MAHOPAC, N.Y. – All season long, Indians Coach Tom McMahon has been saying his team is an up-and-down group, and the Indians remained true to form in the season’s final week, winning one and losing one, and finishing regular-season action at an even 10-10.
Last Wednesday (Feb. 12), the Indians played their last home game of the season, and lost to a talented New Rochelle team, 67-37. One day earlier on the road, the Indians defeated Greenburgh-North Castle, 61-55.
Mahopac earned the No. 13 seed in the Class AA tournament that opens with first-round action Saturday (Feb. 22). The Indians will travel to take on No. 4 Mount Vernon (11-9) at noon. The winner advances to the quarterfinals on Feb. 28.
“We finished the season 10-10, which I think was a goal for Coach (Matt) Calabro and I at the start of the season,” McMahon said. “I am proud of the way the boys have battled all season, and the culture we’ve built as a program.”
Regarding the playoffs, McMahon said, “This is going to be a great experience for our kids. We’ll be loose and confident. Obviously, going to Mount Vernon is a huge task, but they’re the most famous program in Section I, and I have great respect for their coaches, players and history. But we’ll be ready to go.”
In the win over Greenburgh-North Castle (8-7), Vin Bastone led the Indians with 17 points and 7 rebounds, and John Cosentino added 16 points and 4 assists. Luke Syku had 8 points and 6 rebounds, Matthew McMahon had 7 points, 9 boards and 3 steals, and Patrick McMahon had 7 points and 4 rebounds.
“That was a difficult game for us, having played them just five days earlier (a 54-44 Mahopac win),” McMahon said. “Vin has really been playing his best basketball of the season down the stretch, which is exactly what we’ve needed. And it was nice to get John back from injury and see him put the ball in the basket like this. He’s a scorer, and that’s exactly what we need heading into sectionals. Luke, Matthew and Patrick all played well, and made important contributions. It was nice for us to win a close game, to close it out.”
Bastone and Cosentino each had 7 points to lead Mahopac in the loss to New Rochelle (15-5). Ryan Reilly and Michael Callahan each added 6 points. Reilly had 7 rebounds, and Bastone had 6, but the Indians were swimming in quicksand from the outset, falling behind 18-0 to open the game.
“New Rochelle is the best team we played all season,” the coach said. “They have size and excellent guards, and they were very impressive. We started the game down 18-0, but I was happy the way the guys battled after that. They didn’t quit.
“I thought John [Cosentino] was aggressive and did some really nice things,” McMahon added. “Vin [Bastone] played hard, but we just couldn’t get shots to fall early. I thought we had good looks, but they didn’t go in and then digging out from a hole against a team as good as New Rochelle is nearly impossible. Ryan [Reilly] and Michael [Callahan] have shown some real good basketball sense this season, especially for sophomores. I’m really happy with their development.”