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Lawrence Woodmere wins third straight NYSAIS title

Lawrence Woodmere's Aidan Igiehon dunks during the NYSAIS

Lawrence Woodmere's Aidan Igiehon dunks during the NYSAIS Class B boys basketball final on Feb. 24, 2019. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Aidan Igiehon and the Lawrence Woodmere boys basketball team set a goal before the start of the season.

Although the goal couldn’t quite be fulfilled on Sunday afternoon, the outcome was a big step in the right direction of where they ultimately want to end up.

Igiehon scored a game-high 14 points and added 17 rebounds and three blocks to propel top-seeded Lawrence Woodmere Academy past No. 3 Dalton, 51-30, in the NYSAIS B-Division championship at Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx.

“In the beginning of the season I knew I had to be a leader and lead these guys,” Igiehon said. “This is only a temporary stop. Our main goal is upstate. We are excited right now, but we are still hungry.”

The Louisville commit was double-teamed and even triple-teamed at times, but it’s something to which he’s accustomed.

“I’m 6-10, 240 pounds, so I know they are going to try and double me all the time,” Igiehon said. “I take it as a compliment. I trust my guys and know if I kick the ball out, they are going to make the right play.”

Fellow seniors Malik Speckman and Tyler St. Furcy took advantage of the attention spent on Igiehon. Speckman finished with nine points and seven rebounds, and St. Furcy added seven points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

“I came to this school thinking that I need to make sure I can show how good I am and score as many points as I can,” Speckman said. “But when I saw that we had players even better than me, it wasn’t about me anymore, it was about the team.”

The trio of Igiehon, Speckman and St. Furcy have won three consecutive state titles. The Tigers won the NYSAIS C-Division title in 2017 and the B-Division title the last two seasons.

Louisville coach Chris Mack was in attendance on Sunday and had high praise for his future power forward.

“He’s a great athlete and obviously I think he is going to be a tremendous player at the next level, but I think the most important thing about Aidan is his character,” Mack said. He’s a great kid, a terrific student, and a great teammate.”

The Tigers (22-4) will head to Glens Falls in late March to compete in the Federation tournament and are looking to avenge last year’s first-round loss to Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School of the Bronx.

“I have a chip on my shoulder,” Igiehon said. “We came up short last year against a team we should have beat. I’m locked in, I’m healthy and we are going to go up there and take it.”

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