Haldane defeated Franklin Roosevelt, 53-46, in Hyde Park on Feb. 17 to finish its regular season at 16-4. It will now prepare for the Section I, Class C tournament and a return to the Westchester County Center in White Plains for the first time since 2020.

Haldane's Ben Bozsik rises for a jumper last week at FDR. Photo by S. Pearlman
Haldane’s Ben Bozsik rises for a jumper last week at FDR. (Photo by S. Pearlman)

Haldane is the No. 2 seed in the four-team field and will face No. 3 Alexander Hamilton at 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 28).

Haldane has five sectional titles but has not won one since 2016 — the Blue Devils lost in the semifinals two of the last three years. Last year the team reached the Class C final, played at Yorktown High School, but lost to Hamilton by two points in a last-second heartbreaker.

The last time Haldane played at the Westchester County Center, senior Matteo Cervone was a freshman who scored seven points in a semifinal loss to Tuckahoe. This is the last chance for a senior class that includes Cervone (who this month scored his 1,000th career point for the Blue Devils) and fellow seniors Ryan Eng-Wong, Will Bradley, Ben Bozsik, Jesse Hagen, Julian Ambrose and Thomas Rockett.

“We’ve had a great regular season, and we’re battle-tested,” said Coach Joe Virgadamo, in his 17th year. Against Hamilton, “we have to rebound, and we have to have a balanced attack.”

At Franklin Roosevelt, Haldane was down by a point, 24-23, at halftime but led 38-34 at the end of three quarters and closed strong.

Cervone scored 13 points, followed by Matt Nachamkin (11), Bozsik (11) and Evan Giachinta (6).

“We rebounded extremely well in the second half,” Virgadamo said. “That will be a key piece for us in sectionals. Our half-court offense looked good, we handled the press well and we shared the ball.”

Beacon (14-6) will be the No. 4 seed in the Section IX, Class A playoffs, which begin on Saturday (Feb. 25). The Bulldogs will play No. 5 seed Wallkill at 5 p.m. on Monday (Feb. 27) at home.


Beacon (13-5) received a bye in the first round of the Section IX, Class A tournament and will host Franklin Roosevelt High School at 5 p.m. on Wednesday (March 1).

Haldane (3-17) will play Tuesday (Feb. 28) at the Westchester County Center at 6:30 p.m. The Blue Devils, seeded No. 4, will face No. 1 Tuckahoe (12-8).


Beacon finished 18th of 21 teams at the Section IX championships held Feb. 16-18. Monroe-Woodbury won the title.

The Beacon team at the Section IX championships. (Photo provided)

The Bulldogs scored points in seven events: The 200-yard medley relay team finished 14th in 1:58.59; the 200-yard freestyle relay team finished 13th in 1:41; and the 400-yard freestyle team was 13th in 4:04.93. In individual events, Carlos Lazo was 16th in the 100-yard freestyle in 53.79 and Bryce Manning was 16th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:11.15.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Pearlman, a native of Carmel, was the sports editor of the Putnam County Courier in Carmel for 14 years and for the North County News in Yorktown Heights for 13 years. Location: Cold Spring. Languages: English. Area of expertise: Sports