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April 22, 2008

Westchester Advances in Wheelchair Semis

The Westchester County boy's team used a big third quarter to overtake an overmatched Queens team, 120-92 in Monday's semifinal game of the 35th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Classic on the campus of Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.

Westchester jumped out to a 10-0 start thanks to a strong transitional game and solid half court defense. A three from Mt. Vernon's Jordan Lessane with 5:25 left in the first quarter gave Westchester a 17-7 lead. UTEP-bound Blaise Ffrench provided a spark off the bench, scoring consecutive buckets for Coach Lloyd Desvigne's Queens team. A lay-up from Isaiah Stokely cut the Westchester lead to 20-17 with just over a minute remaining in the opening quarter. Coach Anthony Nicodemo's squad was able to hold off a feisty Queens squad to keep a 24-19 lead heading into the second session.

A lay-up from uncommitted senior Sean Kilpatrick increased Westchester's lead to 30-23 with just over 6 minutes remaining in the first half. However, Queens was able to keep themselves within reaching distance thanks to the inside play of McDonald's All-American forward Sylven Landesberg. A Landesberg bucket plus a foul with 1:20 left in the first half cut the Westchester lead to 44-39. Westchester took a comfortable 48-40 lead into the locker room at halftime with George Washington-bound senior guard Tony Taylor leading the way with 9 opening half points, while the Virginia-bound Landesberg led the way for Queens with 11 points.

Westchester began the second half the same way that they started the first, with a big run to open up their lead. A lay-up from Kevin Jones with 7:45 to go gave Westchester a 56-40 lead. A three from Loyola (MD)-bound Jhared Hall gave coach Nicodemo's team a cushy 66-42 lead. Westchester continued to hold the hot hand throughout the rest of the third quarter, as they went into the final stanza with a seemingly insurmountable 90-61 advantage over Queens.

Coach Desvigne's squad turned on their jets in the final quarter to create easy transition buckets, but couldn't creep their way back into the game, as Westchester was able to finish off a strong 120-92 victory. Blessed Sacrament's Jhared Hall led the way for Westchester with 23 points, while Kevin Jones chipped in with 20 points. Sylven Landesberg led Queens in defeat with 23 points.

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