Lakeland Boys Basketball (16-4, 9-1)

Lakeland 66, Somers 54
Wednesday, Feb. 12 (Somers High School)

After losing on Senior Night to crosstown rival, Yorktown, two nights earlier, Lakeland rebounded in a big way, defeating Somers, 66-54, in the regular-season finale for both teams.

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“It was very important for us to bounce back after Yorktown because it’s a huge confidence booster going into the playoffs and we get back into the winning mentality,” said Lakeland’s Rob Nardelli, who led the Hornets with 19 points.

One of Nardelli’s teammates, Jeffrey Owusu, who registered 13 points, agreed with Nardelli on the importance of winning at Somers.

“It was very important for us to bounce back after the loss to Yorktown, because the win against Somers helped us get back on the winning track,” Owusu said.

For three quarters, the game was a back-and-forth affair, with the Hornets leading 44-42 going into the fourth quarter. In the final 8 minutes, the Hornets took control of the game, outscoring the Tuskers, 22-12.

“After the third quarter we were able to pull away because we began to run our offense better and hit shots,” Nardelli said. “Our team has a bunch of great playmakers and shooters, and it’s hard to contain us for a full game.”

Another leading score was Augie Karaqi, who registered 16 points.

“We work very hard in practice and try to come and compete at our highest level every game, and it paid off tonight,” Owusu said of the trio’s efforts.

That trio, along with the rest of the Hornets, is looking forward to what they hope is a deep run in the sectional tournament. The boys basketball team has not reached the Westchester County Center in White Plains since 2009, when they made the Section 1 Class A finals.

There, the Hornets lost to Peekskill, the eventual Class A state finalist.

If the Hornets are to reach the semifinal round at the County Center this season, they will have to win two games. The first is a Class A opening-round contest as the No. 5 seed, hosting No. 12 Clarkstown South (11-9), at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21.

“I can’t wait to play in the tournament and take on Clarkstown South,” Nardelli said. “In order for us to win we need to play great defense and secure rebounds. We also need to run our offense efficiently, to have the outcome we want.”

If the Hornets are to get the outcome they want, they will have to be dialed in from the opening tip-off, to the final buzzer.

“Our main goal right now is to get to the County Center, compete there and try to win a gold ball,” Owusu said. “To get there, we have to be locked in on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, especially defense.”

Lakeland/Panas Track and Field

North Shore HS Pre-National Invitational
Friday, Feb. 14 (The Amory Track and Field Center, New York City)

Lakeland/Panas’ girls 1,600-meter sprint medley relay squad of Lauren Salazar, Makayla Waugh, Brooke Sayre, and Jalia Williams finished seventh at the North Shore High School Pre-National Invitational, with a time of 4:15.11.

The time broke their own team record, set earlier this year, by 5.5 seconds.

That allowed the relay team to qualify for the New Balance Nationals Indoor event, March 13-15, also at the Armory.

“It feels really great to qualify for nationals,” Salazar said. “We all work so hard in practice every day, and in meets. It is really great that we succeeded.”

Salazar likes the fact that relay is made up of runners from different classes.

“Our team consists of a sophomore, Brooke [Sayre]; a junior, JaLia [Williams]; and two seniors, Makayla [Waugh] and myself,” Salazar said. “So, to know that there is talent of all ages on the Rebels’ track team is just a really good feeling.”

Another reason for the relay’s success is the rapport the Rebel quartet has with one another.

“Also, we’re all really close friends and it’s always such a fun time being with the team,” Salazar said. “We know that if someone has a bad race and they don’t hit their times, no one will be upset at them. We are all so encouraging and have such positive attitudes.”

Lakeland Girls Basketball (5-15)

Somers 57, Lakeland 49
Wednesday, Feb. 12 (Lakeland High School)

Lakeland played a hard-fought game on Senior Night, before falling to Somers, 57-49.

“The girls played tough and it was a great game,” said Lakeland coach Miranda Mangan. “They fought hard and left it all on the court.”

Tyler Hormazabal led Lakeland with 23 points, followed by Hannah Devane, who contributed 10 points, in the Hornets’ final game of the season.

Honored before the game were Hornet senior captains, Megan Jennings, Bri Monte, and Sofia Portante.

“Meg, Bri, and Sof are three amazing young women,” Mangan said. “It’s been a pleasure to watch them grow over the last four years and we wish them the best of luck in college. Once a Hornet, always a Hornet.”

Lakeland/Panas Hockey (11-7-1)

Lakeland/Panas 9, Fox Lane 5
Friday, Feb. 14 (Brewster Ice Arena)

With the regular-season schedule dwindling down to a precious few games, Lakeland/Panas’ affair against Fox Lane was a big one, as the Rebels entered the contest ranked No. 8, with the Foxes No. 11, in Division 1.

Looking to gain separation from the Foxes and move up the rankings, Lakeland/Panas did just that, garnering a 9-5 victory against Fox Lane.

“It was great to get the win and show Fox Lane what we could do,” said Lakeland/Panas’ Frankie Kowal.

Kowal (3G) helped the Rebels jump on the board early, as he scored the game’s first goal, with assists from Brendan Morea (2A), and Joseph Jimenez (2A, 2A).

After Fox Lane tied the game at 1-1, the Rebels scored three times, giving themselves a 4-1 first-period lead.

“We came out with a lot of energy and our offense was producing for us,” Kowal said.

Lakeland/Panas didn’t rest on their laurels, scoring twice in the beginning of the second period, with goals by the Kowal brothers, Frankie and P.J., who scored 4 goals of his own.

Those two goals proved valuable, as Fox Lane answered back with two goals of their own late in the second period to cut the Lakeland/Panas’ advantage to three.

Jimenez however made sure the Foxes would get no closer, as he scored the first goal of the third period, with an assist from Jack Tuite, to put the Rebels up 7-3, and they were never threatened after that.

Andrew Dzubak (3A), Anthony Colasanti (1A), Lianna Vasta (1A), and Aaron Hathaway (30 saves), also contributed to the Rebels’ victory.

Lakeland/Panas 9, Rivertown 6
Sunday, Feb. 16 (Brewster Ice Arena)

Lakeland/Panas defeated Rivertown, 9-6, led by Jimenez (2G, 2A), A.J. Knopf (2G, 1A), Frankie Kowal (2G), P.J. Kowal (2G), Tuite (1G, 1A), Nick Perez (2A), Dzubak (1A) and Hathaway (21 saves).

The win was a big one for the Rebels, moving them to No. 5 in Division 1, just past Rivertown, which is No. 6.

BYSNS Hockey (6-13)

Saturday, Feb. 15

ETBE (Eastchester/Tuckahoe/Bronxville/Edgemont) got off to a 3-0 first-period lead, propelling them to a 4-2 triumph against the BYSNS at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon.

“Unfortunately, we came out flat and could not do enough to get back into the game,” said BYSNS co-coach Joey Bonitatibus.

Bryan Kottmann (1G), Carson Brunco (1G), Johnathan Graham (1A), Frankie Vigiletti (1A), Francesca Mangione (1A) and Matt Gergley (25 saves) earned their way into the box score for the BYSNS.

“One high point was that that we brought up a freshman player, Bryan Kottmann, who scored a goal in his first period as a varsity player” Bonitatibus said of Kottmann, who scored in the third period. “He had a very strong game and is a great addition to the team.”