CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – John Jay boys’ basketball suffered a 44-40 home loss to Walter Panas on Wednesday, Jan. 15. It was their second straight four-point loss, the first coming six days earlier at Lakeland.

The Indians fell behind early against Panas and were unable to make up a 12-point first-half deficit against Panas, leaving Coach Patrick Heaton frustrated by the game-long chase.

“It was a game that we let get away,” Heaton said.

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The offensive struggles started early, as John Jay failed to score a basket for the first three minutes of the game.

“We didn’t shoot very well,” Heaton said.

John Jay was also outmuscled on the glass.

“They did better on the boards and got more 50-50 opportunities (for loose balls),” Heaton said.

Panas jumped out to a 13-4 lead on a drive and three by the Panthers’ Arturo Macchia. But John Jay kept the game in range, with a corner three cutting the deficit to 13-7 after one quarter. John Jay big man Shane Martinsen, who scored 13 on the night, helped the Indians cut the lead to 17-14.

But Panas, behind strong offensive rebounding, went on a nine-point run to extend the lead to 26-14. Martinsen answered down low again with a three-point play to close the second quarter.

The Indians carried that momentum into the second half. Chris Walsh opened the scoring on the offensive boards, and threes by Martinsen and Andy Kote gave the Indians a sniff at 30-24. But Panas scored six unanswered to go up 10.

John Jay’s Luke Mercer responded with a three to keep the game at a manageable 34-27.  Mercer, who had 7 points on the night, had two put backs to get John Jay within five, and his defensive rebound set up Chris Walsh for two on the other end.

John Jay eventually cut Panas’ lead to just one point, at 36-35, but that was as close as the Indians would get. With the loss, John Jay drops to 6-6 on the season.

“We started slow and came up a little short,” said John Jay’s Nick DeVincenzo.

John Jay 52, Somers 39
Tuesday, Jan. 7 (Somers High School)

After winning the championship over the holidays at the Pelham tournament, the team started the new year against Somers.

After a rough start where they were down 24-11 at halftime, the seniors on the team decided to take over. Mason DiFalco exploded for five three-pointers in the second half; Shane Martinson had three deep three-pointers in the second half; and Ben Brevetti came through with several clutch plays, including a three-point play to end third quarter at 33-33. John Jay went on to win by 13, outscoring Somers 41-15 in the second half.

Lakeland 61, John Jay 57
Thursday, Jan. 9 (Lakeland High School)

John Jay dropped close one at Lakeland, 61-57.  Shane Martinsen led the way for the road team, scoring 15 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter.

John Jay 62, Brewster 53
Sunday, Jan. 19 (Brewster High School)

The game was tied 27 after two quarters, but John Jay took over in the second half. Shane Martinsen (13 points), Joey Pink (11 points), Mason DiFalco (9 points), and Ben Konak (7 points) led the way offensively.

Ben Brevetti had a nice rebounding performance and Chris Walsh was strong on the drive. Stephen Ingersoll did a nice job stretching the floor for John Jay.