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wrestlingchampsAs the season was winding down for many winter athletes the Scarsdale wrestling team was gearing up for the most anticipated weekend of the season. With all of the Raider seniors qualifying for the Sectionals, there was a lot of energy heading into the two-day tournament. Many of Scarsdale’s wrestlers were slated to finish high at the top, and when the big weekend came, they put on a spectacular performance.

The tournament got underway on Saturday 2-11 at Clarkstown South at 11 am after snowy weather caused a two-hour delay. In the lower weights at 106 pounds, freshman Robbie Keltz fought hard in both of his matches but fell short of a win. Head Coach Barney Foltman was proud that Keltz made it to the sectional tournament as a freshman and looks forward to working with him for the next three years. Along with Keltz, Junior Mikey Hodges was unable to secure two wins for the day, but expectations remain high for this highly-skilled 113 pounder for his senior year. In the 126-pound weight class, senior Dan Jureller put on an impressive performance by dominating the 5th seed 12-7 in his first round match. Jureller eventually lost in a thrilling overtime match to Brewster’s Tommy Gonska, 14-16. Seniors Chen Shen, Adam Meyer, and captain Brian Hackel demonstrated strength in their respective weight classes but came away empty-handed. These seniors have had a tremendous season and scored big victories for the team in previous dual meets.

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Throughout the sectional tournament the spotlight fell on a few of the Raiders’ standouts. It seemed apparent that senior captains Jack Braun (170), John Tambunting (132), and Jacob Berkowitz (182) would dominate the first day of the tournament and advance to the second day at Pace. Along with these highly respected contenders, Joseph Koshakow (138) also distinguished himself. The junior battled his way through a competitive weight class (with an intimidating haircut) and came out to place 6th in the section. The future seems bright for this junior who fought hard both days, and established himself as a top name for next year. Seniors Braun, Tambunting, and Berkowitz worked their way up through their respective weight classes and found themselves with a chance to secure a sectional title. Jack Braun, failed to place top 6 in last year’s sectional tournament had a lot to prove in the second day of matches. The Dartmouth-bound senior put on an impressive performance but fell shy of the title, losing 4-2-in an overtime match and taking second place. John Tambunting, who placed 5th at last year’s sectional tournament, took it to the next level by placing second in this year’s tournament, falling to state-finalist Dan Ventura of Fox Lane in the finals. The heavy arena crowd seemed to favor underdog Tambunting, who proved to have the ability to make it far into the tournament.

Senior Jacob Berkowitz was a favorite to win his second consecutive sectional title. He did not disappoint his coaches or teammates and dominated his way through the tournament. In his final match he picked apart his opponent with ease. With two sectional titles under his belt, Berkowitz now looks to finish his triumphant senior year with a state title. He has been training hard and practicing two times a day for the state tournament in Albany.

Overall, the Raiders placed eight out of 42 teams in the section. With a heavily loaded senior class leaving, however, the team will work on building up a new squad while maintaining their tight camaraderie.

(Photo Credit: Leslie Berkowitz -- see more photos here)

 

 

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tigers3Spirits were high at the Scarsdale High School gym on Friday February 9 when the Raiders met their chief rival, Mamaroneck, for the last game of the regular season. Senior Night drew large crowds from Scarsdale and Mamaroneck who screamed, jeered and cheered throughout a very intense game. The Raiders lost to Mamaroneck after a 10-point 4th quarter comeback last week so a close matchup was anticipated.

Unfortunately for the Raiders they were not able to close the score gap all game. The first quarter ended at 6-11 in favor of the Tigers and by the end of the second quarter Mamaroneck solidified their lead with Scarsdale trailing by 12 points at 18-30. During the second quarter, junior point guard Alex Squadron injured his ankle and was escorted off the court.

In the third quarter the score spread narrowed when Scacchi scored a three pointer followed by two more from junior Jon Cohen. Also during the third quarter, junior Jack Hewitt received his 4th personal foul and was replaced by Alex Schwartz. At the buzzer for the third quarter, the scoreboard stood at 33-43.

The fourth quarter was marked by repeated fouls – with the clock stopping often.

Despite a great performance from Greg Scacchi who was the Raiders lead scorer with 17 points, Scarsdale never managed a rally and the game ended tigers4at 57-48. Mamaroneck’s matchup zone was just too tough to penetrate. With Squadron injured, the Raiders had a tough time guarding Mamaroneck’s all-section senior point guard, Matt Mezansky. Mezansky ultimately had 24 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, leading the Tigers to a victory on the road. This caps off a great week for the Tigers, who earlier this week upset both White Plains and New Rochelle.

The regular season ended with Scarsdale at 5-12 and Mamaroneck with a 12-6 record. Scarsdale will likely play at North Rockland in the first round of the playoffs, and if they win then they will travel back to 100 California Road to face off against the number 1 seeded Mount Vernon Knights, at their home gym. Mount Vernon went 12-0 in Section 1 this season, winning their games by an average of 32.9 points per game. None were closer than 25.

Seniors and their parents gathered for a picture to commemorate the 2011-12 season, and here they are, courtesy of Cathy Hewitt.

raiderseniors

 

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raiderknightsThe Raiders played their last away game of the regular season on Tuesday, February 6 at Mt. Vernon where they faced off against the two-time defending state champion Knights. As the Raiders entered the gym they could see all the championship banners that hung all over the walls, a very daunting sight. For eleven out of the past twelve years, the Knights have won the Section 1 title

In attendance at the game was Virginia Tech’s head coach, Seth Greenberg, who was there to give Mr. Vernon’s Isaiah Cousins’ a scholarship offer to play for him next season.

Starting point-guard Quadere Lovell could not play because he was required to serve a one- game suspension after being ejected when the Knights played against Mamaroneck on Saturday.

With all of this in mind, the Raiders entered the game with nothing lose. After 45 seconds of play the score was 2-2, with Isaiah Cousins and Aleks Larsen trading buckets. Sadly for the raiders, this would be the last time all game that the score would be tied. The first half was highlighted by an emphatic dunk by Mount Vernon’s Randy Stephens over Scarsdale’s Andrew Crean. By the end of the half the score was 45-9.

The second half went slightly better for the Raiders, and they were also able to get good experience for everyone on their roster. The final score of the game was Mount Vernon 79, Scarsdale 26. Brandon Martin of Mount Vernon led all scorers with 17, and Cousins was able to score 14. Peter Simon led the Raiders in scoring with 6.

Now the focus is turned to the Raiders’ final game of the regular season against Mamaroneck at home on Friday at 4:15.

 

 

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sugarmanFrom February 3-5, more than 1,000 fencers from the United States, Mexico and Canada gathered outside of Washington D.C. for the largest youth fencing competition in history. Scarsdale was represented by Scarsdale Middle Schooler Jared Sugarman, age 12, and Polly Adler, age 10, from Edgewood Elementary School.

Jared Sugarman, a seventh grader, placed 20 out of 101 fencers in Y12MF and finished 45 out of 103 in Y14MF. Jared started fencing at age 6. He fences at Westchester Fencing Academy (FAW) in Hawthorne for three hours on Fridays and Saturdays and two hours on Sundays throughout the year, unless he is in a competition either locally or out of state. He has competed in many super regional and national tournaments. Jared spends several weeks each summer at Cornell Fencing Camp. He really enjoys the competition and appreciates the merits of an individual sport. At a very young age he has worked hard and demonstrated commitment. Jared is currently ranked twelfth in the United States for Y12MF and is looking forward to the U.S. Summer Nationals in Anaheim, CA where he will see many of the new friends he made through fencing.

pollyfencing1Polly Adler, a fifth grader, captured a silver medal at the tournmanet, beating out 30 other competitors in Y10WF. Ms. Adler went on to finish 6th in a pool of 71 fencers for Y12WF. She will represent the United States at the Pan American Games in Mexico in May. Polly trains in New York City at Fencers Club. She is also one of the youngest licensed fencing (foil) referees in the United States. Adopted from China, Polly is working toward participating in the 2013 Junior Olympics and gaining a seat on the U.S. National Team. She is ranked 6th in the United States for Y10WF and 15th for Y12WF. Over the summer Polly will be teaching fencing skills to Inuit native children in Alaska, as well as attending summer camp in Mexico.

 

 

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ramsOn Saturday, February 4, the Raiders played their last home game against the Port Chester Rams (1-12 entering the game) in the final game of Breast Cancer Awareness day. Earlier that day, the freshman team faced off against Harrison and then the JV team played against Port Chester. All players from all six teams were given pink shoelaces to show their support for the cause.

Scarsdale came into the game with a sense of urgency. Although they had already clinched a playoff berth, with only five wins it seemed likely that they would have to play perennial powerhouse Mount Vernon, who is going for their third straight New York State championship. Another factor that added to their must- win mentality was that last year, when the Raiders faced the Rams, the Rams left their gym with a victory.

The game started and a minute later the score was already 10-2, with the Raiders leading. Scarsdale’s defense looked strong throughout the rest of that quarter. Tim Brown, Port Chester’s left-handed center seemed to be the only person that could penetrate the tight 2-3 zone. The quarter ended with Scarsdale senior, Jeff Schwartz hitting a deep 3- point shot at that buzzer, leaving the score at 21-11.

In the second quarter, Aleks Larsen, Andrew Crean and Greg Scacchi all showed their scoring ability, displaying an arsenal of outside, mid-range and inside scoring. By the end of the second, the Raiders also found a way to stop Tim Brown, and in turn led Scarsdale to only give up 6 points that quarter. At the half, the score was 37-17.

In the third quarter, all of the seniors got into the game, and were able to extend the lead to 52-38. The only junior who played in the first three quarters was Alex Squadron, as this would be the last home game the seniors would ever play.

In the fourth quarter the rest of the team got in the game and showed promise. Robert Plummer, Jon Cohen and Jack Hewitt never entered due to injuries.

The final score was 67-37. Aleks Larsen led all scorers with 15. Andrew Crean and Greg Scacchi each added 13 points.

Scarsdale’s next game is this Tuesday at Mount Vernon High School, and then they wrap up their regular season against rival, Mamaroneck on Friday at 4:15.

 

 

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