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Watts' Peekskill team is undefeated after a tourney this weekend. Peekskill rallies for boys crown - LoHud.com

 

WHITE PLAINS - There were no trophies given out on Sunday night. Nobody got an MVP award, and the Westchester County Center staff didn't remove the courtside seats or put away the baskets.

 

Peekskill technically didn't win the Slam Dunk tournament title with Sunday's overtime classic with Iona Prep. It only felt that way. The Red Devils had to go out last night and beat an underdog Gorton team in what was supposed to be a formality.

 

 

The four-time Class A sectional champs had a far tougher time than anybody would have expected. Peekskill trailed late in the third quarter before storming past the Wolves in the final 10 minutes for a 66-47 victory that gave the Red Devils back-to-back Slam Dunk titles.

 

"I think we came out and slacked off after the Iona Prep win," Peekskill point guard Daquan Brickhouse said. "I don't think we gave Gorton the respect it deserved and they took it to us. But we came out and found a way to pull the victory off."

 

Brickhouse and Ralph Watts made sure of it. Watts, a senior headed to the University at Albany, scored nine of his 24 points in the fourth quarter. Brickhouse, a junior, added 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds to earn MVP honors for the second year in a row.

 

Peekskill survived its second grueling test in as many days to improve to 8-0. Its 80-76 win over previously unbeaten Iona Prep on Sunday came just hours after Gorton stunned White Plains at the buzzer in the other semifinal.

 

"I was worried tonight if our guys would have any stamina left after last night," Peekskill coach Lou Panzanaro said. "We felt we could put pressure on their guards tonight, but I didn't want to bring it too soon. But Gorton left us no choice."

 

Peekskill overwhelmed the Wolves in the fourth quarter, forcing 10 of their 28 turnovers to seal the victory. Watts had seven steals and Darien Thomas had four as the Red Devils scored 26 points off turnovers.

 

Gorton was a team most believed could go winless in the event. But the Wolves got to the final by rallying from 13 points down to beat Long Island Lutheran in Saturday's opening round. They then came back from 18 points back to defeat White Plains.

 

The Wolves appeared to have a little magic left last night. After trailing by as many as 13 early in the second quarter, they closed to within five at the half. Corey Green, who hit the game-winner at the buzzer against White Plains, drained a 3-pointer with 2:50 left in the third to give Gorton a 37-36 advantage.

 

"I felt if we could hang around until the last four minutes and give ourselves a chance to win, we'd be all right," Gorton coach Rob Rizzo said. "The closer we got to those last four minutes, the happier I was."

 

Peekskill was clearly exhausted and in disarray offensively through the second and third. Green's 3-pointer, though, seemed to resuscitate the Red Devils.

 

"It was definitely a wake-up call for us," Watts said. "I was thinking to myself in the third quarter that we shouldn't be losing to these guys. Daquan, myself and the whole team just turned it on right then."

 

The Red Devils answered Green's 3-pointer by scoring nine of the next 12 points. Kenny Bradshaw putback just before the buzzer to make it a 45-40 game.

 

"That was a real back-breaker," Rizzo said. "We had momentum and they were on their heels. But we gave them a chance to catch their breath to start the fourth quarter. Some of things we did tonight were self-inflicted mistakes. But most it were things forced by Peekskill."

 

Peekskill put Gorton away in the fourth. Thomas (12 points, eight rebounds) opened the quarter with a 3-pointer to start a 13-3 run to seal it.

 

"I've known coach Rizzo a long time and I knew that he would prepare his kids well," Panzanaro said. "They're scrappy and they played hard and I knew they weren't going away. I felt we just had superior talent and when we got ahead early, I didn't think they would be able to come back like that."

 

All-tournament team: Joining Brickhouse on the all-tournament team were teammates Watts and Thomas, Green and Chris Ranglin of Gorton and Brian Voelkel of Iona Prep.

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Quick pre-season blurb on Mr. Watts:

 

Ralph Watts

 

Player profile

Ralph Watts

School: Peekskill

Year: Senior

Position: G/F

Height: 6-foot-5

 

Super 7 credentials: No player is stepping into a more scrutinized role this season than Watts.

 

The versatile wing goes from role player on last season’s Class A sectional championship squad to the guy who replaces Mookie Jones as the go-to threat on a team that’s aiming for its fifth straight title.

 

Watts seems up to the challenge. He averaged 12.1 points as a third option last season on a team that went 25-1, losing in the state semifinals. He had some of his best games in the second half of the season as his confidence grew, and should be poised to be among the area’s leading scorers.

 

The fact that he’s already signed with the University of Albany should alleviate some of the pressure. As long as Watts gets his touches and continues to improve on the defensive end, Peekskill should waltz to another championship.

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Ralph Watts is evidently doing a nice job helping keep his Peekskill team undefeated (16-0)

 

Below is MSG's Metropolitan NY/NJ rankings

 

MSG Top Ten BASKETBALL POLL

As of 2/2

 

1. St. Patrick, NJ (16-2)

2. Christ the King, NYC (17-2)

3. Paterson Catholic, NJ (14-3)

4. Rice, NYC (12-2)

5. Peekskill, NY (16-0)

6. Mt. Vernon, NY (11-3)

7. Iona Prep, NY (18-1)

8. Christian Brothers Academy, NJ (15-2)

9. St. Peter's Prep, NJ (15-2)

10. St. Anthony, NJ (16-3)

 

ON THE BUBBLE

 

John F. Kennedy, NYC (16-2)

St. Raymond, NYC (12-7)

Boys & Girls, NYC (16-6)

Plainfield, NJ (13-5)

Bishop Ford, NYC (17-3)

Newark Science, NJ (13-0)

 

Bishop Loughlin, NYC (10-7)

New Rochelle, NY (14-3)

 

Trinity Catholic, CT (13-0)

 

Lincoln, NYC (12-8)

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Spotted at the game today.

Section 250, chairbacks.

I had the chance to chat a little with him after the game. Nice kid. Hopefully he can make his mark on the program.

 

Yup, I saw him too after the game in exactly that location. Glad he came out to watch the game!

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Poughkeepsie halts Peekskill's streak

By Kevin Devaney Jr.

The Journal News • February 10, 2009

 

POUGHKEEPSIE - The last thing the other teams in the upcoming Class A sectional boys basketball tournament need is for Peekskill to be any more motivated. But heartbreaking losses sometimes have just that effect.

 

The four-time defending Section 1 champs had their 41-game regular-season winning streak snapped with yesterday's 70-63 loss at Poughkeepsie.

 

 

As disappointed as the Red Devils appeared walking off the Poughkeepsie court following the game, they were clearly a refocused team as they boarded the bus.

 

"Losing like this gives us more motivation to work hard and get into a better mind-set," point guard Daquan Brickhouse said. "To lose is never good, but in this situation, it might be the best thing for us."

 

There's certainly no shame in losing to Poughkeepsie, which was the last team to beat Peekskill during the regular season, accomplishing the feat on Feb. 1, 2007, at Poughkeepsie.

 

The Pioneers finished the regular season 17-2 and are in line for either a No. 2 or 3 seed in the Class AA tournament. Their seed depends on whether North Rockland defeats Clarkstown South tonight.

 

With the playoffs starting on Friday, the Red Devils (18-1) welcomed yesterday's test, especially on the road in a raucous environment like Poughkeepsie. The league rivals actually were slated to meet on Dec. 12, but rescheduled due to Peekskill's entry in a tournament in Massachusetts.

 

"I suggested we move the game to the last game of the regular season," said Red Devils coach Lou Panzanaro, who beat Poughkeepsie for his 500th varsity win at Peekskill on Jan. 21. "We knew it would be a positive for both of us because, win or lose, it would set the right tone going into the sectionals."

 

The victory certainly boosted Poughkeepsie into the tournament.

 

The Pioneers trailed for most of the first half, going down by as many as seven in the second quarter before tying 30-30 at halftime. The lead changed hands six times in the third quarter before Elijah McLaurin's 3-pointer in the final minute of the period gave Poughkeepsie a 47-45 lead.

 

Poughkeepsie slowly broke away in the fourth. Another McLaurin 3-pointer made it 57-52 with 4:25 left, starting a stretch in which the Pioneers scored on five of six possessions - three off offensive rebounds - to put the game out of reach.

 

"This is a great accomplishment for all these kids," Poughkeepsie coach Brian Laffin said. "In the postseason, there is no guarantee. We're taking this one day at a time. We just have to make sure now we are prepared for Friday."

 

The tandem of Dayvon Whitaker and Nate Gause might be too much for whoever the Pioneers play.

 

Both were sensational in the fourth. Whitaker had eight of his 22 points in the quarter. Gause, a sophomore, scored seven of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, and finished with 11 rebounds.

 

Kenny Bradshaw, a 6-foot-7 center, had a breakout game for Peekskill, scoring 10 points with 19 rebounds and five blocks. But not having senior forward Darien Thomas, who was suspended for breaking a school rule according to Panzanaro, hurt on the boards.

 

Ralph Watts, who was fighting the flu, had 15 points for the Red Devils, and Brickhouse had a team-high 25 points with seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks.

 

Peekskill already has secured the No. 1 seed in the Class A field, which will be officially announced tomorrow. Leaving Poughkeepsie last night, the postseason already had begun.

 

"Everything happens for a reason," Brickhouse said. "I really feel that something good will come out of it. Guys will play harder. They'll be in a better mind-set and think more about what we're doing on the court. This will be good for us."

 

Reach Kevin Devaney Jr. at kdevaney@lohud.com. Read his Varsity Insider blog at varsityinsider.lohudblogs.com.

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What did Haggy do to Watts? His team was undefeated and rolling. Then he has a chat with Haggy at the BPG and Watts has the flu and loses his next game!

I had a feeling this one might come back to me. From now on I will try to use an intermediary, but in my defense at least Watts is not out for the season.

 

Logan, sorry about the foot.

Watts, sorry about the loss and the flu.

 

Look out Broadus. I just want to chat with a couple of your recruits. By the way, this Bobby Munoz for B.U. looks pretty good. Maybe I'll chat it up.

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