Not that anybody expected that to be the case this season with 6-foot-8 Fairfield University recruit Kevin Degnan returning as one of the top players in the section, but he is not alone inside.
Senior forward James Linnane has provided a physical presence inside as a rebounder and defender who can also provide some offensive balance.
Degnan led the Pirates with 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Pearl River's 60-37 victory over Tappan Zee, but Linnane also played a key role with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
"He played terrific," Pearl River Head Coach Jerry Houston, Jr. said. "He gave us great effort. He always does that. He's always on the boards. Tonight he had 12 points. That's a huge night for Jimmy. He looked to the basket. It' a confidence thing. You get a couple of baskets early and you feel better about yourself."
Linnane and Degnan were able to control the defensive boards much of the game, with Degnan also blocking six shots to help Pearl River (9-4) end a streak of five consecutive losses to Tappan Zee (9-3).
More Thursday Results
- Girls basketball: Tappan Zee 63, Pearl River 62 -- Pearl River senior guard Sam Alicandri scored 21 points, but it was not enough to keep the Pirates (7-5) from a one-point defeat at Tappan Zee. Kristen McLaughlin scored 27 points for the Dutchies, who swept the season series.
Friday, Jan. 24
- Wrestling: Nyack at Pearl River, 4:30 p.m.
- Wrestling: Pearl River competes in the Wildcat Invitational at Warwick High School, 9 a.m.
- Boys basketball: Rye Neck at Pearl River, noon
- Indoor Track: Pearl River boys and girls compete in the New Balance Games at the Armory in New York City. Girls competition begins at 8:30 a.m. Boys at 9 a.m.
- Girls basketball: Albertus Magnus at Pearl River, 1:30 p.m.
- Ice hockey: Pearl River vs. Irvington/Sleepy Hollow at Sport-O-Rama, 4 p.m.