Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DeWitt Clinton slams RKA in Bronx basketball battle

By Andy Gross
Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
Daniel Pinales of Clinton’s Governors controls the ball and avoids Steven Calvo of The David A. Stein Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy’s Tigers at Clinton on Dec. 13.

The DeWitt Clinton Governors thrashed the David A. Stein Riverdale/Kingsbridge (RKA) Tigers 82-42 at home Friday in Bronx A West League competition.

The Governors played without their best frontcourt player, Donahue Smith, who was benched by coach Bob Finklestein for being late.

“I think we played a strong game,” said Finkelstein, now in his 33rd year as leader of the Governors, who are 5-0. “We have a very athletic team. We have 12 guys who enjoy playing together. They pass well and listen.” 

Finkelstein made no excuses for his team’s stellar play saying, “It might not look like it, but I really did try not to run up the score.”

Ignacio Mattias lit up RKA for a game high 21 points and Ismael Sylla added 16 points in limited minutes. The two combined for seven three-point hoops as Clinton never trailed in the game.

Finkelstein played starting point guard Muhamed Toure less than usual, though Toure contributed nine assists and eight points in a balanced effort by a quick and cohesive Clinton squad.

Led by scrappy junior Halit Vata and sophomore forward Steven Calvo, who each scored nine points, the Tigers pulled to within 20-18 in the first quarter.

But the Tigers could not handle Clinton’s full-court trap, which forced RKA into numerous turnovers.

Clinton also dominated the boards, grabbing 62 rebounds.

Led by Sylla, who drained two three-point baskets in short order, Clinton went on a 17-5 run to close out the first quarter 35-23.

Clinton really stepped on the gas in the second quarter, outscoring the Tigers 26-6 to control the game and put the game out of reach early.

“I think we had moments in the first half where we played them tough,” said RKA coach Jason Zulauf. “They were just a lot better than us. I thought we played hard. We’re a very young team. Hopefully this well help us down the line.”

RKA failed to score easy points at the free throw line. The Tigers were four of 10 from the line in the first half and eight of 17 for the game, unofficially.

Clinton hosts the Alfred E. Smith Camus on Monday, Dec. 16 while RKA is on the road at Morris Education Complex on the same day.

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