TUCKAHOE, N.Y. The Children Understanding Cultural Difference seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball teams swept each of their games against teams from Mount Kisco and North Castle Sunday.
The CUCD seventh graders played tight defense in the final moments of the win and ran their record to 7-2 by defeating previously-unbeaten Mount Kisco (5-1) 50-47 after trailing early. Mount Kisco defeated CUCD 48-45 earlier in the season.
CUCD finishes strong as a team, so with a defensive stop that gave us the victory we all were excited to be a game behind Mount Kisco and most importantly give them their first loss of the season, CUCD coach Donald Gunther said. Our record is 7-2 with five games left, and before the playoffs we appear to be hitting our stride.
Gunther attributed the teams defensive improvement to its 1-3-1 and matchup zone defenses that have been the focus of recent practice sessions.
Jamon Murray scored seven of his 19 points early in the game to help CUCD overcome a 12-7 deficit, and sixth-grader and defensive specialist Alex Williams, who scored four points, led the 3-2 match-up zone defense along with Isaiah Gunther (two points) and Jason Douglas, who scored 14 points. Michael Stellate was also a standout on defense.
CUCD Eighth graders Top New Castle 46-43
The CUCD eighth-grade boys, who have suffered several close losses early in the season, earned a hard-fought 46-43 victory over North Castle Sunday.
Down 26-14 at halftime, CUCD responded as the starting five - Robert Kiernan, Christian McHugh, Evan Karanthasis, Sammy Roque and Frank Tauson - led a revived defense with a 1-3-1 trap press that help the CUCD squad outscore New Castle 32-17 in the second half. McHugh led the defense at the point.
We have had some hard luck and without practice facilities we have not shot free throws well this entire season, coach Donald Gunther said. The boys decided to play and not allow me to make any excuses. Their look at halftime when I asked them to dig deep is why I coach youth kids.
Reserves Bradley Pantal, Austin Pope, Richard Jacobs, Dishon Wise, Michael McLaughlin, Jacob Risci, Isaiah Williams and Trevor Knuth helped secure the win.
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