By Sean Lynch
NEW PALTZ — Kingston defeated Mount Vernon 69-38 in a wire-to-wire win to advance to the NYS Class AA semifinals.
Mount Vernon hasn’t lost to a Section 9 team since 2009, when Newburgh hit a 55-foot buzzer-beater to win.
It’s the largest deficit of defeat for Mount Vernon (19-5) since December 20th, 2016 when they lost 74-36 vs. Mid-Pacific Institute (Hawaii).
“We stuck with what we know, and it worked,” said standout Kingston guard Brian Moore. “We knew about how good their big-man is (Troy Hupstead) so when they tried to get the ball inside to him, we cut off passing lanes and forced turnovers and capitalized on offense.”
It was ugly from the get-go. At halftime, Kingston led 35-15 and forced 13 turnovers. Mount Vernon’s full-court press & 1-2-2 trap proved ineffective, with Kingston only turning the ball over once in the backcourt.
“We had a lot of film on them,” said Kingston head coach Ron Kelder. “Our report on them was, ‘If we could break their press and get out on them early, this is our game to win.’ and we were able to do that today.
Its Kingston’s first time advancing to the Class AA semifinals, and the first time a Class AA team from Section 9 advanced to that point since Middletown in 2015-16.
Kingston: 27/53 from the field, 15 total assists; Brian Moore 27 points (12/22, 0/4 3 pt, 3/4 FT), 3 rebounds, 3 assists; Daivel Jackson 10 points, 5 rebounds; Jimmy Moot 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists; Shyquan Royal 7 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists; Brady Short 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists; Chris Bamba 4 points, 7 rebounds.
Moore had four goals for himself & the team prior to the season.
No. 1 Score 1,000 points — check
No. 2 Win the Section 9 Championship — check
No. 3 Win the regional championship — check
No. 4 Win the New York state championship — pending
Those goals were lofty for a team that never reached to the state final four, but with hard work, Moore knew that anything was possible for the Tigers.
“We worked hard all season to get to this moment. Getting to the final four has been a team goal all year long. It means a lot to our city and that’s been our motivation. Now that we made it, we want to win it.”
Kingston will play the winner of Brentwood vs. Uniondale (which is tommorow at 8 p.m.) in the Class AA semifinal.