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Eastchester Uses Early Cushion to Hold Off Ardsley

ARDSLEY, N.Y. – Eastchester boys’ basketball coach Fred DiCarlo was understandably pleased that his team earned a 52-46 victory over Ardsley on Friday.

Still, he immediately recognized the area in which they needed to improve on Saturday.

“We got to play four quarters,” DiCarlo said. “Not two, not two and a half. But we take the win and go out for the next game.”

DiCarlo’s Eagles defeated the Panthers on the second day of the Hank Roth Classic, a tournament in honor of longtime Ardsley High School Athletic Director Hank Roth. Eastchester will play Pleasantville in the championship game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., while Ardsley will face Somers at 11 a.m.

Eastchester held Ardsley to only six two-pointers for the entire game. The Panthers have only one player on the team with varsity experience. That would be senior captain Dan Stein, who is also quarterback of the football team and catcher for the baseball team.

Ardsley head coach Andy Beames acknowledged his team’s youth and offensive struggles after the game.

“We have a tough time scoring, but I think you saw the effort out there,” Beames said.

Eastchester jumped out to a 10-4 lead at the start of the game and went into halftime with a 22-16 advantage. The Eagles then widened the gap to 40-22 as the Panthers struggled to find the basket in the third quarter.

But the momentum of the game shifted in Ardsley’s favor in the fourth quarter. The Eagles had an 18 point lead at the end of the third, but Ardsley sliced that lead to six with only a few seconds remaining.

The Eagles ran a press at different portions of the game, which disoriented the Panthers and forced them to turn over the ball. Beames said that style of defense is tough on a young team, particularly because that sort of defensive intensity cannot be matched in practice.

“We’re still looking for that chemistry,” Beames said. “It’s hard to practice a team that presses you hard and presses you well.”

Ardsley’s offense awoke and the Panthers rallied at the end of the game, but they ultimately fell short.

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