Pine Bush’s boys’ basketball team is defending its Section 9, Class title this year, and Friday, during senior night, the Bushmen played Newburgh for the second time this season.
The Bushmen entered the game 17-0, but the Goldbacks tried to send a message that winning streak was very much something they wanted to break, leading 34-28 at the half.
“I was expecting to come in here and hopefully get that win,” said Matt Brown, Newburgh’s coach. “We have been playing a lot better. We have been coming together. I think we can go toe to toe with them, and we proved that we can.”
Newburgh continued to own the first part of the third quarter until the Bushmen went on a 9-0 run, pushing aside the Goldbacks and taking a 42-40 lead. The Bushmen led by seven to end the third before settling on a 65-61 victory to extend their record to 18-0.
“We had a couple of bad turnovers, and they killed us on the boards in the third quarter,” said Brown. “And it got them back in the game.”
Zech Barnes led the Goldbacks with 17 points with five threes, and three of those perimeter shots landed in the first quarter. Percy Smith scored 10 points for Newburgh, eight in the second quarter, as Newburgh put the Bushmen on notice in the first half that all winning streaks are sacred and must be preserved.
Bryan Powell, a senior, scored 11 points in the third when the Bushmen took over, and he led the team with 27 points. Brandon Powell, his twin, finished the game with 15 points.
“Coming into this game, we knew it was going to be a tough one,” said Bryan Powell. “They play a little rough. We’re just happy we came out with a W.”
Newburgh dropped to 9-8, still a victory short, thus far, of qualifying for the postseason.
By Bond Brungard