The Pine Bush boys’ basketball team came out hot Friday night.
And they needed all the early offense they could get as they built a big lead, watched it dwindle to about 12 points at the half and then took off running again in the second half on their way to a 94-69 win over the Monroe-Woodbury Crusaders.
“It was definitely a game of runs,” Pine Bush coach Steve Distefano said. “We put together a few more runs than they did and we were able to hold off their three-point shooting.”
They mostly had to hold off Monroe-Woodbury’s Robert Vacco, who knocked down eight 3-point baskets on his way to a team-high 30 points. Connor Coffee scored 12 points for the Crusaders on four 3-pointers, accounting for 61 percent of Monroe-Woodbury’s offensive output.
Despite taking a 32-11 lead after the first quarter, the Crusaders closed the gap to 10 points, 43-33, in the second half on the strength of outside shooting.
“We have to give credit to Rob Vacco,” DiStefano said. “He was lights out from the outside. They have some sharpshooters from the outside.”
The Bushmen’s offensive attack was a little more balanced with three players in double figures.
Brandon Powell led the way with a game-high 32 points, working both on the inside and trying to keep pace with Vacco on the outside, knocking down 5 3s. Bryan Powell added 23 points, including 2 three-pointers. Mason Memmellaar added 13 points.
But what stuck with Distefano the most was his team’s willingness to give the ball up to a teammate.
“If you have 30 assists in a game, that’s unselfish basketball,” Distefano said. “That’s the brand of basketball we try to play each and every night.”
By Mike Zummo