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John Jay Can't Contain Height and Might of Byram Hills

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By Rich MonettiPublished 5 months ago 4 min read

On Friday January 5, John Jay traveled to Byram Hills, and it didn’t take long for the Wolves to see what they were up against. Christopher Amenedo penetrated into the paint, dished to Zachery Efobi in the low post and he threw down a two handed dunk. Their hands obviously full, John Jay did manage to contain the big man in the first half but keeping the Bobcat from breaking out was another matter.

A 26-21 first half deficit eventually turned to a 17 point lead and resulted in a 53-41 loss for John Jay.

Going on the attack was no easy matter either for the visitors. Efobi remained in the paint, moved toward all the ball movement, and the rest of the Bobcats picked up the scraps. On their first possession, Brendan Corelli was forced outside for a missed three, and back again, Will Rickel was smothered by the nearly as tall tandem of Tyson Repa and Benjamin Wolf.

Efobi also pitched his tent in the paint and was an absolute force on every rebound. Even so, an offensive rebound by Jacob Jones did get John Jay on the board. He got the ball to Corelli, James Arefieg swung to Will Civetta, and the guard sliced through Efobi and Wolf for the layup at 6:27.

Tied at two, Efobi got in position again. Repa bounced the ball in, Jones and Sam Rickel muscled as best they could but proved to be no match for the Efobi onslaught.

Off the square and in, the Wolves still refused to relent and basically implemented a defense sicked the dogs inside. On Repa’s three point miss, Jones and Corelli converged on the center’s rebound and forced the jump ball.

Possession going John Jay’s way, Colin Bishop made Byram pay. Open in the corner, he drained a three, and the boys led 5-4.

4:50 left in the first, John Jay again refused to let Efobi have his way with the offensive board. Sam Rickel tied him up for the possession arrow, and after getting the subsequent rebound, he let his brother do the rest. Will Rickel drove toward the paint, stopped on the silver and pulled up for the jumper.

7-4 at 4:23, the lead didn’t last. Repa got the ball down low, he spun and muscled his way to the rim and drew the foul on the basket.

Making good, the back and forth would continue. Unfortunately not for long. Ryan Valdes did some nifty ball handling to break down the defense and put John Jay in the lead.

Dribbling around the perimeter, behind his back and down low among the giants, he kept the rock moving and eventually it came back to him above the arc. Let fly, he gave the Wolves a 10-7 lead with 2:13 left in the first.

Byram didn’t allow any separation, though. Repa spotted up and knocked down a three to tie the score on the next possession.

The lead was next. Efobi cleared the defense aside for an uncontested layup, and Amenedo’s baseline drive freed up Max Miller for an open jumper to close the quarter.

A 14-10 game, John Jay stayed with it and Valdes got his team going again. A backcourt steal, he cruised to rim for two and wasn’t done making friends with the metal.

With Ari Dreilinger draped all over, Valdes kept his dribble through the paint and went glass for two more. The foul included, he put John Jay up 15-14.

At 6:50, the last lead change was on the way. Repa took off from above the arc and drove to the glass for two. A turnover by Corelli got the Bobcats on the break, and Wolf closed the deal with the layup.

Now 18-15, Byram got off and running again on Civetta’s miss. An easy rebound for Efobi, he quickly handed off to Repa, and he caught Amenedo in stride for a 20-15 lead.

Still, John Jay stayed strong, and Will Rickel did the flexing. Open above the arc, he aimed and fired to pull back within two.

5:15 left in the half, Miller ate his Wheaties too. He drove, pulled up and dropped a turnaround jumper to make it 22-18 with 4:25 left in the half.

Dylan Cooper did a similar number with his pop and stop, but 22-20 was as close as John Jay would get. Amenedo got inside for two, and just in case the visitors forgot, Efobi sent out a reminder to close the scoring for the half. He dismissed the double team and dunked for a 26-21 lead.

The beginning of the end, Repa did a little shake and bake to the rim to open the third and then Efobi closed the kitchen. Getting behind Jones, he took the pass from Repa, and the two handed dunk opened a nine point lead.

From there, Byram poured it on, and Efobi’s post up early in the fourth made it 47-30. The gym erupted and removed any remaining doubt.

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Rich Monetti

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    Rich MonettiWritten by Rich Monetti

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