Griffin, Hawks Visiting MSG

Archbishop Stepinac High School graduate AJ Griffin and the Atlanta Hawks are visiting Madison Square Garden tonight to oppose the New York Knicks.

Tipoff is 7:30.

Griffin, 19, is averaging 5.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in four games this season. The 6 foot-6 guard is shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.

The Hawks are 4-3 and sit in first place in the Southeast Division. The Knicks are 3-3 overall and 3-0 at Madison Square Garden.

Griffin was drafted 16th overall by the Hawks in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Griffin averaged 10.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in leading the Duke Blue Devils to the NCAA Division I Final Four during his one season at Durham, N.C. He shot 49.3 percent from the floor and 44.7 percent from three-point range.

Prior to Duke, Griffin helped Stepinac capture the 2018 state high school federation championship.

Siegrist Named Big East’s Top Player

Maddy Siegrist is returning to Poughkeepsie to compete on a court her father once called home.

The Our Lady of Lourdes High School graduate will lead the Villanova University women’s basketball team into action against Marist College at the McCann Arena in Poughkeepsie on Monday, Nov. 7.

Siegrist visits Poughkeepsie after coaches selected her as the preseason Big East Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. Villanova was picked to finish third in the conference standings.

This will be Villanova’s first trip to Poughkeepsie since participating in the first game played in the renovated McCann Arena in 2011. Formerly called the McCann Center, Siegrist’s father George played four seasons at Marist and later served as an assistant coach with the men’s basketball program.

Siegrist, a senior, is coming off her best season at Villanova that ended with her being named the Big East and Big 5 player of the year, and All-American by The Associated Press and U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Siegrist was second in the nation with her 25.3 points per game and grabbed 9.2 rebounds per game. The forward, who finished with 12 double-doubles, shot 50 percent from the floor and 36 percent from beyond the three-point arc. She scored 20 or more points in 20 games and 30 or more points in nine games.

In August, Siegrist was one of six college players chosen to compete for the 2022 USA Basketball Women’s 3×3 U23 Nations League team at the FIBA 3×3 Nations League tournament in the Dominican Republic.

PHOTO COURTESY OF VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY

Strong Preseason for Ryan

Iona Prep graduate Matt Ryan has 40 points in three preseason games for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ryan, 25, scored 20 points in Sunday’s game against Iona Prep graduate Ty Jerome and the Golden State Warriors, the defending NBA champs. He was 6 for 9 from three-point range.

He finished with 13 points in a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 6 and seven points in a loss to the Phoenix Suns on oct. .

Ryan joined the Boston Celtics in April 2022 and scored three points in five minutes during his NBA debut against the Memphis Grizzlies.The 6-foot-7 forward was playing with the Maine Celtics of the NBA G League where he was averaging 19.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in 27 games. 

The Lakers host the Timberwolves at 10 tonight on ESPN.

Strong Month for LaSorsa

Iona Prep graduate Joe LaSorsa is off to a strong start in September for the Montgomery Biscuits.

The left-handed pitcher has not allowed an earned run in his first four outings, allowing one hit and one walk over 5 1/3 innings for the Biscuits, the Class AA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. He struck out five.

For the season, he’s 3-0 with a 3.45 earned run average and one save at Montgomery. In 31 1/3 innings, he’s allowed 25 hits, 12 earned runs, three walks and struck out 29.

LaSorsa was an 18th-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft.

The Biscuits open a six-game series with the Mississippi Braves tonight in Mississippi.

Spellman Grad Padilla Joins Cubs

Cardinal Spellman High School graduate Nick Padilla made his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

The 25-year-old pitcher, who was called up from the Iowa Cubs on Tuesday, allowed an earned run on two hits and two walks, and struck out one in 1 2/3 innings during a 13-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs are the fourth team for Padilla in 2022. He started the season in Class A with the South Bend Cubs, going 1-0 with a 1.80 earned run average and 18 strikeouts in 10 innings. He was assigned to the Class AA Tennessee Smokies on May 10 and finished 1-1 with a 2.82 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings. Padilla joined the Iowa Cubs on July 22 and was 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings.

Padilla was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 13th round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft. The 1994 graduate of Cardinal Spellman played one season at Grayson Community College in Denison, Texas, before being drafted.

In 2017, he was 3-2 with a 2.38 ERA for the Hudson Valley Renegades, which at the time was the Class A short-season affiliate of the Rays the New York-Penn League.

Moran Throws for Salt Lake

Brian Moran allowed an earned run on three hits over two innings for the Salt Lake Bees in a 13-11 loss to the Tacoma Rainiers on Tuesday night.

Moran, 33, struck out two and walked none. In five games this season, he is 0-0 with a 2.57 earned run average and seven strikeouts over seven innings for the Class AAA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels.

Moran was a second-round pick, 32nd overall, of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft. He is the brother of Cincinnati Reds infielder Colin Moran and nephew of former major leaguers Rick and B.J. Surhoff.

BC Connection Airs Today

Join Burke Catholic President John Douthit and Burke Catholic Principal Janice Clark for The BC Connection with special guests Andrew Jackson and Aaron Hasbrouck.

The show airs from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, April 8 on WTBQ in Orange County (93.5 FM) or listen at wtbq.com

Jackson, a 2006 Burke Catholic graduate, is the defensive line coach for the University of West Virginia football team and Hasbrouck is the dean of students and football coach at Burke Catholic.

Visit www.burkecatholic.com to learn more about Burke Catholic.

Peacock Pride Adds to Madness

Patrick Massaroni understands March Madness. 

The Archbishop Stepinac High School boys basketball coach lived through it as a student at Marist College in Poughkeepsie 15 years ago when the Marist women’s basketball team became the first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s or women’s basketball program to reach the Sweet 16.

“It was awesome–they made it to the Sweet 16 and faced Tennessee and Pat Summit,” Massaroni told Catholic Sports Scene. “I actually went to the game. What it did for the school and the surrounding area is similar to St. Peter’s. Everyone knew who Marist was after that. This is why sports matter.”

Just like 15 years ago when college basketball fans were learning where Poughkeepsie is, fans are now learning of the Catholic university in Jersey City–the home of the MAAC champion and 15th seed St. Peter’s University men’s basketball team that will play third seed Purdue in tonight’s Sweet 16 East Regional game in Philadelphia.

“They have played as a team, really run their offense efficiently and have been able to defend at a high level,” Massaroni said of St. Peter’s success. 

What follows for the Peacocks and head coach Shaheen Holloway may result in great future storylines. Marist appeared in nine consecutive NCAA tournaments (2006-2014) and won five NCAA games under head coach Brian Giorgis, who coached Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie to nine state championships and is the only New York State public high school coach to lead teams in four different sports to the state final four. He is believed to be the only NCAA Division I basketball coach to win over 400 games at both the high school and collegiate levels, and now has 451 wins at both levels.  

You also wonder what the players will be doing years from now. What will be in the future of Jaylen Murray, who attended and played basketball at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx? Will Doug Edert follow in his uncle’s footsteps and be working for CBS at NCAA tournaments? 

Julianne Viani, a member of the 2007 Marist team who played basketball for Giorgis at both Lourdes and Marist, is now a basketball analyst on television, serving in the role this week for CBS Sports at the NCAA Division II women’s basketball championships.

Massaroni will be watching tonight as will millions more cheering for St. Peter’s to continue its Cinderella run. Many of the viewers will be learning more about Jersey City, Holloway, Murray and Edert.

“They are the 15 seed and fans love upsets. Not only will they be watching but rooting for them,” said Massaroni.

Massaroni also will be viewing with some extra interest as the winner of tonight’s game will play either North Carolina–led by Stepinac graduate RJ Davis–or UCLA in the Elite Eight.

Two former CHSAA guards–Davis and Murray–going up against one another with a trip to the Final Four on the line would make for another great March Madness story.   

“Do they have a 7-foot-3 starting center and a Big Ten, All-League sixth man–no, but what they have is confidence, a team that believes they can win and it should be a great game Friday night,” said Massaroni of St. Peter’s.

Giants Safety McKinney Speaks at Iona Prep’s Father-Son Breakfast

New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney was the guest speaker at the Iona Preparatory School’s annual Father-Son Breakfast attended by more than 230 people at the school on Sunday.

McKinney answered questions and signed autographs for those in attendance.

A 2020 second-round pick of the Giants, McKinney had 93 tackles and five interceptions in 2020 for the Giants. In two NFL seasons, he has 118 tackles and six interceptions. McKinney attended the University of Alabama and played football for coach Nick Saban.

The annual event began over 60 years ago. Former Giants owner and Iona Prep parent, the late Wellington T. Mara, had Giants attending the breakfast when his sons attended the event in the 1970s. His sons–John Mara, CEO and president of the Giants; Chris Mara, senior vice president of player personnel; and Frank Mara, vice president of community relations, all graduated from Inoa Prep in the 1970s.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER POPE PHOTOGRAPHY