After winning the Section 9, Class AA title last season, Pine Bush’s boys’ basketball team lost some players that helped them earn that championship.
But they returned with their dominant core of Bryan and Brandon Powell and six-foot, six-inch Mason Memmelaar to run the inside and perimeter.
Friday, against Washingtonville, the Bushmen improved to 11-0 as this trio of team captains scored in double figures to down the Wizards 79-59.
“It is definitely getting more comfortable,” said Bryan Powell, who scored 19 points in the game. “We can see the chemistry is getting better.”
Bryan Powell said tournament play has helped develop that chemistry. The day after Christmas during the Slam Dunk Tournament at the Westchester County Center against Clarkstown South, Brandon Powell became the third Bushmen ever to score 1,000 career points when he joined his brother Justin, a 2016 graduate.
He did it with a free throw and entered Friday’s game with 1,086 career points and added 25 more, with a trio of threes, to lead the Bushmen.
After Pine Bush built 47-20 lead at the half, Steve Distefano, Pine Bush’s coach, rested his starters later in the second half. By then, offense and defense worked well enough together to give the Bushmen a sustainable, worry-free lead.
“We’re learning more about our defense this year. We’re a work in progress every single night,” said Distefano. “Because of our defense, it creates our offense. We have the guns to find the net.”
Memmelaar scored 14 points for the Bushmen, and Kyle Jaloszynski rotated off the bench to help with nine points.
By Bond Brungard