NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. Mamaroneck boys basketball earned its first win against New Rochelle since 1971 when the teams met on Feb. 6. But the result was vastly different on Friday.
New Rochelle clobbered Mamaroneck, 65-40, in the first round of the Class AA playoffs. New Rochelle coach Bill Murphy said that the Huguenots had revenge on their minds after their loss in the last meeting.
I take a lot of that blame. I dont think I did a good job that first game setting things up, Murphy said. Theres some tough kids on Mamaroneck. Some really, really tough basketball players. I give them a lot of credit.
New Rochelle put the game almost out of reach relatively early. The Huguenots led 32-10 at halftime and 44-20 at the end of the third quarter. Mamaroneck coach Tyrone Carver Jr. said turnovers plagued his team on the court.
We turned the ball over a lot. We didnt execute offensively which resulted in them getting into the open floor and a team like New Rochelle, thats one of the things they thrive off of, Carver said. Our (ineptitude) on the offensive end allowed them to do what they do and get the lead to what it was.
Murphy said he decided not to pressure the Tigers, which slowed them down and took them out of their rhythm. He also praised the defensive efforts of Malik Burts against Matt Mezansky because he did not allow Mezansky to drive to his right.
The Tigers season is now over, as is the high school career of Mezansky, their leading scorer. As he came off the court in the final minutes of the game, Carver greeted an emotional Mezanksy with a hug on the sideline before the senior took a seat on the bench.
Sad moment its crazy that its over, Mezansky said. I started looking back at what Ive been through the past three years and it just sort of hit me.
Carver also reflected on his time with Mezansky and was nothing but complimentary.
It has been an unbelievable ride. He has been one of the best players that Ive ever coached, Carver said. To have his fortitude and his talent has just been amazing. Him and (Gerry) McMullin in particular, those guys have been with me for a long time. When you see it come to an end, it hurts. It absolutely hurts because this is the best group by far that Ive had.
Barring an upset, New Rochelle will face Mount Vernon in the second round. Murphy said no matter what, his team will be ready.
I think our kids (are the) kind of kids that are up for this challenge right now, Murphy said. How theyre feeling, I just feel like theyre up for the challenge. Its the kind of kids that they are. So Im looking forward to it.
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