The Pine Bush boys’ basketball team cruised into the Lou Panzarano Sr. tournament on a roll.
Then they rolled right out, winning two taking the tournament championship in domination fashion with wins over Walter Panas, 82-46, and host Peekskill, 85-50 on Thursday and Saturday.
“We had a lot of energy,” said Bryan Powell, who was named tournament MVP. “We had a lot of community come out here to support us so we wanted to make them proud.”
Powell and Mason Memmelaar certainly did that as each picked up a triple double in the tournament.
Powell wasn’t the leading scorer Saturday night, but in addition to his 20 points, he also added 15 rebounds and 10 assists.
That followed Memmelaar’s performance on Thursday night in which he had 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Powell also had a double-double on Thursday with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Plus the two all-tournament players showed some great chemistry on the court. Late in the game, as Memmelaar was going to the basket, he switched gears and blindly passed the ball back to Powell, who was right behind him to make the easy layup.
“That’s familiarity,” Pine Bush coach Steve Distefano said. “That’s our verbal and nonverbal communication.”
Powell attributed it to years of playing together on various teams.
“We’ve been playing for a while back now,” Powell said. “We have a feeling where each other is and we’ve built a lot of chemistry over the years. We play on AAU travel, since middle school.”
In addition, Latrell Lemmount scored a team-high 22 points, Memmelaar scored 13, while Brandon Powell added 10.
Brandon Powell also scored a game-high 23 points in the Bushmen’s win on Thursday.
“You’re starting to see what the chemistry is all about,” Distefano said. “The unselfishness with this team and the family orientation that we have is three of the most important things and aspects to this team.”
This tournament gave the Bushmen (13-0) and measured themselves against some out of area competition and it was a pair of games the Bushmen were looking forward to.
“This has been a powerhouse for years,” Distefano said. “We came here looking to get better. Get some different officiating and get a feel for what they’re calling. We’re getting out of our section and coming back a well-balanced group.”
Now with the Regents Break coming off, the Bushmen will have a week off and will return to the court on Saturday against the Monroe-Woodbury Crusaders to start the second half of their Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association Division I schedule as they angle toward a high seed in the upcoming Section IX Class AA tournament.
“We have ups and downs,” Powell said. “Even though we’re winning, we still have to keep our head down and keep working hard in the gym. It doesn’t matter. We still have to point out the mistakes that we have and we still have to build on that.”
By Mike Zummo