Old Westbury saw its 18-game winning streak come to an end after a double-overtime loss to Sage on Saturday. The loss prevented Old Westbury from setting a Skyline record for most conference wins in a season. But that doesn’t mean the party is over for the Panthers.
Old Westbury (22-3, 17-1) was No. 1 in last week’s NCAA Division III Atlantic Region rankings. The loss to Sage shouldn’t hurt the Panthers since No. 2 Ramapo also lost. The Panthers also received five votes in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll for the second straight week last week.
It’s been a banner season for Old Westbury. Panthers coach Bernard Tomlin won his 300th career game in December and has a career mark of 316-268.
The Panthers have a stable of excellent players that should make the squad a tough out. Tyrik Tucker (20.8 ppg, 8.5 reb), Kerel Mitchell (19.3 ppg), Rashawn McCarthy (15 ppg, 5.1 reb) and Josh Hill (13.1 ppg) lead a crew that is averaging 86.9 points per game.
The Panthers, who also clinched their second regular season Skyline title in the last four years, will get a bye into the semifinal and will host Long Island rival and No. 4 Farmingdale on Thursday.
Old Westbury will have a tough task. Farmingdale (19-7) is led by 7-footer AJ Matthews. Matthews had 20 points and 14 rebounds in Farmingdale's 80-65 win over Sage in a Skyline quarterfinal on Tuesday night. Wilson Molina added 17 points in the win.
Farmingdale is the reigning Skyline tournament champ and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament last year.