Tags Posts tagged with "Dom Pryor"

Dom Pryor

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Dylan Pallonetti moves the ball around the cage. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Ward Melville’s boys’ lacrosse team suffered a stinging defeat to end their season- opening four-game winning streak against rival Chaminade April 8, dropping the tough nonleague battle 7-5.

“We didn’t play as best as we could against Chaminade,” senior attack Jack Purdy said, adding that despite the Patriots’ 9-5 bounce-back win over West Islip April 10, to increase the team’s League I win streak to five, more work still needs to be done. “We’re still trying to look for the best game possible. We’re still looking to fire on all cylinders on defense, offense and faceoffs.”

Zach Hobbes challenges a West Islip defender as he moves the ball toward the net. Photo by Desirée Keegan

In the first half of the win over West Islip, junior attack Matt Grillo had his fingerprints all over the game. He scored the first goal of the game, assisted senior midfielder Eddie Munoz on the next, and found the back of the cage off a feed from sophomore attack Dylan Pallonetti later.

“We prepared by watching film on West Islip and looking for their plays and certain techniques they use on the field, and how to counter those techniques,” Munoz said of his team’s readiness. “But it was so close in the first half.”

West Islip came back to tie it, 3-3, but Grillo scored an unassisted goal for a hat trick with three seconds left in the first half.

“I think both of our faceoff guys did very well and so did our goalie,” Munoz said. “I think as a whole we played for each other and gave great effort.”

Matt Grillo and Dom Pryor celebrate a goal. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Ward Melville came out firing from the opening minutes of the second half, and at the 10:51 mark, a Perry Cassidy save, one of the senior’s 10 for the game, sparked junior midfielder Zach Hobbes’ unassisted goal. He bulled his way up the middle between two defenders to the front of the cage to extend the lead. Minutes later, Pallonetti scooped up a Grillo rebound and gave his team a 6-3 advantage. Cassidy ended the quarter with a save to preserve the third-quarter shutout.

“It felt good to dominate a little bit,” Munoz said of the second half.

Senior midfielder Dominic Pryor was next to get on the scoreboard. Catching West Islip off guard, he saw the open lane, and instead of passing, made his way toward the cage and fired away.

“It was great to seal the win in the second half against a team that’s more than capable of coming back when they are down,” Pryor said. “My team was able to focus on possessions in the second half, and overall playing team offense and defense, not relying on any individual. The chemistry this team has is very special and I think that will continue and grow throughout the year.”

Purdy had a hand on the next two goals, assisting Pallonetti, who had an open look after Purdy skipped passing to the middleman.

Jack Purdy passes from behind the goal to Dylan Pallonetti, who scores on the skip pass. Photo by Desirée Keegan

“I knew he was open,” Purdy said of Pallonetti. “He did a good job of reading the defense and getting in the right position. I gave it to him, and he took a good shot to the top left.”

Despite West Islip finally breaking through in the second half, with back-to-back goals with four minutes remaining, Purdy helped stabilize the game. He passed from behind the cage to Munoz at the front of the net for the final goal of the game.

“Eddie Munoz made a good shot right in front of the crease that saved me,” Purdy said. “It wasn’t the best pass, but a good goal.”

The senior attack said he hopes his team can continue to work on coming out strong, to be able to keep a new streak running through the remainder of the season.

“We need to step it up a little bit in the first half,” Purdy said. “We let up a few goals that we shouldn’t have, and we need to hold onto the ball better on offense, move it around and get better shots. We try to get out and score, put a bunch of goals in, dodge hard and look for the open seams in the defense. Coach said when we play to our best abilities we can win any given game on the schedule.”

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Hansen, Hudzik head girls and boys teams to victory

Lauren Hansen maintains possession during a previous game. File photo by Desirée Keegan

It was a winning weekend for Ward Melville.

First, the No. 2 girls’ basketball team trampled No. 18 North Babylon, with sophomore Lauren Hansen putting up a game-high 35 points in 20 minutes Feb. 17. The Patriots demolished North Babylon 93-24.

“Lauren played great like always and her putting up 35 points in 20 minutes is something really special,” said senior Taylor Tripptree, who finished with 15 points.

Taylor Tripptree dribbles around a defender during a prior matchup. File photo by Desirée Keegan

Hansen scored more than half of the team’s first-quarter points, banking 15 of the 24, while the Patriots held their opponent to just five points.

Twelve different Patriots managed to show up on the score sheet, including a few junior varsity players who got the call to join the varsity squad, which impressed the veteran Tripptree.

Junior Bre Cohn chipped in 12 points, which would have been enough to lead North Babylon in scoring.

But to Hansen, who made eight shots from beyond the arc, the first-round win is only the first step.

“We’re looking to win the whole thing,” she said. “We have to stay locked in each moment in practice and in preparation for the very next game.”

She said she liked the way her team bounced back from its 38-33 loss to Brentwood in the last regular season game.

“It was what we had to do,” Hansen said. “I give a lot of credit to my teammates. Without them, it wouldn’t be possible. I thought a lot about what I could’ve done better individually after the loss to Brentwood, and I let the loss soak in and the feeling of it, and I did a much better job in preparation before I even put the jersey on for game day. In practice, and out of it.”

She said her team will use the first-round win as motivation when it moves on to No. 7 Half Hollow Hills West for a home game Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.

Mat Hudzik moves the ball up the court during a previous contest. File photo by Desirée Keegan

“The game made a statement, showing that we are definitely on a mission,” Hansen said. “We call this a second season, and we’re focused on not dwelling on our accomplishments or obstacles in the regular season. Going into the second round I think it’s definitely time to amp our intensity up even more, and accomplish all that we have set out to do.”

The next day, the No. 6 boys’ basketball team hosted No. 11 East Islip and also made short work of its opponent, with the Patriots bouncing the Redmen out of the postseason with a 66-34 victory.

Ward Melville nearly doubled East Islip’s first-quarter score, leading 17-9 after eight minutes.

“I think we had a big first quarter because we were all excited to go out in front of our home crowd and win for them,” said senior Dom Pryor, who finished with a double-double on 14 points and 14 rebounds. “What really helped us get the win was our coaching staff making sure we were all prepared before the game even started. Coach made it specific that we were not doing anything different than we have all year, and that we just needed to play like we always do.”

Dom Pryor leaps up for the layup during a previous game. File photo by Desirée Keegan

Like the girls, the boys also put forth a total team effort with nine different scorers.

“I thought we all came together as a team and executed in all parts of the game,” Pryor said. “It’s always more comfortable when you have so many threats on offense, especially ones that are rarely off their game.”

Classmate Matt Hudzik liked what he was seeing from his teammate.

“Dom works really hard,” Hudzik said. “He is everywhere on the court, is really good at playing defense and grabbing rebounds and loose balls.”

Hudzik led all scorers with 21 points —18 on 3-pointers — and senior Alex Sobel banked six field goals and a free throw for 13 points.

“My outside shot was feeling good and my teammates just kept finding me on the wing,” Hudzik said. “Before the game, we just talked about everyone doing their job. If everyone on the team does what they are supposed to, we play to the best of our ability.”

Ward Melville will travel to No. 3 Half Hollow Hills East Feb. 21 for a 2 p.m. tipoff.

Pryor said he sees smooth sailing in Ward Melville’s future.

“I feel very confident in our next match up,” he said. “I don’t think any team can keep up with our offensive threats, and when we play defense like we did today, I don’t think there’s a team that can stop us.”

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Alex Sobel fights through traffic and scores. Photo by Desirée Keegan

The big man on campus puts up big numbers.

Ward Melville’s 6-foot 7-inch senior center Alex Sobel posted a double-double with a team-high 22 points and 24 rebounds in the Patriots’ third straight win — an 80-58 home decision over Sachem North Jan. 31.

Although offense comes naturally for the towering center, he also showed off his defensive skills against Sachem. Besides grabbing rebounds, he contributed six big blocks to keep the Patriots ahead, despite a slow start to the game.

Dom Pryor knocks down a field goal. Photo by Desirée Keegan

After a layup by senior Dom Pryor to open the scoring, Sobel banked the next five points for his team. He scored nine and Pryor scored six of his 12 points in the game in the first eight minutes.

At the end of the first quarter, Ward Melville had a 17-12 advantage but watched that lead diminish when the Flaming Arrows outscored the Patriots 15-12 in the second, limiting Sobel to just one point. Junior Brendan Martin led Ward Melville that quarter with six points on two three-pointers.

But by the end of the third quarter, Ward Melville found its rhythm, and with help from five players, edged ahead 56-39. Sophomore Ray Grabowski led the team with 10 points, opening the quarter with a field goal and a three-pointer, and added another of each with back-to-back shots with four minutes left.

“We all played our hearts out and came out with the win we wanted,” said senior Matt Hudzik, who finished with 14 points. “Some shots weren’t falling my way. Ray Grabowski stepped up big and made a couple of really good shots.”

Martin added two more three-pointers in the quarter.

“We didn’t want the other team to slow us down,” Ward Melville head coach Alex Piccirillo said he told his team at halftime. “We dictate the pace and tempo, and once we got it going back in our direction, we made a few layups, got out fast and we were good to go.”

The Patriots spread the wealth in the final quarter, with seven players chipping in points.

“We shoot the ball pretty well,” Piccirillo said. “If our big guys are good, they go, if not, we kick it out and get good looks at threes.”

Two of the team’s nine trifectas were scored in the fourth quarter.

Matt Hudzik swishes a free-throw attempt. Photo by Desirée Keegan

“This is a good group of guys, they can all score, they can all defend, so I’m feeling pretty positive about it,” Piccirillo said.

Hudzik said despite the offense, he’d like to see more from the Patriots on the defensive side.

“We were a little quiet on defense, and we need to get pumped up, get each other going,” he said. “We need to come out with more intensity, but we fought back when we needed to. We know our potential, we just need to play to it.”

Ward Melville’s basketball team has improved substantially over the last several years, and Piccirillo said he’s happy to see more kids buying into the program.

“I think five years ago we decided that we’re going to go all year round, we were going to get the younger guys involved and build the program,” he said. “We don’t take a month off, and they’ve bought into it. We have a nice group of kids, we put the athletes around them and they’re growing.”

Sobel said it’s nice to be a part of the program.

“It’s been great seeing our program grow,” he said. “We fought through adversity and this is the best team I’ve ever been a part of and we’re at our peak. We’re going to take this as far as we can.”

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Ward Melville's Dom Pryor reaches for the rim. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Ward Melville led from the opening tipoff, and despite a late push by Commack’s boys’ basketball team, which pulled within nine points late in the third quarter, the Patriots maintained the advantage and won 57-41. With the win, the Patriots remain tied atop the League I leaderboard.

The Patriots came out fast, and quickly jumped out to a 13-4 lead midway through the first quarter, prompting a Commack timeout. Ward Melville’s defense swarmed, looking as if there was an extra man on the court. The shot clock worked against the Cougars, which struggled to let the ball loose in time.

Ward Melville senior Noah Kepes had the hot hand early, scoring three three-pointers in the opening quarter, and classmate Dom Pryor pitched in two field goals and a three-pointer of his own, to help the Patriots to a 20-6 lead at the end of eight minutes.

Kepes said his team’s focus is always defense first.

Ward Melville’s Alex Sobel scores. Photo by Bill Landon

“We’re just hungry on defense,” he said. “Everyday in practice we work on these drills — whoever’s on the floor first is going to get the ball first, so it’s that kind of the mentality. When they began to make their push coach told us they were going to do that, and how you react to that push is who’s going to come out with the win.”

Commack countered with four unanswered points, but again the shot clock expired, turning the ball over to the Patriots.

With just over three minutes left in the half, Commack senior Christian Volatile fell. Injured on the play, he sat out the remainder of the game.

Commack sophomore Aiden Keenan went the free-throw line shooting two and banked both points, but the Patriots answered back and then some, when senior Matt Hudzik drained a three, as Ward Melville edged ahead 25-14 by halftime.

The Patriots’ defense remained unrelenting. The Cougars still couldn’t get the ball to the rim, and turned the ball over as the 35-second shot clock expired.

Ward Melville head coach Alex Piccirillo said he likes what he saw.

“On the defensive end we communicated well, we rotated well, we switched on screens; so we did everything we needed to do on that end,” Piccirillo said. “We struggled offensively from time to time, every team will go on a scoring run, it’s how we weather it and how we stop it that’s important.”

The fouls began to eat up the final minutes of the third quarter, and momentum shifted Commack’s way.

Keenan sank four field goals and a pair of free throws, and with help from senior Ryan Donohue, who added four points, the Cougars pulled within nine, 37-28.

“Ward Melville’s a good team and they’ve got a lot of guys who can knock down the outside shot, so we tried to plan for that, but unfortunately, we left some guys open in the first half,” Commack head coach Peter Smith said. “We adjusted nicely in the second quarter. We did OK in the third, but their defense is very good.”

It would be as close a Commack would come.

Commack’s Aiden Keenan dribbles the ball up the court. Photo by Bill Landon

At 6 feet, 7 inches, the big man for the Patriots, junior Alex Sobel, battled in the paint muscling his way to the rim, scoring three times. Sobel went to the charity stripe three times too, and never missed.

“We knew they’re a good team, especially the last two years,” Sobel said of Commack. “We came out strong and held a little gap. We got a little worried when they got close in third quarter, but we picked it up and closed the game out strong.”

Hudzik hit a field goal, Pryor swished a three-pointer and sophomore Ray Grabowski banked a field goal along with a free-throw point to close out the scoring for the Patriots.

With the win, Ward Melville improves to 9-2 overall and 5-0 in league play, sharing the top spot with Brentwood.

Sobel topped the scoreboard for the Ward Melville with 20 points and Kepes tacked on 15. Keenan led the scoring for Commack with 12 points and Donohue finished with nine.

With the loss, Commack drops to 5-5 overall and 1-4 in the league.

“We’ll put this game behind us quickly,” Smith said. “We have practice tomorrow and we have to rebound. We need to get a home win against Pat-Med.”

Commack hosts Patchogue-Medford Jan. 12 at 5:45 p.m. Ward Melville will travel to William Floyd Jan. 13. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.