M.A.T. girls roll as boys team rebounds


On Thurs., Jan. 3, the Manhattan Academy of Technology Dragons girls and boys basketball teams had a great night against TASS (Technology, Arts, and Science Studios) middle school, with the girls team winning 43-12 and the boys team rolling to a 63 – 47 victory at the Smith Recreation Center.  The games were never really close, with both teams playing swarming defense and taking command from the very start.

“The girls are playing very well as a team right now and it’s been a total collaborative effort all the way,” coach John De Matteo said. “They’re passing well, looking for each other and their defense in the best in the league.  They’re tied right now in the rankings with I.S. 89 for the No. 1 spot, but I think they have to be the favorites right now to win the whole girls league. We’ll see when we rematch 89 in February where we’re at.  I like our chances to win the Manhattan girls basketball championship.”

Leading the way for the girls was point guard Patty Rosa, who led all scorers with 21 points, dishing out 10 assists and 7 steals.

“Patty is the team leader on the court, and I’m waiting for her to step up and lead this team off the court as well,” De Matteo said. “I want her to be more vocal.  She’s a fantastic point guard and the sky is the limit for her.”

Also contributing for the girls were guards Destini Torres, Akieyle Lewis, Tafari McKenzie, Ellen Mullan Jayes, Jenice Lewis, Ruby Harrison Clay and Emma Huibregste.  DeMatteo also praised the play of center Jubilee Domonech.

“Jubilee, or as I call her ‘Jubi Bean,’ never played basketball before we pretty much talked her into it two years ago, and she has improved by leaps and bounds,” De Matteo said. “So much so, that I think she’ll play at the next level.  She definitely has the heart and ability.”

On the boys side, they started out the season with a 1-2 record, but now have rebounded to become 6-2 and take second place in the Manhattan league’s south division.

“The boys are starting to turn it up a notch and I think they will also contend for that league title as well,” De Matteo said. “Seeing that we’re such a small school — 300 children — and we have to play schools that have four times as many kids as us, it’s amazing to me how well we do every year.  I’m very proud of how competitive my boys are, and it’ll show in the playoffs, I’m sure.”

De Matteo cited the play of Joshua Lawrence, his point guard, and the team’s leading scorers of Emmanuelle Mendoza and Jose Fernandez as keys to their success.  Also playing well for the Dragons on the boys side are center Byron Baez, forwards Roderick Silva — who De Matteo cited as being the team’s most improved — Jeff Winfield, Dante, Adonis Perez, Andrew Milian and Wayne Johnson.

“I look forward to the next coming month,” De Matteo said. “It should be interesting to see where the boys are headed.”

Both the boys and girls basketball teams will play East Side and P.S. 140 next week.