Rusty Riverdale falls to Poly Prep in title game rematch

Riverdale coach Andy Martino expected his team to be rusty after an approximately 10-day layoff for exams and a junior class trip to Washington D.C., but his club didn’t make it any better with their offensive approach.

“Offensively I though we shot too quickly,” Marinos said. “We didn’t execute enough to see if we could get some easier looks.”

Good defense wasn’t enough to make up for scoring droughts and turnovers on the press. The Lions fell 56-46 to host Poly Prep in Ivy League boy’s basketball on Jan. 29 in Bay Ridge. It was a rematch of last year’s NYSAISAA Class B title game won by Riverdale.

One sequence late in the third quarter can sum up the type of day Riverdale had. Senior Tom Ryan couldn’t connect an on open jumper, one of many open look they got on the afternoon. On the other end they defended Poly star Najee Taylor well in the paint, but point guard J.D. Levine tipped the rebound to David Dixon for an easy layup to make it 36-19 heading into the fourth.

“It’s truly frustrating.” Ryan said. “A lot of that is on me. I’m supposed to score and I didn’t do it.”

Michael Garner led Riverdale with 15 points and Ryan tallied 11, including a strong fourth quarter to help him team fight back into the game. Aaron McIntyre added nine points. Ferran Brown paced Poly with nine points and five other players each tallied eight.

Marinos understands this is still a team has is finding itself. Riverdale returns just one starter, Ryan, played on a team that lost to eventual Federation champion Monsignor Scanlan in Albany last March. Garner and McIntyre have been big pluses so far and Ryan has been a great leader after earning second team All-Ivy honor last season.

The pieces are there to make a run at another crown once practices become more regular and things start to really mess.

“I think we have a good team,” Ryan said. “We just have to pull it together.”

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at jstaszewski@cnglocal.com. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.

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