65 win over visiting Greens Farms. … Evly Davis had 24 points and 17 rebounds for North Rockland in a 67-53 win over visiting Clarkstown North. … Conor McGuinness had 33 points and Justin Rivera had 26 points and 13 rebounds for Clarkstown South in a 81-77 win at Ramapo. … Luke McLaughlin scored with three seconds left as Tappan Zee beat visiting Albertus Magnus, 66-64. … Garrett Lynch’s layup with six seconds left lifted Croton-Harmon to a 52-51 win over visiting Pleasantville. … Mike Evans had 19 points and eight rebounds as Panas beat Ossining, 44-38.