MONARCHS 78, TUCKERS 67
First came the punch, and then came the virtual knockout.
An intense high school boys basketball game, played at a frantic pace, with one Bishop McGann-Mercy player ejected for punching a Mattituck player, all but dashed Mattituck’s playoff hopes.
McGann-Mercy, already eliminated from playoff contention, dealt a severe blow to Mattituck’s chances. The Monarchs punctuated their Senior Night by outscoring Mattituck, 27-16, in the fourth quarter for a 78-67 victory on Tuesday night.
The result means the Tuckers (10-7, 6-7 Suffolk County League VII) need a major upset of Babylon in the final regular-season game for both teams on Friday night in Mattituck in order to gain entry into the postseason. Babylon was tied with Southampton for first place in League VII and took a 15-1, 11-1 record into tonight’s game against Wyandanch.
Babylon had beaten Mattituck, 79-48, when the teams last played on Jan. 15.
The Tuckers and the Monarchs (6-11, 5-8) held nothing back in terms of effort in the exciting contest. Things got heated when one of McGann-Mercy’s seniors, Andrew Glasgow, punched Mattituck’s Joe Tardif in the third quarter. Mattituck’s Will Gildersleeve was sent to the floor by a hard foul by Glasgow, who landed on him and had him in a headlock 1 minute 35 seconds into the quarter. Tardif rushed to Gildersleeve’s aid. After some words and pushing, Glasgow landed a punch on the side of Tardif’s head. The enraged Glasgow was then pulled away from the scuffle as the officials went about restoring order.
The actions were the last of Glasgow’s high school career. He was ejected from the game, which means he is automatically ineligible to play in the team’s final game on Friday night in Hampton Bays. Players on Mattituck’s bench applauded while Glasgow was escorted out of the gym.
During a halftime ceremony to recognize McGann-Mercy’s six seniors, Monarchs coach Mike Clauberg said Glasgow is one of the hardest working players he has ever coached at the school, calling Glasgow the team’s most improved player. “Usually he has blood on him, but he’s doing good so far,” Clauberg jested during the ceremony.
Even without Glasgow, the Monarchs gave the Tuckers trouble on the boards, outrebounding them, 50-29.
Although Mattituck trailed for much of the way, the Tuckers drew even at 51-51 when a Ryan Mowdy 3-point shot beat the buzzer to end the third quarter.
But the fourth quarter belonged to the Monarchs, who closed the game on a 12-5 run for their third win in four games.
Kevin Santacroce was the high scorer for the Monarchs with 21 points to go with 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and 1 steal. Joe Jeskie scored 8 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. Nick Kneski (11 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists) and Ed Kneski (11 points, 11 rebounds) also helped fuel the Monarchs’ highest point total of the season and avenge a 66-58 loss to Mattituck on Jan. 13.
The Tuckers, who have lost five of seven games, received 21 points from Gildersleeve and 20 from Mowdy. Tardif had 10 points, 12 assists, 8 rebounds and 3 steals.