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Ralph Watts Watch 2008

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Peekskill surges past Spring Valley

By Kevin Devaney Jr.

The Journal News • February 19, 2009



PEEKSKILL - Having a bye to the Section 1 Class A quarterfinals enabled Peekskill boys basketball coach Lou Panzanaro to scout Spring Valley firsthand in Friday's opening round. It took only a few minutes into the game before Panzanaro was shaking his head in disbelief.


"Watching them play," he said, "I couldn't understand how they were a nine seed."



Spring Valley certainly played far better than its record in last night's game at Peekskill. The Tigers took a two-point lead into halftime before the four-time sectional champion exploded for 32 points in the third and surged to a 78-61 victory.


Daquan Brickhouse scored 13 of his 19 points in the third to lift No. 1 Peekskill (19-1) into the semifinals next week at the County Center. It will face the winner of tonight's Pearl River-Lourdes quarterfinal at a date and time to be announced today.


"This was a tough matchup before," Panzanaro said. "Spring Valley is good on the boards and they have some good shooters. We knew this wouldn't be easy."


In the first half it appeared Peekskill's reign as champ was in serious danger.


Spring Valley (13-9), which had won 10 of its last 11, opened up a six-point lead late in the second quarter, hitting 5 of 7 from 3-point range before Peekskill cut it to 37-35 at the break.


"We knew Spring Valley was a good team but we took them lightly," Red Devils center Kenny Bradshaw said. "We treated the new half like it was a totally new game. We weren't playing our game or playing as a team. We decided to just go out there and win this game and go home."


The 6-foot-7 Bradshaw and Malcolm McDonald dominated the boards in the third quarter as the Red Devils outrebounded Spring Valley 14-3 in the period. Bradshaw had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and McDonald had nine rebounds off the bench.


Ralph Watts scored seven of his 20 points in the third, and Brickhouse shook off a rough first half and scored all 13 of his points on layups or foul shots.


"We finally got aggressive and started hustling," Bradshaw said. "We realized tonight that we've got to go out and play. We can't take anything lightly."


Spring Valley tried to stop Peekskill's momentum, calling for two timeouts during a 22-5 stretch. But a lack of execution on offense kept digging it deeper.


"It's hard to stop the bleeding unless you have a Band-Aid," Tigers coach Willie Worsley said. "If you don't have the personnel to stop the bleeding, you're going to bleed."


Worsley applauded his team's resiliency this season, which started with the death of his daughter, Etta, on Dec. 6 in Pennsylvania.


"Ever since then we've been an emotionally drained team," Worsley said. "We played three games the week after she passed and we lost all three because we didn't have regular practices.


"But we pulled together. The kids really rallied and helped me get through that time. It was a lot of emotions for these kids but we got through it."


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


Sorry I didn't see Haggy's post

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Lohud Blog


Class A semifinals

No. 1 Peekskill (19-1) vs. No. 5 Pearl River (15-7)


When: Thursday, 6:30 p.m.


How’d they get here: Peekskill had a bye in the opening round and beat Spring Valley 78-61 in a game it trailed by two at the half. Pearl River outlasted Tappan Zee 47-42 in the first round and won at Lourdes, 57-50, to reach the semifinals.


Regular season meetings: They didn’t play.


Key matchup: Matt Grossbard of Pearl River vs. Daquan Brickhouse of Peekskill. Who plays better won’t decide the outcome. But it will be fun to watch two of the best point guards — and perhaps the area’s most intense competitors — go head to head.


How Peekskill can win: Don’t take Pearl River lightly. We all know Peekskill is gunning for its fifth straight sectional title and is facing an undersized Pearl River team, which is among the week’s biggest underdogs. But the Pirates are going to show up to win. If the Red Devils take them lightly, this won’t be a typical lopsided playoff victory.


How Pearl River can win: Many have tried in the last five years and nobody has even come close to succeeding. Peekskill’s dominance in sectional play has been daunting and Pearl River doesn’t seem to pose a serious threat. The Pirates, though, are going to be scrappy. If they can stay close in the first half and cut this down to a 16-minute game, anything can happen.


Who will win: C’mon, now. This is Peekskill’s championship to lose, as has been the case the last four years. The Red Devils got their scare last week against Spring Valley and responded resoundingly. Don’t expect them to get caught napping again.


Prediction: Peekskill 72, Pearl River 56

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Final: Peekskill 91, Pearl River 37


Update, 8:21 p.m.: Through three quarters, Peekskill leads 67-28


Update, 7:49 p.m.: Eventually one of these No. 1 seeds was going to come in here and put on a show. Unfortunately for Pearl River, it was at the wrong place at the wrong time.


Peekskill leads the Pirates 44-14 at the half. It got ugly quick and was no better as it went on.


It’s too bad for Pearl River. It’s had a great season, endured so much adversity and is seems to be shooting into a rim with a lid cover it. I don’t doubt they’ll come out and play hard in the second half.


Ralph Watts has 17 points and Daquan Brickhouse has 14.


Update, 7:27 p.m.: Well, that got ugly quick, huh? Peekskill leads Pearl River 20-4 after one quarter. The Red Devils scored the first 14 points and held the Pirates without a basket until 1:30 left in the quarter. Ralph Watts and Daquan Brickhouse each have seven points.


Update, 6:58 p.m.: Peekskill and Pearl River will tip off their Class A semifinal in about nine minutes. Can at lease one No. 1 seed have an easy time here in the semfinfals?

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Did Peekskill run up the score? (Click on the link.)


I stayed at the County Center tonight until 11:30 and then went for a burger with Journal News staffer Josh Thomson. I pretty much talked about the fourth quarter of the Peekskill-Pearl River game the entire time, speaking with many coaches and knowledgeable fans.


In case you missed it, I watched as Peekskill coach Lou Panzanaro was confronted after the game by several upset Pearl River coaches who felt he didn’t pull in the reigns in Peekskill’s 91-37 win. Clearly, they had a few words and each side walked away disatisifed.


Here are the facts in case you don’t know:


Peekskill was pressing Pearl River up 40 points in the third quarter


Peekskill kept Ralph Watts and Daquan Brickhouse in the game 4:11 left in the fourth quarter


Pearl River emptied its bench before Peekskill did


Peekskill’s reserves were in a half-court trap until the final buzzer


Peekskill scored eight points in the final 1:30



After the game, I offered Pearl River coach Jerry Houston the opportunity to give his side. He smiled, shook his head and said “It’s not really worth it.”


Panzanaro spoke about it for a few moments afterwards. Here’s how it went:


When I asked him about the discussion with the Pearl River coaches afterwards:



“The other coaches were unhappy that we didn’t go and sit back in a 2-3 zone. But that’s not how we play basketball. I understand that philosophy, that you can always get the points back. But I don’t know about my team. I want my team to play aggressive. That was basically our 2-3 zone. We weren’t playing man-to-man in the second half.”


When I asked about the reserves playing aggressively and trying to steal the ball despite the huge lead:


“I tell the second team kids that the only way they can get to be on the first team is if they get aggressive in practice. But then I have to tell them ‘Well, not tonight.’ I can’t do that. I might be wrong, but I can’t do that.”


When asked about Ralph and Daquan being in the game as long as they were:


“That was a miscommunication with Daquan. Nyjee (Wagner) was supposed to go in there to start the fourth but Nyjee didn’t. I didn’t want to embarass Daquan by taking him right out there so I let him play a few minutes and then pulled him. … Looking back, I might have kept (Watts) in a little too long.”


Afterwards I spoken to about a dozen coaches and officials about that fourth quarter. The responses were pretty much divided 50-50.


Some said it was up to Pearl River to wave the white flag earlier and empty the bench; others felt Peekskill’s starters had no business being on the court past the middle of the third quarter.


There were those who agreed that Peekskill should run the shot clock down to 10 on offense and sit in a zone on defense; and there were plenty who believed the bench players are just as entitled to play as the starters.


A few felt Peekskill had some sort of axe to grind, perhaps with the chanting Pearl River fans screaming when the game was out of reach in the first quarter; the vast majority, though, agreed Peekskill can “pretty much do whatever it wants” in this situation. They’re right. What are the repercussions? Is Pearl River supposed to return the favor some day? When will that be, exactly?


Personally, I would have removed the starters earlier. Brickhouse and Watts proved just how good they are in the first quarters and were practically toying with Pearl River in the third. Fifty points, even with those two on the bench, is pretty safe to me.


I don’t, however, completely agree with the 2-3 zone idea. Basically it would be Peekskill telling it’s bench players not to play hard. Those kids (two of which were seniors who rarely play) are desperately trying to make an impact and increase their playing time down the line. They’re entitled to the opportunity to play by going to practice every day and working hard. This is their time to shine, just like it’s the Pearl River’s kids who came off the bench.


Whatever your philosophy is, it’s probably already been mentioned. The fact is the game’s over and it’s too late to go back and change anything.

Edited by haggyland
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Class A championship

Who: No. 1 Peekskill (21-1) vs. No. 2 Lakeland (17-4)

When: Sunday, 7:15 p.m.

How they got here: Peekskill beat Spring Valley in the quarters and romped Pearl River, 91-37, in the semifinals. Lakeland defeated Beacon and Pelham in the first two rounds before beating Rye, 51-40, to reach the final.


Regular season meetings: They didn’t play.


Key matchup: Daquan Brickhouse of Peekskill vs. Gary Austin of Lakeland. Austin is the quick, physical guard who can put a body on Brickhouse and make him work. Nobody has been able to stop Peekskill’s point guard all season. If Austin can at least keep the ball out his hands, Lakeland’s upset bid becomes realistic.


How Lakeland can win: Slow the tempo. Lakeland is a team that is so good at getting out in transition and scoring in bunches. That is, of course, when it’s not playing Peekskill. Nobody plays that style better than Peekskill and the Hornets shouldn’t even try to match it. Since they have the ball-handlers to handle the pressure, Lakeland’s best bet is slowing down the pace and be aggressive on the glass. Trying to outrun Peekskill simply won’t work.


How Peekskill can win: Get to the rim. When Brickhouse settled for jumpers against Spring Valley, he had one of his worst halves of a game this season. When he penetrates like he did against Pearl River, there’s almost no stopping in. Brickhouse thrives off taking his man one-on-one. Cutting down the lanes and forcing him to take jumpers is vital.


Who will win: Peekskill. Based on what I saw the other night against Pearl River, this is a team is a speeding train. Once again, the Red Devils are on a mission.


Prediction: Peekskill 79, Lakeland 63

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Watts is on fire. 4 threes and 15 points in the first half. Peekskill is up 25-15. Solid video feed and you can ask questions to the announcers. I asked about Watts strengths and they went on for a few minutes about him. Interesting stuff.

Edited by DanesRGood
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Watts is on fire. 4 threes and 15 points in the first quarter. Peekskill is up 25-15. Solid video feed and you can ask questions to the announcers. I asked about Watts strengths and they went on for a few minutes about him. Interesting stuff.


Where are you getting the vid? Never mind I see the link above.

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