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    MSGVarsity.com's Top 50 Games of 2011-12

    Updated Tue, Jul 2, 2013 1:31 PM

    MSGVarsity.com will be counting down the top 50 games from this past school year as part of our Endless Summer programming. Check back each Wednesday see the five latest additions to the list and visit MSG Varsity Interactive channel 614 to vote for the top 5 games of the year.

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    #1 Bergen Catholic vs. Don Bosco football (45 percent of vote)

    Sept. 30, 2011: Don Bosco Prep was on the ropes, but in the end proved once again why it holds the definitive label as the best high school football team in the nation. Elijah Shumate scored two of his three rushing touchdowns in the decisive fourth quarter to help the Ironmen fend off Bergen Catholic, 33-22, in a showdown of the Garden State’s best at Granatell Stadium in Ramsey.

    #2 East Meadow vs. Floyd football (28 percent of vote)

    Nov. 27, 2011: The third time would be the charm for William Floyd. Making their third-straight LIC appearance, the Colonials captured the Class I championship with a thrilling 54-47 win over East Meadow. Stacey Bedell put up video game-like numbers and set a LIC record by rushing for 412 yards - 109 more than the previous mark. Bedell scored four touchdowns, but it would be little-used Corey Banks notching the game-winning score on just his second catch of the season.

    #3 Greenwich vs. Staples football (10 percent of vote)

    Nov. 24, 2011: Sophomore quarterback Jack Massie connected with senior Peter Bonenfant on a 16-yard pass with 1:21 remaining for the go-ahead touchdown, and Staples held on for a 31-27 Thanksgiving Day victory over rival Greenwich in the first annual Jerry McDougall FCIAC Championship game in Westport. Staples junior Nick Kelly carried 22 times for 89 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 1-yard score with 7:00 left as the Wreckers battled back from a 27-17 fourth-quarter deficit. Shane Nastahowksi had two touchdown runs for Greenwich, which reached into its bag of tricks in the second half as Joel Arroyo threw back to Alex McMurray on a double pass for a 69-yard touchdown, giving the visitors a 21-17 lead with 1:40 left in the third quarter. Massie, who finished 15 of 20 for 215 yards, quickly shrugged off a rare interception to lead the Wreckers on their two long scoring drives over the final seven minutes.

    #4 Calhoun vs. Connetquot baseball (8 percent of vote)

    June 5, 2012: Two of the best baseball teams on Long Island met in one of the best games of the season: A nine-inning thriller for the Long Island Class AA title. With the score knotted at 3-3, Connetquot’s John Fiederlein sparked a two-run rally in the top of the ninth. But in the bottom of the frame, Calhoun refused to die. The Colts cut the deficit to one on a wild pitch, setting the stage for Alex Vargas, who drilled a walk-off two-RBI blast to left, giving Calhoun the title, 6-5.

    #5 Pennsbury (Pa.) vs. Robbinsville softball (6 percent of vote)

    May 12, 2012: What was billed as an interstate matchup between softball superpowers more than lived up to the hype when Robbinsville pushed talented Pennsbury into extra innings but in the end came up just short, 3-1. Robbinsville had its 37-game winning streak snapped by Allentown several days prior, and against one of the best teams in Pennsylvania, showed why it has become the top team in Mercer County and one of the best programs in the entire state of New Jersey.

    #6 Erasmus vs. Lincoln football

    Dec. 7, 2011: Kareem Folkes helped lead Lincoln to the PSAL championship by being the city’s most prolific running back. But the Railsplitters won their first title since 1993 because of what he did defensively. Despite battling a high ankle sprain, the C.W. Post-bound senior swatted down a Wayne Morgan pass to Luder Jean Louis at the end zone in the closing seconds to clinch Lincoln’s 20-12 victory against Erasmus Hall at Yankee Stadium, capping an undefeated season.

    #7 St. Raymond vs. Mt. St. Michael boys basketball

    Jan. 10, 2012: Before Mount upset Christ the King in the CHSAA Class AA semifinals, the Mountaineers placed a stamp in their new league with a scintillating 66-63 overtime win over St. Raymond. The hero in both games was Malik Gill, who scored a game-high 26 points, including a pair of free throws with 0.2 seconds left to seal the victory. Andrew Utate added a pair of massive 3-pointers in one of Mount’s biggest regular season wins in decades.

    #8 Delbarton vs. Christian Brothers Academy ice hockey

    Mar. 9, 2012: Josh Melnick scored with 1:36 remaining in the third period to solidify Delbarton's fifth straight Non-Public ice hockey crown, defeating Christian Brothers Academy, 3-2, at Prudential Center. CBA kept things interesting despite its opponent having won its first three games of the state tournament by a combined score of 22-1.

    #9 Baldwin vs. Uniondale boys basketball

    Mar. 3, 2012: Baldwin, looking for its first Nassau Class AA title since 2008, had the undefeated Uniondale Knights on the ropes. The Bruins held a 12-point margin with just 2:31 to play. Led by All-Long Island star Shaq Mosely, Uniondale staged a furious comeback. But it wouldn’t be enough; Baldwin held on to capture the Nassau crown, 57-53, and hand Uniondale its first loss.

    #10 North Rockland vs. John Jay EF football

    Nov. 6, 2011: North Rockland's football program returned to prominence in 2011, capturing its first sectional title in six years. And the Red Raiders did so in style, winning a 14-7 overtime thriller against John Jay-EF in the Section 1 Class AA final. Nick Connell, who didn't receive a single first-half carry, broke out in the second half and overtime. The junior tailback rushed 12 times for 55 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including the game-winning score from four yards out. It marked North Rockland's seventh sectional title in program history.

    #11 East Meadow vs. Freeport football

    Nov. 19, 2011: Two-time defending Nassau champions Freeport had saw their reign come to an end at the hands of the East Meadow Jets. The game came down to a crucial 4th-and-goal with Freeport trailing by one, but East Meadow batted away Isaiah Barnes’ pass to clinch the Jets’ first county title since 2006, 34-33.

    #12 Gill St. Bernards vs. Plainfield boys basketball

    Feb. 12, 2012: Senior guard Sekou Harris forced overtime on a driving layup with 10 seconds to go and fed Diijon Allen-Jordan underneath with four seconds left in overtime to lift Plainfield to a 78-77 victory at the PrimeTime Shootout before a delirious, sellout crowd at the PrimeTime Shootout. No. 6 Plainfield erased a 77-72 deficit in the final minute of overtime to snap a 17-game winning streak for No. 3 Gill St. Bernard’s and climb its way back into the conversation as one of the state’s premier teams.

    #13 Wings Academy vs. Kennedy boys basketball

    Jan. 17, 2012: Justin Jenkins went from goat to hero in 1.2 seconds in this meeting of Bronx PSAL rivals. The Wings senior missed the front end of a one-and-one bonus with 13.4 seconds left and watched John F. Kennedy’s Louis Baltazar drive over him for what appeared to be the winning basket. But the Fairfield-bound guard buried corner 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Wings to a dramatic 55-53 win at John F. Kennedy.

    #14 St. Anthony's vs. Delbarton boys lacrosse

    Apr. 7, 2012: In a classic early-season interstate showdown, the top team in the New York Catholic League traveled to New Jersey to play the Garden State’s best. Sean McDonogh and Brian Sherlock tallied three goals apiece as the Friars edged the Green Wave of Delbarton, 10-9.

    #15 St. Raymond vs. Cardinal Hayes boys basketball

    Feb. 21, 2012: The Ravens earned revenge for a lopsided late season loss with a thrilling 81-73 victory against rival Cardinal Hayes in the Archdiocesan semifinals. Larry Graves was the hero, scoring 19 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, going 9-of-9 from the foul line and 4-of-4 from the field in the final eight minutes. Shane Rector scored a game-high 23 points and Daniel Dingle was solid defensively against Amadou Sidibe to seal the win.

    #16 Kellenberg vs. Fordham Prep football

    Oct. 2, 2011: Austin Wolf had his number called once in this wild regular season game at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. And it proved to be the difference as the senior tight end caught Jimmy McHale’s play-action pass in the end zone for the winning two-point conversion to seal the Rams 29-28 overtime victory, spoiling Kellenberg’s Homecoming Day. Wolf, whose conversion followed Logan Williamson’s rushing score, also fell on a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.

    #17 Manasquan vs. St. Rose girls basketball

    Feb. 24, 2012: Fordham-bound Samantha Clark erupted for 28 points, cleared 10 rebounds and dished out four assists as second-seeded St. Rose, No. 3 in the MSG Varsity New Jersey Top 15, posted a 65-56 victory over top-seeded and second-ranked Manasquan in the Shore Conference Tournament final at Monmouth University in West Long Branch.

    #18 Greenwich vs. New Canaan girls lacrosse

    May 9, 2012: In a battle of unbeatens at rainy Dunning Field, senior star Sarah Mannelly scored five times -- including the go-ahead goal with 7:06 remaining -- as New Canaan notched a hard-fought 12-10 victory over Greenwich. Olivia Hompe added four goals and Lily Citrin had two for the Rams, who also got nine saves from Liz O'Sullivan. The Cardinals led the back-and-forth contest 6-5 at halftime behind Claire Feeney, who finished with four goals. Sophie Waine and Emily Johnson scored two goals apiece, while Hannah Jeffrey stopped 12 shots in the defeat.

    #19 Locust Valley vs. Center Moriches boys basketball

    Mar. 6, 2012: Locust Valley looked poised to take its first ever Long Island Class B title, going up by as many as 14 points in the second quarter. But Center Moriches had other plans. The Red Devils ate away at the deficit and pulled out a 55-50 to capture their first LIC since 1998.

    #20 Pequannock vs. Morris Knolls softball

    May 10, 2012: Ally Thomas smacked two home runs and provided all the offense her team needed, as Pequannock captured its fourth-straight Morris County title, 2-1, over Morris Knolls. Superstar hurler Dana Nielsen scattered seven hits on the day and surrendered an unearned run in the top of the sixth.

    #21 Chaminade vs. Mt. St. Michael football

    Sept. 24, 2011: In a CHSFL Class AAA meeting full of big plays and momentum swings, John Desepoli came up with the biggest of all – a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown immediately after Mount tied the game at 14 on a 17-yard TD pass from Najee Brown to Bruce Parker, Jr. The Mountaineers weren’t done yet as Brown scored on a 1-yard keeper to pull within 21-20 with 3:44 left. But the extra point was off the mark.

    #22 Darien vs. Ridgefield ice hockey

    Mar. 3, 2012: MVP Sean Wilkinson scored the game-winning goal on a rebound with 10:38 remaining as Ridgefield captured its first FCIAC Tier 1 championship since 2007 with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Ridgefield at Stamford's Terry Conners Rink. Twice the Blue Wave rallied from one-goal deficits as Nick Bruno and Owen Koobusch each scored in the second period. But Darien was unable to respond in the third period thanks to the stellar play of Tigers goalie Nathan Gliedman (25 saves). All-State goalie Max Rothston stopped 22 shots for the Blue Wave.

    #23 St. John the Baptist vs. St. Anthony's girls basketball

    Mar. 4, 2012: Both teams met twice in the regular season, with St. Anthony’s winning handily both times. That would not be the case in the NSCHSAA girls basketball championship game. With St. Anthony’s up by one point and 14 seconds remaining, SJB had a chance to pull off the upset, but Johanna Impellizeri intercepted a pass and clinched the Friars’ second straight title, 51-48.

    #24 Newfield vs. Garden City football

    Nov. 25, 2011: Garden City and Newfield didn’t light up the scoreboard, which seemed to be the norm at the 2011 Long Island football championships at Hofstra, but that didn't stop both teams from putting on a thriller. There were just three scores all game, all on the ground, and none coming from more than six yards out. The Wolverines put on a defensive masterpiece as Newfield won the program’s first Long Island title, 14-7.

    #25 Hoboken vs. North Bergen baseball

    Apr. 30, 2012: The Redwings once again benefited from having arguably the most dominant hurler in the Garden State on their side. Left-handed ace Kenny Roder tossed seven brilliant innings and helped Hoboken escape with a 1-0 victory over North Bergen. Roder entered having struck out 91 batters in just 42 innings. In his previous start five days prior, he whiffed 18 and surrendered just two hits in seven innings of a 1-0 blanking against Hudson Catholic.

    #26 Kellenberg vs. Fordham Prep football

    Nov. 19, 2011: With 18 seconds left in the CHSFL Class AA championship game, Jimmy McHale hit Logan Williamson for his third touchdown of the game. Fordham Prep trailed Kellenberg by one with the extra point pending. Rams coach Pete Gorynski rolled the dice and went for two and it was Williamson again coming up with the heroics, hitting a sliding Jarred Moorer with a halfback pass to give Fordham Prep the 22-21 lead and the team’s first Class AA title.

    #27 Bridgewater-Raritan vs. Pingry boys soccer

    Sept. 15, 2011: After surrendering a one-goal lead late in the second half, Pingry's Freddy Elliot scored his second tally of the contest in the final minute as Pingry edged Bridgewater-Raritan, 2-1, in an MSGVarsity.com live-streamed game. Pingry legendary boys soccer coach Miller Bugliari notched his his 750th career victory.

    #28 John Jay-CR vs. Poughkeepsie football

    Nov. 6, 2011: With a 28-21 win over John Jay-CR in the Section 1 Class A finals, Poughkeepsie advanced to the state playoffs for the first time in program history. Not surprisingly, quarterback Josh Oliver was at the center of it all. The 5-6, 155-pound senior led a nine-play, 71-yard game-winning drive, capping it off with a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:11 left in regulation. Overall, Oliver ran for 135 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries. He also completed 6 of 14 passes for 85 yards and tossed a 45-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-21 at the half.

    #29 Chaminade vs. St. John the Baptist boys soccer

    Oct. 20, 2011: Take two top teams from the CHSAA, add 45mph gusting winds, 90 minutes on the scoreboard and you’re bound to get a classic contest. Chaminade and St. John the Baptist, the 2010 and 2011 NSCHSAA boys soccer champions respectively, braved strong winds to finish in a 1-1 draw.

    #30 MacArthur vs. Long Beach wrestling

    Jan. 18, 2012: Two of the best wrestling teams on Long Island locked up and the decision was in doubt right up to the final slap of the mat. With Long Beach down 35-28, 285-pounder Pete Amabile needed a pin to give his team the win in the last match. Amabile rose to the occasion, pinning MacArthur’s Doug Hughes in 1:03 to pull his team even, 35-35 and give Long Beach the win on criteria (matches won, 8-7).

    #31: Ridgewood vs. Wayne Hills football

    Oct. 14, 2011: Cristian Rodriguez scored two touchdowns and Dom Santoro added another as Wayne Hills remained undefeated by edging Ridgewood, 28-21. After Blake Feagles broke off a 79-yard run for a score in the opening minute of the third quarter to help Ridgewood pull even at 14-14, Rodriguez notched a 5-yard touchdown with 2:21 remaining in the session for a lead his team wouldn't relinquish.

    #32: Scarsdale vs. Pelham ice hockey

    Feb. 27, 2012: Upset-minded Scarsdale gave Pelham all it could handle in the Section 1 D2 finals. But it wasn't enough to dethrone the defending champs. Junior forward Andrew Schauer broke a 2-2 tie with 4:25 left in the third period to lift the No. 2-seeded Pelicans to a 3-2 victory. Colin Reilly and Garrett Martin both added goals for Pelham. Jake Bank and freshman James Nicholas tallied for the No. 8-seeded Raiders.

    #33: Fordham Prep vs. Iona Prep boys lacrosse

    Apr. 3, 2012: Fordham Prep’s first win of the year couldn’t have been more dramatic. The Rams rallied from a 9-4 deficit with 5:04 left in the third quarter to beat the Gaels, 11-10, in overtime with Colum Sleeper setting up Rob Grinnell for the winner with 2:41 left in overtime. All-American attackman Ben Andreycak sparked the comeback with five goals and an assist. Iona Prep won the final two meetings, including the CHSAA ‘AA’ final.

    #34: Don Bosco vs. Ridgewood boys lacrosse

    May 12, 2012: There was an air of inevitability surrounding the Bergen County finals between Don Bosco and Ridgewood. The Ironmen came in to the contest sporting a 15-0 record thanks to a combination of a high-powered attack and stingy defense, and both elements showed up in an 8-4 victory that gave Don Bosco its first Bergen County title.

    #35: Christ the King vs. Bishop Loughlin boys basketball

    Jan. 6, 2012: There’s something magical about Friday night in the CHSAA and this Fort Greene showdown between Brooklyn/Queens rivals didn’t disappoint. Christ the King survived a scare to come away with a 77-75 victory thanks to 27 points from Jon Severe and 24 from Omar Calhoun. Despite the loss, Khadeen Carrington was outstanding for the Lions, scoring a game-high 34 points.

    #36 Lincoln vs. Boys & Girls boys basketball

    Feb. 2, 2012: In a highly anticipated rematch in Bed-Stuy, Boys & Girls bounced back from a disheartening loss in Coney Island three weeks earlier to beat Brooklyn rival Lincoln, 72-65, in overtime. Leroy (Truck) Fludd knocked down a pair of clutch free throws with 3.9 seconds left in the fourth to force OT and Wesley Myers had 18 points after halftime for Boys, which took three of four meetings with Lincoln.

    #37 Wantagh vs. Manhasset girls lacrosse

    Apr. 4, 2012: It may have been early April, but Manhasset and Wantagh engaged in a classic contest with playoff-like atmosphere. In a back-and-forth game, the Warriors had the final answer from an unlikely source. Cassidy Meaney scored the game-winning goal, just her second tally of the season, with 1:06 left to give Wantagh the 12-11 win.

    #38 Mahopac vs. Scarsdale football

    Oct. 1, 2011: Scarsdale's 28-21 win over Mahopac was one of the bigger upsets in Section 1 Class AA last season. And it was all thanks to the clutch play of Andy Verboys. The junior signal-caller engineered a 91-yard, 11-play game-winning drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Cugini with 36 seconds left in regulation. Overall, Verboys completed 7 of 14 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a pair of scores.

    #39: Trumbull vs. Staples boys soccer

    Nov. 4, 2011: Zach Chase and Liam O'Sullivan scored first-half goals 13 minutes apart and the second-seeded Eagles held off the three-time defending league champs for their first outright FCIAC boys soccer title. The Wreckers nearly equalized in the 31st minute, but following a shot by Joe Greenwald off a scramble, Trumbull goalkeeper Nick Weinstein's foot -- but not the ball -- appeared to cross over the goal line and officials allowed play to continue.

    #40: Rocky Point vs. Sayville softball

    Apr. 9, 2012: Down 2-0 in the fifth inning, Sayville fought back to take a 3-2 lead over Rocky Point heading into the final inning. Rocky Point put runners on second and third with no outs, but Sayville third baseman Kira Karl kept the Eagles off the scoreboard with three defensive gems, including a backhand stab and spinning throw home that made our announcers say, “Whoa!”

    #41: St. Raymond vs. Mt. St. Michael boys basketball

    Feb. 25, 2012: In the first two chapters of a burgeoning Bronx rivalry, Mount St. Michael and St. Raymond split a pair of classic regular-season meetings, both holding serve at home. The rubber match was for the CHSAA Archdiocesan crown. Led by the Division I duo of Daniel Dingle and Kerwin Okoro, the Ravens pulled out a thrilling 60-58 victory at Mount to win their first Archdiocesan title since 2005.

    #42: DePaul vs. Immaculate Heart Academy girls basketball

    Feb. 9, 2012: IHA edged DePaul, 48-45, in a battle between two North Jersey powerhouses. IHA led by as many as nine points in the second half, but DePaul cut the lead to 46-45 on a Brianah Ramos free throw with 10.6 seconds remaining. The Blue Eagles were then able to seal the game with five seconds left as Sam Wilkes sank two free throws.

    #43: South Plainfield vs. Bergen Catholic wrestling

    Dec. 22, 2011: South Plainfield rallied past Bergen Catholic, 34-24, behind another sterling effort by Anthony Ashnault, who finished as the 126-pound state champion and improved his overall career record to 130-0. The Crusaders built a 24-point cushion and won the first seven matches, but their south Jersey rival came from behind to seal a big win.

    #44: Amityville vs. Harborfields boys basketball

    Feb. 24, 2012: In a rematch of the 2011 county finals, Harborfields topped Amityville for the Suffolk Class A crown, 68-64. Longwood University-bound Lucas Woodhouse potted 21 points for the Tornadoes as Harborfields coach Chris Agostino bested his brother, Amityville coach Jack Agostino, for the second straight year.

    #45: Lawrence vs. Sayville football

    Nov. 27, 2011: Two of Long Island's most potent offenses rewrote the Long Island Championship record book in the Class III title game. Led by Zach Sirico's record-tying six rushing touchdowns, Sayville captured its fifth Long Island title with a 78-61 victory over Lawrence. It was the highest-scoring football game in New York State high school history. Lawrence sophomore quarterback Joe Capobianco set LIC records for passing yards (541) and touchdowns (7) in a losing effort.

    #46: Ramapo vs. Northern Highlands boys soccer

    Oct. 25, 2011: Just two days after knocking out Northern Highlands in the Bergen County tournament, Ramapo was at it again against the same rival. The Green Raiders won their third meeting of the 2011 campaign with the Highlanders, 1-0, in this overtime thriller.

    #47: New Canaan vs. Brien McMahon football

    October 6, 2011: Visiting New Canaan scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and rallied for a 36-33 victory in a Thursday night thriller at Jack Casagrande Field. The Rams, who never led in the game until the final touchdown, capped their comeback on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Matt Milano to Patrick Newton with 35 seconds left. Milano threw for 212 yards and two scores, while McMahon's Damien Vega passed for 268 yards and four touchdowns.

    #48: McKee/SI Tech vs. Bergtraum girls basketball

    March 17, 2012: Murry Bergtraum has been the dominant girls basketball program in the PSAL for more than a decade, but when the Lady Blazers celebrated a 14th consecutive Class A title at Madison Square Garden on St. Patrick’s Day, coach Ed Grezinsky called it the sweetest of them all. That’s because Bergtraum dedicated the 56-48 victory over McKee/Staten Island Tech to the memory of Tayshana (Chicken) Murphy, who was killed in September.

    #49: Iona Prep vs St. Anthony's football

    November 12, 2011: In a rematch of the 2010 CHSFL Class AAA title game, Iona Prep was looking to dethrone the three-time defending champions, St. Anthony's in the semifinals. However the Friars continued their winning ways with a thrilling 14-10 win over the Gaels en route to another title.

    #50: Teaneck vs. St. Joseph boys basketball

    December 18, 2011: In an early season battle between two MSG Varsity Tri-State Top 20 mainstays, Chris Jones and the Highwaymen escaped with a 53-49 victory over the Falcons. Despite the setback, St. Joseph freshman sensation Karl Towns shined in just his second varsity game.

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