Newsday runs a full-court press on Long Island high school boys basketball.
Long Island Championship/Southeast regional final previews
Saturday at Farmingdale State College
Class C: Friends Academy (14-4) vs. Tuckahoe (20-3), 4:30 p.m. -- After a 22-day break, the Quakers shook off the rust to beat Port Jefferson, 54-47, for the Long Island title on Wednesday. Now comes a Tuckahoe team led by junior Sky Williams, the MVP of the Section I championship, who has scored 32 points in each of the last two games. Shyheim Nixon runs the point for the Tigers, and had 10 assists in a 91-64 regional semifinal win over Pine Plains. Tuckahoe plays a pressure defense and shoots the ball very well from the perimeter, much like Friends, which is led by sharp-shooters T.J. Hefele (the coach's son) and Tommy Costa. Kellan Sehring is a force in the paint.
Class B: Mattituck (16-6) vs. Burke Catholic (20-2), 7 p.m. -- Steve Ascher's miraculous tip-in at the buzzer kept the Tuckers' dream season alive for at least one more game. Ascher and his brother Tom pace the Mattituck offense along with Yianni Rauseo. They'll matchup against a Burke Catholic team led by junior two-guard Zach Rufer, a Division I recruit (Patriot/Ivy), who averages just over 14 points per game. The defending state finalist Eagles beat their Section IX opponents by an average of more than 25 points per game this season. They also have a 6-7 center, Brendan Miller, who averages 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
Saturday at Fordham University
CHSAA Class A: St. Mary's (27-0) vs. Mount St. Michael (26-1), 2:30 p.m. -- The Gaels will vie for a trip to the state Federation tournament in Glens Falls two weeks from now. Leading the way for St. Mary's is Chavaughn Lewis, the star guard whose averaging 23.4 points per game (sixth on the Long Island), along with point guard Dante Agnew and big man Charles McCann. Mount St. Michael’s will rely heavily on prime-time shooting guard Peter Aguilar. The Mountaineers also have a strong supporting cast, led by junior point guard Malik Gill, who scored 20 in their semifinal win over Cardinal Hayes.
Sunday at Stony Brook University
Class A: Harborfields (19-2) vs. Manhasset (19-2), 1 p.m. -- Manhasset, which last won a Long Island title in the 1985-86 season, has one of the best inside-outside combinations on the Island with shooter/slasher Alessandro Troia (19.1 points per game) teaming with bruising forward Gary Tibbs (15.8 ppg). It's uncertain who the Tornadoes will counter with, as Matt McLeod (torn ligament in right big toe) and Nick Fessenden (concussion) have missed the last two games with injury. Fessenden is expected to play on Sunday, McLeod remains questionable. Harborfields has never won an L.I. title.
Class AA: Half Hollow Hills West (16-5) vs. Elmont (18-2), 4 p.m. -- Hills West, the defending Long Island Class AA champion, is led by dynmaic Iowa State-bound point guard Tavon Sledge, the second-leading scorer on the Island at 25.3 points per game. He's flanked by high flyers Emile Blackman and Chris Cox. Elmont, which won its first Nassau title last weekend, is paced by guard Anthony Elechi (pictured above), point guard Dillon Williams and big man Greg Senat. The Spartans are a gritty, defensive-minded club.
Tags: Long Island Championships , Southeast regional final , Friends Academy , T.J. Hefele , Tommy Costa , Kellan Sehring , Tuckahoe , Mattituck , Steve Ascher , Tom Ascher , Yianni Rauseo , Burke Catholic , St. Mary's , Chavaughn Lewis , Dante Agnew , Charles McCann , Mount St. Michael , Manhasset , Alessandro Troia , Gary Tibbs , Harborfields , Matt McLeod , Nick Fessenden , Half Hollow Hills West , Tavon Sledge , Emile Blackman , Chris Cox , Elmont , Anthony Elechi , Dillon Williams , Greg Senat