For those of you who weren’t at the Westchester County Center yesterday, you missed an incredible day of basketball.
From Jess Tucci’s lights-out shooting, to Albertus Magnus’ gritty comeback against Lourdes, to New Rochelle’s near-buzzer-beater against Peekskill, the opening day of the 15th annual Slam Dunk Tournament did not disappoint.
Today, we’re back at it, with the consolation and championship games from yesterday’s bracket games. See below for the full girls schedule, my predictions and links to photo galleries from yesterday. My game stories are videos are already posted on the blog. Give them a look while we wait for the games to start.
Friday, December 27
Slam Dunk Tournament at Westchester County Center
Consolation: Lourdes vs. New Rochelle, 12 p.m.
Championship: Peekskill vs. Albertus Magnus, 6 p.m.
Zacchio’s bold predictions for Friday: I’ve got Lourdes winning the consolation and Albertus Magnus winning the championship today. I figured, since I have a few minutes before tipoff, I’ll give you a small preview and insight into why I’m going with each, along with my one x-factor.
Consolation preview: Neither team has a plethora of height, so rebounding will be an obvious thing to watch. Both are run-and-gun teams who can put runs together in the blink of an eye, but I think Lourdes has the advantage. Paige Decker is a bona fide star, this we know, but Mary Riley shoots very well for a forward and Emily Ferreri is a great compliment to Decker in the backcourt. New Rochelle turned the ball over 20 times int he first half against Peekskill, yet still managed to get off a potential game-winning shot. If the Huguenots do that against Lourdes, which trounced Peekskill by nearly 30 earlier in the year, the scoreboard likely won’t be as close after the final horn. That is my x-factor this game: ball handling. Lourdes had just six turnovers against Albertus Magnus, despite losing.This game can either be within five or 20; I’ll go somewhere in the middle and say that Lourdes wins this one by nine, 63-54.
Championship preview: I think we all secretly wanted this matchup to unfold. A rematch of last year’s Class A section final, Albertus Magnus is going to hungry for this one. Between its frustration and anxiousness stemming from last year and its win over Lourdes on Thursday, the Falcons are likely going to come out of the gate ready to go. Peekskill, which has been the poster child of inconsistency this month, will get a firsthand look at the favorite to dethrone it. Peekskill, which has also grown significantly over the offseason, has the advantage on the boards, which is also what propelled it to the section title last year. Albertus Magnus has done a better job on the boards this year, but it will need to be in top form against the Red Devils. Maybe Peekskill is just getting off some of the rust from the offseason, but it seems to be hitting a small stride — winning the Tappan Zee tournament (beating Hackley and Tappan Zee) then edging New Rochelle on Thursday. My x-factor is the rebounding; who ever owns the boards, will likely own the game. The Falcons are smaller, so it’s stellar 3-point shooting has to show up and help pick up some of the slack, but the really war will be won on the glass. My prediction: Albertus Magnus over Peekskill, 54-51.