Friday night at Iona College was just another friendly reminder that the Hudson Valley’s best rivalry — regardless of sport, records, streaks, history or anything — belongs to Iona Prep and Stepinac.
The CHSAA heavyweights staged a fitting Round 2 to their unforgettable Jan. 5 meeting at the Westchester County Center. The teams sold out Iona College, which hosted a raucous crowd and a game that featured the drama and show-stopping dunks as you’d hope for with a $10 presale admission.
VIDEO: Iona Prep 75, Stepinac 67 (2/3/18) – KDJ Media:
Iona Prep rallied back from a 14-point deficit in the middle of the third quarter for a 75-67 win behind arguably the best big-game, all-around performance from senior Bryce Wills of his career. Wills admitted afterwards the game was all about the team. But there was a hint of personal revenge for him after a sub-par effort against Stepinac in Round 1.
Wills had 25 points on 11 of 15 shooting with six dunks, including a jaw-dropping one-handed flush in the fourth quarter to put Iona ahead 64-62 with under two minutes to play. The Stanford commit added five boards, and Sol Koureissi had 21 points on 8 of 14 shooting six rebounds.
Josh Alexander carried Iona at times early, recording 12 points and nine rebounds adn Zedrick Farrell had nine points and five rebounds and Romar Reid contributed eight points and four assists.
Alan Griffin, who has missed time for Stepinac with injuries, was sensational, especially in the first half. The senior guard scored 21 points for the Crusaders, who led 42-30 at the break thanks to 8 of 13 3-point shooting. Iona was 0 for 6 from behind the arc in the first half.
R.J. Davis had 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds and Ed Minaya scored 11 for Sterpinac.
Iona Prep improved to 17-4 overall and maintained its place atop the CHSAA New York AA standings at 12-2. Stepinac is 10-4 in league play and 15-5 overall. Both teams have three league games left before the postseason.