Back on Track: Somers Edges Panas in Thriller

Marc Maestri goes up strong. Credits: Deena Bell

SOMERS, N.Y.— Somers needed a positive push at home on Friday night after dropping its last three contests, each by only three points.

It took every player available Jan. 20, to spin the wheels again for a dramatic 65-64 win over Walter Panas and rights to the top spot in the league standings.

In a back-and-forth affair since the second quarter, junior guard Chris DiCintio launched a jump-pass to junior Lorenzo Bicknese, who canned the game-tying three from the corner with 55 seconds to go in the fourth quarter.

Sign Up for E-News

Senior forward Marc Maestri snagged the rebound off a Panas three-point attempt from the corner right before sophomore Lucas Fecci whipped a half-court pass to a wide-open Bicknese for the go-ahead layup with only 23 seconds left to play.

“We realized that we need to pick up the pace to win the league,” Bicknese said. “That’s our goal and we were not doing it without this game.”

Following an exchange of one made free throw per team, Fecci drew a foul but missed the first of his one-and-one opportunity.

Panas point guard Brandon Hodge was fouled as the clock read five seconds. He drained the first free-throw attempt, although the second rolled off the rim into the hands of Maestri, who was fouled just a second later. 

The senior missed his initial free-throw attempt and was whistled for a lane violation.

Four seconds remained for the Panthers as Somers called timeout. Hodge raced the ball past half-court before dishing to Stephan Reyes, who netted a corner-three that was released a second too late as the Tuskers prevailed.

“We are a tough team,” associate head coach Moshe Toledano said. “We are mentally tough and preach physicality. They stepped up and played on another level tonight. This win should bring them confidence for the rest of the season.”

From yet another slow start, it appeared that Somers was outmatched since it trailed by as many as 10 points in the first quarter.

It played its signature brand in the second quarter, distributing the ball quickly to outscore Panas 19-9 and scoot within two points at halftime.

“Gio (Tradito) was a big catalyst in the second quarter,” Toledano said. “He was able to get to the basket and was making the correct plays. He really allowed us to stay in the game.”

Somers (8-6) knifed through the Panthers’ zone defense in the second half with a faster-paced offense. It went up five points late in the third quarter when Justin Lancaster made a nifty move in the paint for a layup.

Since then, the revitalized Tuskers had to persevere their way past the speedy Panthers in a game of greater intensity and countless lead changes.

“Last year we were in games like this a lot,” DiCintio said. “But we were inexperienced and unable to close it out. It helped us mature to know what we need to do to win the game.”

They fought hard on the glass without starting forward Jack Gilroy or 6-6 power forward Nick Gargiulo because of injury.

“We’re taking this as a challenge now,” DiCintio said. “We want to win without them and win for them.”

Sharing the rock efficiently, five Somers players scored at least 10 points while Maestri guided it with 15 points, including 10 in the first quarter alone.

The sparkplug Bicknese scored 12 points which included six points on two three-point hits in the fourth quarter.

DiCintio tallied 11 points as both Fecci and junior point guard Gio Tradito racked up 10 points. Kevin Olifiers also stepped up with five points in the group effort.

“The best part about the team is that we are very deep,” Toledano said. “Lucas Fecci came in and was an animal defensively. We never rely on one person. Our philosophy is, ‘Who’s going to step up tonight.’”

Falling to the Brewster Bears, 55-52 last Wednesday, Somers got another big performance from Maestri, who registered 14 points. The red-hot forward has now compiled 45 points through the last three games.

Matt Pires netted nine points while both DiCintio and Bicknese scored seven. Tradito recorded five points as Lancaster and Fecci each had four.

The Tuskers, who are 4-1 in their league, will visit rival John Jay-Cross River for another league contest on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sammy Has Crossed Rainbow Bridge

“Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.”



Fifteen years ago, son George adopted six-week-old kittens he named Sammy and Roxy. Sadly, Sammy recently became ill and George had to make the decision most pet owners dread at some point: ease his ...

Calling All Pitchers and Catchers

In early February, from somewhere deep in Florida, near the principal’s office, a call comes out over the PA system: “Pitchers and catchers please report as soon as possible!” And from all over the land, they drop what they’re doing and head to the Sunshine State, the only people under 50 to arrive in large numbers without their grandparents first complaining that they ...

The March Wind Doth Blow

Thanks to New York State Electric & Gas and Mother Nature, I spent last week in New Jersey at my daughter Lisa’s home. Her sister and brother-in-law, Ilene and Curtis, drove me there on Saturday, then went back to Somers on Sunday, March 4.

Although I dislike talking about my health, the main reason I was in New Jersey is because I sometimes use oxygen and the machine needs ...

It's Good to Cheat!

OK, you know that I am working on losing 10 pounds before summer vacation and every weekend I cheat on my diet. I felt a little guilty about that and invariably yelled at myself every Sunday night. I found out that this is not unusual and may actually help us wannabe skinnies stay on our program in the long run. 

Two trusted authorities told me that it’s actually GOOD to cheat! A ...

Reading Across America With Dr. Seuss

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’m a school librarian and I wanted to remind your readers that March 2 was “Read Across America Day.”  Teachers, librarians and others who read with children encourage schools, libraries and parents to celebrate this day with their children. This special date was chosen because it is the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the adored children’s author. That ...

To Harrison, L'Chaim!

At long last, the smile of spring approaches, as an angry winter recedes into good riddance. Our spirit is ready to be re-charged. Damn the power outages, full speed ahead!

For my wife, Elyse, daughter, Elissa, and me, this otherwise exuberant time of year brings a confusion of mixed emotions. In 2003, on the opening day of spring, March 20, which happens to be my birthday, our 15-year-old son ...

When It's Not OK to Ask If Everything's OK

There is this thing that I do that annoys the heck out of my family. Well, to be honest, there are a lot of things I do that annoy the heck out of my family, but I am thinking of one thing in particular.

Whenever someone is in the bathroom for what I determine to be an abnormally long period of time, I stand outside the bathroom door and yell,


I ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

OAC Steamer Co. Firehouse, Ossining

2018 Living Art Event

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sun, March 25

First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown, Yorktown Heights

Holy Week at First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown

Religions And Spirituality

Accounting for Illegal Immigrants

March 7, 2018

To the editor,

The latest report from FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) is a detailed analysis of federal, state and local programs that are available to the nation’s illegals (12.5 million) and their U.S. born children (4.2 million) or accessed via fraud. The total cost to the nation’s taxpayers: $135 billion.

What we pay for: As a result of a 1982 Supreme Court ...

Paint Along with the Painted Ladies!

March 9, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: “Paint Along with the Painted Ladies” at The Palmer in Cuba, NY.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Theater Manager Michele Conklin at (585) 209-5512.

On Tuesday, March 20th at 6:00-8:00 PM come and “Paint Along with the Painted Ladies”!  Cost for the class includes Supplies to complete a Painting.  Beer, Wine, ...

Lacking Leadership, Town Struggles Through Another Series of Outages

March 14, 2018

I just gained power today, and because we have a whole house generator I was able to offer showers to residents of Heritage Hills. What got to me is that for them to seek showers at this time in their lives is terrible. Even more so because much of this could have been prevented, or at the very least, reduced in impact.

We can blame the utilities for a double whammy here, increased rates and ...