POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Our Lady of Lourdes proved to be too much for Mahopac to handle on the road in an 81-67 loss on Jan. 21 up in chilly Poughkeepsie.
After trailing early, the Indians pieced together a rugged performance, getting close to turning the corner against home favorite Lourdes in a shootout-like second half.
The Indians fell to Lourdes for the second time this year in the end, but for Mahopac, this game was about bringing all they had to the court.
“Today I’m pleased with how hard we played,” Mahopac coach Matt Simone said. “If we didn’t get the win, I wanted to know that we played as hard as we could and I’m definitely happy to say that we did that.”
In a game that Lourdes controlled most of as they led 41-33 at the break, the Indians fought back in the third quarter by mustering up a 10-3 run. Mahopac made the score 50-46 with one minute and 49 seconds left, shrinking the lead to below five for the first time since the early portion of the first quarter.
“I challenged the kids before the game, saying that we needed the effort and intensity,” Simone said, “and that’s what’s been lacking the last few games. That’s the reason we lost to Ketcham so big and were down to Carmel so big.”
Aidan Hynes, who paced Mahopac with a team-high 21 points, put back in a missed shot following a huge three-ball from the slinger Jonathan Jacklett after a Lourdes turnover, capping the run. Jacklett finished with 18 points and had twelve points worth of triples on this night to go along with Hynes’ three 3-point knocks.
Lourdes did not take its foot off the gas pedal for long though, as the Warriors played better late. They scored an overwhelming 25 fourth quarter points, burying the comeback hungry Indians.
Simone sees valuable takeaways from the contest nonetheless.
“The main thing is that if we play hard with intensity and with effort, we’ll be in every game,” he said. “You know this I think is one of the best teams in our league, if not the best team in Class AA, so we’ve shown both games we’ve played with them. We’ve played with good teams. As long as we have that effort and intensity I think we’ll be fine.”
The Indians (6-9) were undersized from the start. Lourdes owned the paint, throwing the ball there on most of their possessions in order to convert points from high-percentage baskets and by drawing fouls.
Lourdes had four players score at least 14 points, and got 25 from star power forward James Onozie, who manned the paint for easy buckets.
Christian Donahoe added 15 points for the Indians in the setback.
Second quarter crusher in loss to Carmel
It was a typical Mahopac vs Carmel rivalry game, big crowd going crazy on both sides, back-and-forth action up and down the court, at least for the first quarter.
Mahopac trailed on the road at Carmel 16-10 at the end of the first quarter, but the excitement didn’t last long for Mahopac.
That’s because the host Rams went on a tear in the second quarter and put the game away. Carmel outscored Mahopac 23-6 in the second to open up a 58-37 halftime lead. The Rams never looked back and the home crowd had plenty to cheer about as Carmel cruised to an 81-57 victory on Jan. 19.
Hynes erupted for 22 points in the second half and finished with 24 points overall, but it wasn’t enough as the Rams held off any hopes of an Indian rally.
“Unfortunately, especially when we play Carmel this late in the season, there’s no moral victories,” Simone said. “We played a good second half, but at the end of the day we had a pretty bad loss because we put ourselves in a hole. We’re happy the way we played in the second half, but we have to start putting together a full game of that intensity and energy. Carmel played hard for four quarters and that was the difference.”
Hynes did his best to rally the Indians. In the fourth quarter he scored six-straight points as Mahopac cut the lead down to 16 points at 66-50, but that was as close as the Indians would come.
In addition to Hynes, Donahoe and Andrew Ryan each scored 13 points for the Indians.
“He’s been playing great for us all year, one of those kids each game I know what he’s going to give us,” Simone said of Hynes. “He gives us four quarters of defense and hard work. He’s a scrappy player. Both him and Christian (Donahoe) played extremely hard.”
Carmel’s balanced attack was the difference as the Rams had four players finish in double figures. Ryan Train led the way with 20 points, Ryan Sullivan had 16, Matt Haughney 15 and Quinn Williams 13 to lead the Rams to the victory.