Tough loss for the Cougars. I was able to watch the game on FCS Pacific from the comforts of my Boston,MA home. My mom was an alumni at NM (if anyone knows Jocelyn Tenorio, I hear she was quite the athlete of her time).
NM played a pretty good game defensively, although it got a little chippy in the 3rd but Ashmore calmed down Clark. What really killed Memorial was their awful shooting, all around today. They don’t have a real sharpshooter so not many threes (Sankey hit couple of nice threes in the dying seconds). They couldn’t hit free throws (Andrews was 50% and he had like 15-16 FTA). They missed layups (Shakyil Byrd missed a couple of layins late in the 4th). They missed putbacks. They just had a bad night shooting, and it doesnt help that they are not really a great shooting team or tall. They did hit from the perimeter a few times at the end of the game. NM did a good job of getting the big men of Westchester in foul trouble, especially the 6-9 Reggie Murphy, who was a non-factor. I know its gonna be a tough loss for the boys but they have 7 varsity players returning, led by Casey Norris. The worst thing for NM and Newark is to hold their heads down. They were underdogs, nobody game them a shot at winning, and played them tough. They eaned the respect of legendary Westchester coach Ed Azzam, saying that the Cougas perimeter game in the 4th suprised him, they played tough, and basically that they earned his respect. NM literally took it to hte end and had a phenomenal season. Congrats!
Had to say, though Sankey was a ghost in the first half, he really impressed me in the 2nd half, getting 23 of his game high 25 in the second half (14 in the 4th). Isaiah Clark was also a pleasant suprise. He reminds me of a player similar to my local school because of a player his size being able to play defense and handle the ball the way he does for someone his size. Randle wasn’t bad on the offensive end and liked his hustle and willingness to attempt to take charges time after time (refs gave him the short end multiple times when he went to take charges). Andrews production for the most part was at the FT line where he had I think 15-16 FT but only hit 50%. Poor team shotting will haunt Ashmore and the team but the effort and heart will not be forgotten.