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Calise scores 29 as Pearl River wins Tappan Zee Tip-Off tournament

Posted Tuesday, December 08, 2009 by Tony Pinciaro
Calise scores 29 as Pearl River wins Tappan Zee Tip-Off tournament
Senior guard named Most Valuable Player
    ORANGEBURG -- Anthony Calise was not pleased with his shooting performance Friday night.
     Even though Pearl River won its first-round game at the Tappan Zee Tip-Off tournament, the senior guard was having difficulty making shots.
     "I didn't shoot very well," Calise said. "Tappan Zee is a tough team and they play very good defense and my shots just weren't falling."
     Calise knew he had to rectify this one-game slump in preparation for the championship game against Clarkstown South. He spoke with Pearl River coach Jerry Houston and the staff to understand what was not right. Houston and his assistants diagnosed the problem.
     "My coaches told me to stay on my shot and don't release back," Calise said. 
     Calise followed the staff's instructions and responded with a game- and career-high 29 points, leading Pearl River to a 66-58 victory over Clarkstown South tonight.
     Calise hit five 3-pointers and went 14 of 16 from the free-throw line. Luke Houston added 16 points and was named to the all-tournament team. The victory was sweet for Pearl River as the Pirates watched Tappan Zee win the Pearl River tournament title last season.
     Pearl River led 10-6 after the first quarter and then Calise heated up in the second. The senior guard hit three treys, his last hiking Pearl River's lead to 25-11 before Clarkstown South scored two baskets.
     "I came in looking for my shot and it was falling," said Calise, who had five rebounds and three assists. "Everything was clicking today."
     Calise's second-quarter scoring binge, which also included an assist on a Joe Walsh triple, was important because back-court mate Luke Houston was on the bench with two fouls. Calise and his teammates had Clarkstown South consistently on the move defensively.
     "We came out and spread out our offense a little more and this opened up driving lanes so we could look for the kick out for jump shots," Calise said. "We moved the ball around very well."
     Calise was at it again in the third quarter, swishing a pair of triples, sandwiched around a Houston three. Calise fed Houston on his three then Houston returned the favor double, setting up Calise for his pair. Joe Walsh also added a 3-pointer in the quarter.
     "They have several great shooters and on back-to-back possessions we left him unchallenged and we paid for it," Clarkstown South coach Chris Meyers said. "We're still an inexperienced team but I think we competed with them through the end of the game which is important for us and a step in the right direction."
     Clarkstown South stayed within striking distance in the fourth quarter, whittling down a 16-point deficit to eight points, at 53-45, with 1:37 remaining, The Vikings made the late run behind Zachery Mager and Michael McCahey, who scored 13 and eight points, respectively, in the quarter. Mager finished with 25 points and McCahey buried 16. 
     However, once the Vikings got within eight, Calise set up shot on the foul line, converting seven of eight in the final minute to seal the win.
     "We played hard and we played together," Calise said. "Our defense kept us in the game yesterday against Tappan Zee and our defense helped our offense today."
     Mager nd McCahey were all-tournament selections as was Tappan Zee guard Ryan O'Rourke.

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Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009
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