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In the wild, you’ll rarely ever see two tigers inhabit the same space at the same time. It’s just a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, in high school basketball, it happens all the time.
Mamaroneck (4-2) traveled to White Plains(4-3) on Wednesday in a clash of the Tigers that saw White Plains overcome a slow start and capture the 46-39 victory.
“I wasn’t happy with the pace of the game,” White Plains coach Spencer Mayfield said. “It was an ugly win but it’s better than a loss.”
Neither side was able to get much going offensively in the first quarter as both teams took full advantage of the 35-second shot clock. The period ended 6-5 in favor of White Plains. Mamaroneck played strong defense but was unable to capitalize.
In the second quarter Mamaroneck started to get to the free-throw line but continued to struggle to make shots down low. Before Gerry McMullin (14 points) hit a baseline jumper with 5 seconds left in the half, Mamaroneck had gone nearly five minutes without scoring a point.
Despite Mamaroneck’s offensive woes, White Plains couldn’t pull away and led 18-13 at the break.
In the second half, Mamaroneck began to creep back into the game but it was the defensive play of White Plains senior guard Jake Sands in particular that allowed White Plains to fend off the late charge.
White Plains had 16 steals in the game with Sands accounting for seven of them. Sands is a persistent defender with quick hands and a nose for the ball. He jumpstarted the White Plains offense and allowed scorers Akeem Williams (14 points) and Anthony Williams (16 points) the freedom to get points in transition.
“We started off a little sloppy but we picked up the intensity and showed some flashes of hard work,” Sands said. “Me and Mikey (Scotman) help out with the defensive end off things since we have a lot of scorers who can run the floor and get easy baskets.”
Mamaroneck coach Tyrone Carver Jr. could be heard yelling “patience” from the bench and his team certainly is patient. They took their first lead with two minutes left in the third and were up 32-30 with five minutes to go in the game. They grinded on every possession and use every second of the shot clock.
Carver was without his starting point guard, senior standout Matt Mezansky, who's one of Section 1's best at the position. He missed the game after receiving two technical fouls in the team's previous contest.
To combat this slower pace, White Plains looked for steals and points in transition and that’s what they got over the final five minutes. A big three-pointer by Akeem Williams and a Michael Scotman Lay-in gave White Plains the 40-34 lead with 1:43 to go.