A week removed from their triumph in Peekskill, the Pine Bush boys’ basketball team returned from the Regents break and to league play with a 71-46 win over the Monroe-Woodbury Crusaders in Central Valley.
“It’s second half of the season for our league play and we definitely came in ready tonight,” Pine Bush coach Steve Distefano said.
The Bushmen (13-0, 5-0 OCIAA-I) were ready to play off the opening tip opening an early 22-2 lead.
However, Pine Bush seemed to settle in with their lead as the Crusaders went on a 6-2 run at the end of the first quarter.
Despite holding Monroe-Woodbury (7-7, 1-4 OCIAA-I) to only two points in the first three minutes of the second quarter, Pine Bush only scored two points in that time.
“When we get up by a lot, we usually settle down, but we have to keep our foot on the gas a little bit,” said Brandon Powell, who led the Bushmen with a game-high 21 points. “We don’t always break a little bit. We’ve got to work a little bit.”
Bryan Powell broke the scoring drought with a bucket with 5:24 left in the second quarter, starting an 11-0 run to take an even more commanding lead, 35-10.
“We’ve had a week off,” Distefano said. “This is our first game in a week. You can expect something like that. I never get worried with this team because I know our capabilities. We always stay together. We pick each other up and we were able to today.”
Bryan Powell and Mason Memmelaar had 15 points each and Latrell Lemmount added 10.
Chance Green led the Crusaders with 12 points.
“We can’t get too complacent,” Brandon Powell said. “We have a steady mindset right through the rest of the season.”
The rest of the season is seven games. And then comes the Section IX Class AA playoffs, and the Bushmen very much have their sights set on the second season, despite focusing on finishing the regular season with an unblemished record.
“There’s no time for us to get complacent,” DiStefano said. “Our work effort has to be top-notch in practice and our mentality has to be ready to go each and every night. We have a push for bigger and better things right now and that’s where the focus is at.”
By Mike Zummo