WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The White Plains High School boys’ basketball team overcame an ejected coach, foul trouble and overall sloppy play to earn third place at the Slam Dunk Tournament at the Westchester County Center on Thursday.
The Tigers defeated Poly Prep, 30-28, in the consolation game of the tournament. Junior Justin Tapper led White Plains with 11 points in a game that featured sloppy offense on both sides. White Plains led just 14-10 at the half and 26-21 after three quarters.
Poly Prep had a chance to take the lead in the final 20 seconds, but Tapper grabbed a defensive rebound. He missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and gave the ball back to the Blue Devils, but Poly Prep could not get a shot off in the final second.
“That was horrible, man,” Tapper said. “It hit back rim. It felt good off my hands but it didn’t go in. They got the rebound and we didn’t foul or anything. So it was a good win.”
Referees ejected White Plains head coach Spencer Mayfield for the first time in his more than 20-year head coaching career after he received two technical fouls toward the end of the third quarter.
Mayfield clapped sarcastically at the referees after he complained about a foul call and received the first technical foul. The second one came after he complained to the referees about a Poly Prep player’s cursing.
The referee told Mayfield that the cursing was not directed at the coach, so Mayfield “let it go” but remarked to the official “so sportsmanship doesn’t matter.” The officials then ejected the coach.
“Without cursing, I don’t think I deserved to be kicked out of the game,” Mayfield said. “But I can’t hurt my team by being ejected. The officials are always right so I must have deserved it.”
But the Tigers managed to hold on despite losing their longtime coach and four fouls on both Nate Hudson and MarShon Morris late in the fourth quarter.
“(The ejection) was a huge problem but we had to keep our heads focused,” Tapper said. “It was a big thing but we stepped it up and we did what we had to do.”