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CUCD Seventh Grade Tops Mahopac in Playoff

TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – Jamon Murray led all scorers with 37 points to lift the Children Understanding Cultural Differences' seventh grade team into the Tri-County Basketball League playoffs with a 73-63 victory over Mahopac in a quarterfinal game Sunday.

CUCD (13-2) advanced to the semifinal round by eliminating the 11-3 Indians, who split the regular-season two-game series with CUCD. The Tuckahoe, Bronxville, Eastchester CUCD contingent will next play No. 1 seed Scarsdale  in Saturday’s semifinal in an 8:30 a.m. tipoff at The College of New Rochelle.

“Before the tipoff I knew that two of my starters would be at best questionable,” CUCD coach Donald Gunther said. “Isaiah Gunther was dehydrated and suffering from bronchitis and Zachary Tucker (injured knee). Mahopac gave us our last defeat back in January at their place and scored a season-high 73 points against us.”

Mahopac went up 10-2 with a large fan base in support but the CUCH boys responded and took an 18-14 lead after one quarter in a 14-point turnaround.

Sixth-grader Jamon Douglas, who finished with 18 points, took over in the second quarter, scoring and rebounding to lead the seventh graders to a 32-24 halftime lead.

“I could see we were focused at halftime because all year long I asked for our leaders to be vocal and finally at the right time they were,” Gunther said. “The spectators energized the boys in the second half.”

Christian Pinto played strong defense on Mahopac’s top scorer in the second half and the locals led 52-42 after three quarters. Pinto’s defense continued into the fourth quarter and CUCD maintained its lead for a 73-63 final.

Murray was nearly perfect from the free throw line, making 15 of 16 in the game to go with his 37 points.

Gunther cited Alex Williams (six points), who filled in for Isaiah Gunther and Michael Stellate for their outstanding play.

“This was a tremendous game for this team to win and withstand a Mahopac team that I feel is just as good as we are,” Gunther said.

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