MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Yorktown started the season in a big way with two wins, including a 70-58 triumph at rival Mahopac in the championship game of the Inaugural Mahopac Tip-Off Classic on Dec. 3.
“It’s always great to get off to a good start,” Yorktown coach Kevin Downes said. “You want to build off the positive momentum.”
Yorktown was led by tournament MVP Tanner Dyslin (30 points and 10 rebounds) and all-tourney selection Sol Barer (13 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists).
“Tanner and Sol are very relaxed, confident players,” Downes said. “They don’t try to do too much. They allow the game to come to them and take advantage of their opportunities.”
Barer nailed a 3-pointer with three minutes remaining to stretch the Husker lead to 61-54.
Marc Spinelli (10 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) also had a big game with Matt Severino (9 points) doing a great job defensively along with Kyle Casey providing a big spark, according to Downes.
For Downes, it was a homecoming as he coached at his alma mater Mahopac for seven years before coming to Yorktown in 2014.
“I really just tried to focus on winning the game regardless of who the opponent was,” Downes said. “I still have friends there so it was nice to see people who I haven’t seen in a few years. Once the game starts it’s just like any other game. I was glad our kids showed toughness and resilience and got the win. This is a great group that works very hard and I’m very happy for them.”
Yorktown beat Brewster 56-36 in the opening round of the classic the previous night, holding the Bears to just 10 first-half points.
“It was all energy and communication,” Dyslin said. “Everybody on the floor was talking to each other, which resulted in steals and contested shots. We also rebounded very well, limiting their second-chance opportunities.”
Leading the Huskers against the Bears were Dyslin (22 points, 8 rebounds) and Spinelli (11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists).
“It all started on the defensive end for us,” Dyslin said. “Our defensive intensity created offense, and Marc and I were able to run the floor and be the beneficiary of some great passes from our teammates.”
Barer played a solid game as well for Yorktown (2-0) against Brewster, recording six points, two rebounds and five assists while taking four charges.
Severino, James Lundberg and Casey also played very well for the Huskers against the Bears, according to Downes, in what was a true team effort.
“Coach has drilled in our minds since Day 1 what we need to do to be successful, so whether it’s grabbing that rebound or getting that steal or making that basket, everybody did something to help us win,” Dyslin said.
Lakeland beat Putnam Valley in the opening round of the Eighth Annual Carolyn Conroy Memorial Tournament 40-35, led by John Mule’ and all-tourney selection Chris Foci, who each shared team-high honors by scoring 11 points apiece against the Tigers.
“We knew we had to come out strong tonight and bring home the win,” said Mule’, a junior point guard. “Before the game I had a talk with Chris and said, ‘Stay focused and bring the intensity. Me and you as the point guards need to take charge and lead the team.’”
Mule’ also took charge on the defensive end with a team-high four steals.
“I was able to use my quickness and kept my eye on the ball throughout the game and that was how I got the four steals,” Mule’ said.
David Kale was a force on the boards for the Hornets with a team-high 12 rebounds with teammate Patrick Morelli contributing eight clutch points.
“We were able to come out with the win because we kept our heads up and gave all we had on the floor,” Mule’ said.
The Hornets (1-1) played strong in the championship game the following night but were nipped by visiting Horace Greeley, 55-54, led by Tim Fallo (14 points, 6 rebounds), Kale (10 points, 12 rebounds) and Foci (10 points).