Westchester Sports Recap0

MEN’S BASKETBALL (RECORD 19-7 REGION 5-2, CONFERENCE 5-2)

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 18 Second Half Rally Leads Ulster CC Past Westchester CC in Men’s Basketball

(Valhalla, NY) – Freshman Noe Fleurimond (Greenburgh, NY/Woodlands HS) notched a double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds, and sophomore Anthony Monti (Bronx, NY/St. Raymond’s) added 19 points and seven assists, but the Westchester Community College Men’s Basketball team lost its third straight game, 102-97 to visiting Ulster Community College on Tuesday night at Viking Gymnasium. With the loss, Westchester is now 19-8, and finishes the season with a 5-3 ledger in Region XV/Mid-Hudson Conference play.

The loss also marks Westchester’s first to Ulster CC since reinstating Men’s Basketball three seasons ago.

Westchester appeared to take control of things late in the first half. A UIster free throw with 5:10 to play in the opening stanza tied the score at 38. However, from there, Westchester scored the next 14 points, capped by a James Brady (Yonkers, NY/Mount St. Michael) lay-up with 1:10 to play gave Westchester a 52-38 lead. Ulster then scored the final four points of the half to make it a 10-point game at halftime.

However, the second half was a completely different story as Ulster shot 60% from the floor over the final 20 minutes to gradually chip away at the Viking lead. Ulster took the lead with 8:41 to play, but a Monti lay-up 38 second later put Westchester ahead 79-78. But that would be Westchester’s last lead of the game. The Senators hit six out of eight free throws down the stretch to clinch the game.

Ulster rode their hot shooting second half to shoot 53% for the game, including a 5 for 8 effort from three-point range during the second half of play. They also grabbed 45 rebounds, compared to 41 from Westchester. The Senators also shot 75% from the free throw line, compared to 62% for the Vikings, as Westchester missed 13 free throws during the contest.

Also for the Vikings, Justyn Huger (Harlem, NY/Thurgood Marshall HS) scored 17 points and added five rebounds, while freshman Malik Moore (Tuckahoe, NY/Tuckahoe HS) added 16 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists.

The Vikings also received a fantastic effort from Brady, who scored six points, and added 10 rebounds and three steals over 24 minutes.

 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL (RECORD 11-16, REGION 5-3, CONFERENCE 5-3)

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 18 Women’s Basketball Downs Ulster CC 81-62 behind Freshman’s Career-Best Performance
(Valhalla, NY) – When building a program with a young team over a long season, there are days when success is measured in wins and losses, and days when it is marked by the development of individual players, and commitment to improvement. Then there are those magical nights when it all comes together, and a team can measure success in every way possible. On Tuesday night at Viking Gymnasium, the Westchester Community College Women’s Basketball team enjoyed one of those evenings. Five Vikings scored in double figures, and freshman Sarah Placide (New City, NY/Clarkstown North HS) turned in a career-best performance with 14 points and eight rebounds as the Vikings took the lead late in the first quarter and never looked back, downing Ulster Community College 81-62 at Viking Gymnasium.

With the win, Westchester is now 11-15 overall, they finish 5-3 against NJCAA Region XV competition, and will be a top-three seed for the upcoming Region XV Championship Tournament … all during their first full season of varsity play.

Early on, it seemed as if freshman Donjeta Prelvukaj (Bronx, NY/St. Catharine) was going win the game for the Vikings. Up 11-10 with just under five minutes to play in the first quarter, Prelvukaj led the Vikings on an incredible run as Westchester scored the final 13 points of the quarter to take a 24-10 lead. During the opening 10 minutes alone, Prelvukaj scored 15 points, and added five rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots.

However, Ulster battled back during the second quarter, denying Prelvukaj the ball, and holding the Vikings to a 4 for 23 shooting effort during the stanza as the Senators battled back to make it a 34-31 Westchester lead at the break.

However, the more Ulster denied Prelvukaj the ball, the more the other Vikings developed a rhythm…. it paid off. As the second half progressed, Placide heated up, as did freshman Jailine Ruiz (Bronx, NY/William Cullen Bryant HS), who scored 14 of her 16 points during the second half. Westchester outscored Ulster 20-13 during the third quarter to make a 10-point game, and led by as many as 22 points during the fourth quarter to secure the victory.

Prelvukaj finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals, and three blocked shots during one of her best all-around games of the season. Ruiz added 16 points, eight rebounds, and six steals, to go with three assists. Also for Westchester, freshman Tina Fabrizi (Mamaroneck, NY/Mamaroneck HS) added 15 points and six assists.

The story of the game was the incredible play of Placide, and the effort taken by steadily improving freshman Marisol Rodriguez (New York, NY/High School for Economics & Finance), who has come as far as any Viking down the stretch. Rodriguez notched her first career double, scoring 10 points and adding 15 rebounds – including 11 offensive boards – during 40 outstanding minutes for the young post player. She also had three assists.

Ulster actually had a better shooting night – 39%-37percentage – but Westchester held a slight edge in rebounds 50-47, and a decisive 34-17 advantage in turnovers, that proved to be the difference. Westchester scored 38 points off turnovers, compared to 11 for Ulster, accounting for the overall scoring disparity.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 20
(Valhalla, NY) – There is absolutely nothing that undefeated and top-ranked Nassau Community College could have done to in any way detract from the incredible season produced by the Westchester Community College Women’s Basketball team this season. The Lions spent the first half of Thursday night’s game in a suffocating full court press, jumping out to a 30-5 lead after the first quarter, and a 60-14 lead at halftime en route to a 103-28 win. But as the seconds ticked down on the 2019-2020 regular season at Viking Gymnasium, it was clear that the Vikings had done a job well done, not only completing their first full varsity season since women’s basketball was reinstated three seasons ago, but notching 11 wins along the way.

Westchester’s 11-16 final regular season record only tells part of the story. The Vikings began the season with a 1-5 record, but not even a month after their fifth loss, the Vikings were a .500 team. A three-game winning streak to begin the New Year allowed WCC to break .500 for the first time with a 9-8 record. At that point, the only thing able to slow Westchester down was their own schedule. Their final 10 games of the regular season featured an NJCAA Division I opponent, and four teams ranked in the top-five in the nation. Arguably, this team played among the toughest schedules in the NJCAA, and battled their way to a season that was successful by any measure.

And, of course, the 2019-2020 season is not over. The Vikings won enough games to qualify for the NJCAA Region XV Championship Tournament next weekend at Sullivan Community College, where they will face Orange Community College in the Semifinals. The time of that game will be announced shortly.

On Thursday night, freshman Donjeta Prelvukaj (Bronx, NY/St. Catharine) led all scorers with 21 points, along with nine rebounds. Fellow freshman Tina Fabrizi (Mamaroneck, NY/Mamaroneck HS) grabbed nine rebounds and four steals. The Vikings grabbed 42 rebounds and forced 21 turnovers against the prohibitive favorite to win the NJCAA National Championship this season. To say the least, this Westchester team is battle tested for what their first trip to the post-season will bring.

PRELVUKAJ VOTED FIRST TEAM ALL-REGION FOR WOMEN’S BASKETBALL; THREE VIKINGS HONORED

(Valhalla, NY) – Westchester Community College Women’s Basketball freshman Donjeta Prelvukaj (Bronx, NY/St. Catharine) was voted First Team All-Region after an outstanding 2019-2020 season during which she appeared among the nation’s leaders in multiple statistical categories. Prelvukaj was one of three Vikings honored by Region XV, and as she finished in the top-three in the voting for All-Region honors, she will appear on the NJCAA All-America ballot. The honors were Westchester’s first from Region XV since women’s basketball was reinstated prior to the 2017-2018 academic year.

Prelvukaj enjoyed a fantastic freshman campaign, as she led Westchester in nearly every statistical category, despite facing an assortment of creative defenses designed to deny her the ball. She averaged 18.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, to go with 72 assists, 73 steals, and 26 blocked shots, all of which led the Vikings. Prelvukaj also had eight double-doubles. Her point per game averaged ranked her #30 among all NJCAA Division II Women’s Basketball players, and her 92 three-point field goals was the fifth highest total this season in Division II. 11 times this season Prelvukaj scored 20 or more points during a single game, and twice she scored at least 30 points.

Freshman Jailine Ruiz (Bronx, NY/William Cullen Bryant HS) earned Second Team All-Region honors after averaging 14.5 points and six rebounds per game, to go with 65 assists and 57 steals. Ruiz scored in double digits 17 times during 21 games played. Her best game of the season was easily a 25-point, 12-rebound, 12-assist triple-double she achieved during Westchester’s 102-50 win over Bronx Community College on Jan. 16.

In addition, freshman Tina Fabrizi (Mamaroneck, NY/Mamaroneck HS) named to the 2019-2020 Region XV All-Sportsmanship Team. Fabrizi started all 25 games, and averaged 10.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game during an excellent freshman campaign.

Westchester Community College finished the 2019-2020 regular season with an 11-16 overall record, and a 5-3 mark in Region XV play. The record included three games against NJCAA Division I opponents, and six match-ups with teams ranked in the nation’s top-10.

BOWLING
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 22 AIKEN EARNS ALL-REGION HONORS AS MEN’S BOWLING COMPETES AT REGION XV CHAMPIONSHIPS

(Babylon, NY) – After ending the 2019 NJCAA Region XV Championship Tournament as the fifth-ranked bowler in the region, it was hard to imagine that Westchester Community College star Edward Aiken (Middletown, NY/Pine Bush HS) could do much better for the 2020 campaign. That was, however, until he actually did it. Aiken capped off a tremendous sophomore season, averaging a 186.17 in All Events to finish third in the region as the Westchester CC Men’s Bowling team turned in an outstanding effort during the 2020 Region XV Championships at AMF Babylon Lanes in Babylon, New York.

Aiken was outstanding, knocking down 1117 pins to finish 31 pins behind a runner-up finish, and 35 pins behind a first place ending to his in-region career. In both Singles play and All Events, the only competitors who had a better day than Aiken were members of Region XV Champion Suffolk Community College.

Aiken and freshman Jahliv Cornelius (Mamaroneck, NY/Rye Neck HS) combined to finish in 11th place in doubles play, with a 645 total, as they were within 10 pins of a finish in the top-eight in the region. Cornelius finished in 12th place in All Events.

Also for the Vikings, freshman Kevin Galvin (Bedford Hills, NY/Fox Lane HS) finished in 17th place in All Events with a 119 average, and fellow freshman Nicolas Garofalo (Mamaroneck, NY/Mamaroneck HS) earned an 18th place finish with a 117.17 average.

Up next for Westchester Community College is a trip to Cheektowaga, New York for the 2020 NJCAA National Championships. The event will take place from March 6 – March 7 at the AMF Airport Lanes.

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