The Albertus Magnus boys basketball faced touch challenges heading into this season.
Most of the team that won the last two Section 1 Class B championships graduated, including Tyler Sayre, the school's all-time leading scorer. Then Section 1 moved Albertus Magnus up to Class A.
The latter change will make a much bigger impact come playoff time because Albertus Magus still faces the same league schedule, which includes the first of two league games 4 p.m. today at Pearl River (5-3).
Albertus Magnus enters the contest with a 7-2 record, having just beaten Tappan Zee Jan. 4 to continue its fast start. The Falcons feature guardt who scored 23 points in their 45-39 victory over the Dutchies last week.
Albertus Magnus will present another challenge for Pearl River's young, but improving group of guards. Junior forward Kevin Degnan, the Pirates' top scorer, has the versatility to play outside, but the team had to find new starters and top reserves in the back court. That includes sophomores Jack Byrnes and Tom Armour, senio Rich Masley and juniors Chris Flood and Brian Chiarello.
"The guys are getting experience," Pearl River Head Coach Jerry Houston said after Friday's 52-30 victory at Nanuet. "A couple of guys were on the freshman team last year. (The varsity level) takes some getting used to and they are adjusting. I feel it is starting to turn and get going in the right direction."
This is a big week for Pearl River, which also plays at rival Tappan Zee 7 p.m. Friday.
Garfield (NJ) Names Tournament for Pearl River's Dawson
Thanks to former Pearl River AD Tom Doherty for this one. Garfield (NJ) High School renamed its annual holiday wrestling ournament in honor of the late Frank Dawson.
Dawson was inducted into the Pearl River Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame in 1983. He worked as a teacher, coach and athletic director in the Garfield School District for over 40 years.
Upcoming Pearl River Sports Schedule
- Pearl River vs. Tappan Zee bowling at Hi-Tor Lanes, 3:30 p.m.
- Albertus Magnus at Pearl River boys basketball, 4 p.m.
- Clarkstown North at Pearl River wrestling, 4:30 p.m.
- Pearl River girls basketball at Albertus Magnus, 5:30 p.m.
- Pearl River vs. North Rockland bowling at New City Lanes, 3:30 p.m.
- Pearl River wrestling at Nyack, 4:30 p.m.
- Tappan Zee at Pearl River girls basketball, 4:30 p.m.
- Pearl River boys basketball at Tappan Zee, 7 p.m.
- Pearl River ice hockey vs. Briarcliff/Westlake at Sport-O-Rama, 7:15 p.m.
- Pearl River ice hockey vs. Suffern at Sport-O-Rama, 5 p.m.
- Pearl River boys and girls indoor track and field in league championships at RCC, 9 a.m.
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