With the NBA G-League’s Westchester Knicks on the road for two games this week, the Knicks’ home court at the Westchester County Center is serving as the site for the 19th Annual Westchester County Slam Dunk Tournament sponsored by the County’s Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. The Westchester County Slam Dunk Tournament has become one of the County’s, if not the New York Metropolitan Region’s, most celebrated high school tournaments. Kicking off the afternoon of day one of the four-day tournament were three spirited games by girls high school teams from Westchester County (Briarcliff H.S. Bears, Masters H.S. Panthers, Somers H.S. Tuskers), Brooklyn (St. Joseph H.S. Cougars), Nassau County Long Island (Elmont H.S. Spartans), and Conklin NY just east of Binghamton (Susquehanna Valley H.S. Sabers). On hand to welcome the contestants was Westchester County’s Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, Kathleen M. O’Connor and Kevin Cook. Westchester County Recreation Supervisor.
Above: Left to Right - Tip Off of St. Joseph vs Briarcliff, Elmont vs Masters, Susquehanna vs Somers
The afternoon tipped off with the Briarcliff High School Bears taking on Brooklyn’s St. Joseph High School Cougars. Within the first minute of the contest, St. Joseph took the lead with Briarcliff closing out the first quarter with a 12-9 advantage. The game see-sawed back and forth with the Bears outscoring the Cougars 16-5 in the second quarter, the Cougars roaring back in the third quarter with a 12-9 scoring advantage and both teams draining 10 points in the fourth. In the end, Briarcliff came out victorious with the final score 47-36.
Raven Pitt (#3) was the high scorer for St. Joseph with 10 points and the only Cougar to put up double digit figures. Briarcliff has two players in double digits, forward Alana Lombardi (#12) sinking 14 and guard Kacey Hamlin (#00) scoring 13. Hamlin also led her team in 3-point field goals sinking three of seven attempts.
In game two, Long Island’s powerhouse Elmont Spartans went up against the Panthers of the Masters School from Dobbs Ferry. A tightly contested defensive first quarter ended with a near tie score, Elmont edging out the Masters 11-10. Elmont, last year’s Long Island Class A Champions would not be denied and, led by forward Kem Nwabudu (#24) and the guard Jada Fernandez (#4), respectively scoring 15 and 12 points in the game, took the game from Masters by the final score of 54-37. Guard Zarria Franklin (#3) contributed by draining three 3-pt field goals.
The third and final girls game of day one was a barn burner, going back-and-forth and not being decided until the final seconds ticked by. Arguably, one of the tournaments favored teams is the Somers H.S. Tuskers, last year’s Sectional Class A and Regional Champion and one of the State’s final four. Following their three hour trip down from the Binghamton area, one might have assumed that the Susquehanna H.S. Sabers would enter the game a bit road weary. That was not the case at all. After trailing Somers at the end of the first quarter, 9-8, the Sabers went on an 18-7 run in the second quarter led by forward Maeve Donnelly (#33) and guard Hanna Haskell (#13), both ending the game in double digits. Somers regrouped and took the third quarter, 13-9, and both teams scored well into the double digits in the fourth with the lead switching as the final seconds approached. Susquehanna prevailed in tight contest over Somers with the final score, 49-46. Leading the Tuskers was Hanna Angelini (#20) with 16 points total, nine coming from 3-point distance.
The tournament continues through Friday.
More Tournament Photos at: http://wr-photo.com/p569938027