By Sean Lynch
NEW PALTZ — There’s a basketball phrase used by coaches and trainers alike:
Great shooters have a short-term memory.
So when Brady Short’s three-point attempt was blocked seven rows into the bleachers, he shrugged his shoulders and prepared for the following out-of-bounds play.
The Kingston junior slided to the same corner where he was blocked 10 seconds earlier, and hit a three-pointer that gave the Tigers a 35-33 lead with less than a minute left in the third quarter.
Short came off the bench and scored 12 points (4/5 from 3) in a 61-47 win over Middletown (16-6) in the Class AA final.
“For most of the game, it was tough to get a bucket,” said Short. “I just did what I had to do, I tried to find an opening in the defense from beyond-the-arc and took advantage of my opportunities.”
The Tigers (21-2) led 24-17 at halftime after a disappointing offensive showing from both sides. Brian Moore finished the game with 25 points, but was held to eight in the first half.
“That’s my boy right there,” Moore said of Short.
“He does what he needs to do. He doesn’t care if he starts the game on the bench. He just comes in and does what he does best to help us win.”
In Kingston’s two playoff games this season, Short is 8-of-12 (75%) on three-pointers.
Kingston: Brian Moore 25 points (17 in second half); Brady Short 12 points (4/5 3 pointers); Jimmy Moot 10 points; Shyquan Royal 6 pts, 10 rebs, 4 asts.
Middletown: Marquis Gill 17 pts, 2 rebs, 2 asts; Jalen Hammond 11 pts.
When Moore moved up to Kingston from New York city three years ago, he had always dreamed of this moment. He looked up to local icon Tay Fisher and wanted to accomplish the things that he was able to.
“Winning the Section 9 championship is something I’ve wanted to do since I came up here, he added. But now that we’ve won it, there’s still more games to win. Our team is hungry, but we need to stay focused and keep our eyes on the prize.
It’s the first time since the 2012-13 season since Kingston is advancing to the NYS Class AA tournament.
The good players settle for 25 point performances — the great players do everything they can to improve on those performances. Instead of celebrating with an unhealthy dinner, or socializing at a postgame party, Moore had only one place he wanted to be after the game:
“I’m going straight to the gym and put up more shots. The Section 9 plaque looks cool and all, but I’m going for the New York State plaque, and I’m gonna do everything I can to win it.”