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No. 19 Archbishop Stepinac (NY), Iona Prep to clash in unique hardwood best-of-seven series tipping with Game 1 on Feb. 26

BENSALEM, Pa. — Schoolboy basketball is returning to Westchester County, New York with a unique twist.

In a much-welcomed development since COVID-19 concerns shuttered most competitive New York high school sports last year, Archbishop Stepinac (Whose Plains, N.Y.) and Iona Prep (New Rochelle, N.Y.)  announced today the creation of Brother Stoldt Best-of-Seven Series trophy competition, starting Feb. 26.

With other areas of New York resuming play, Stepinac and Iona Prep are at a scheduling standstill as members of  the New York Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AA  league, which is composed of teams mostly from New York City’s five boroughs. The New York City based schools do not have health department approval to start playing.

The series will operate under strict safety guidelines among the players and the coaching staffs.  No fans will be allowed in attendance but can view live coverage on LocalLive TV.

Both coaches are thrilled for their teams’ return to the hardwood and live competition. Stepinac is currently No. 19 in the Blue Star Media Elite 25 national rankings.

“This is a great opportunity for our players. They have waited eleven months to be able to play in a safe environment. This series will provide exposure for all involved to get recruited, excitement for both schools and the local community. Both schools have done a great job of working to put all this together for both school communities and their fans,” said Stepinac coach Patrick Massaroni, who guided the Crusaders to the 2018 New York State Federation AA championship.

Added Iona Prep’s Steve Alvarado: “Our players are grateful to finally have the opportunity to compete for Iona Prep and showcase their abilities. And to do so against their fiercest rival, Stepinac, under such a unique and unprecedented Best of 7 Series has them extremely excited! We are fortunate to be able to provide much- needed exposure for our players and show entertaining, competitive basketball games for our student body, alumni, fans of the program and Westchester County.”

Schedule

The winning team will take home the Brother Stoldt Trophy:

Game 1 at Iona Prep – Feb. 26
Game 2 at Iona Prep – March 2
Game 3 at Stepinac – March 5
Game 4 at Stepinac – TBD
Game 5 at Iona Prep (If necessary)
Game 6 at Stepinac (If necessary)
Game 7 at Iona Prep (If necessary).

Times and future dates will be announced.

Senior Writer and national analyst for Blue Media and compiles the Blue Star Elite 25 national boys and girls high school basketball and football rankings during the season. Lawlor, an award-winning writer, is a voting committee member and advisor for several national high school events, including the McDonald’s All-American Games. He previously wrote for USA TODAY and ESPN.com, where he was the national preps writer, while compiling the national rankings in four sports.

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