Mahopac Shows Positive Signs in Consolation Defeat

Kenny Perna goes up for a layup against Lakeland. Credits: Rob DiAntonio

CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y.— They may have lost three straight games, but the Mahopac Indians took a stride forward in their 62-54 setback to the rival Lakeland Hornets in the consolation game of Walter Panas’ 15th annual Holiday Basketball Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Following a first half filled with 19 fouls and cold shooting from the Indians, they found themselves down 35-21 at the break.

“We came out flat to start the game,” Mahopac coach Matt Simone said. “But we grouped together especially at halftime, really focusing on the effort part and we came out with a great effort.”

Sign Up for E-News

Sophomore Zack Puckhaber opened the second half with a bang, nailing a baseline 3-pointer off a drive and kick from junior guard Kenny Perna.

Mixing in a man-to-man press, the Indians’ intensity started to force turnovers. Another pivotal three from the corner by Robert Garcia minimized Lakeland’s lead to 44-39 entering the final quarter.

Surrendering a 9-4 run to start the fourth, Mahopac needed one more corner triple. Perna knocked it down, trimming the margin to eight with four minutes remaining.

Senior guard Andrew Ryan hit a fast-break jumper after Shane Loos made a key block from behind to creep the Indians within five points with two minutes to go.

But the Hornets buzzed back for a quick four points as Tim Fallo made two free throws before John Mule’ had a steal and converted a layup to make it 59-50.

“We have a lot of guards,” Simone said. “One thing we try to do is pick up the tempo offensively and defensively. A downside to that is that some guys are not making the best decisions. We still have a young, inexperienced team and just need to work on taking care of the ball.”

It was not over yet, as Ryan drove for a layup and drew a foul of his own on the next possession. He sunk both free throws, trimming the deficit to 59-54 with a minute left.

The comeback was panning out until Perna’s one-and-one foul shot zipped right out of the rim as Ryan proceeded to foul out.

Fallo made both free throws again, as Mahopac handed it to Loos, who drove and air-balled a shot. With no other choice, the Indians sent Lakeland to the line with 18 seconds remaining.

It made its first free-throw and rebounded the second.

“When we play with the effort we gave that whole second half, we can play with anyone,” Simone said. “It is whether or not we are doing those small things and playing as hard as we can on each possession. That makes the world of difference, especially in high school.”

Puckhaber, who scored 10 points in the consolation game and 19 points in two tournament games, was named to the all-tournament team for Mahopac.

Ryan chalked up 15 points while Perna tacked on nine. Junior Noelle Hall sparked the Indians off the bench, scoring eight points. Garcia netted seven points while Loos contributed with four.

“Before this tournament, the coaches were telling us that we need to play more as a team,” Ryan said.  “I feel like towards the end of the second half of this game we started to play like more of a team and it showed.”

The Indians fell to host Walter Panas 58-40 in the opening round of the tournament on Friday evening.

Perna led Mahopac with 12 points and shot 4 of 6 from the line. Puckhaber scored nine points while Loos had seven. Ryan and junior Augie Djerdjaj tallied four points.

“We were in a funk the past two games versus Panas and against Horace Greeley before that,” Simone said. “Our guys were not giving the effort that we gave in the beginning of the season versus Carmel and Yorktown.”

The Indians hosted the Clarkstown South Vikings on Dec. 13 and will seek revenge on Somers in the Tuskers’ tournament on Friday, Dec. 16, at 5 p.m.

“We have a lot of energy on defense,” Ryan said. “But on offense, our shots were not falling today and eventually they will as the season goes on. Once our center Ryan Dugan comes back from injury and we all build together as one, we can be unstoppable.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


What Is Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica is a research organization. Apparently, it is funded by the Mercer family, second only to the Koch brothers on the liberal hit list. Both, through their philanthropy, spend millions on various needy organizations like hospitals. What makes them liberal targets is their funding of various conservative think tanks and candidates. I digress.

Cambridge Analytica used Facebook ...

Democrats Are Coming After Your Money

Understand what it will mean if you elect Democrats in November. When the tax reform bill passed in February, not one Democrat voted for it. In fact, during the discussions leading up to the vote, they lied and said your taxes will go up and only the rich will benefit. I wrote back then about the fallacy of their argument and I was right.

As a whole, Democrats and more and more of ...

Support the Hamlet Renaissance

April 6, 2018

This past August, the Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber Legislative Advocacy Board (LAB) published its Carmel Vision 2020 paper outlining the need for a new townwide master plan. Since then things have certainly taken off.

The current focus is on Mahopac’s business district and the town’s purchase of the Swan Cove parcel where dilapidated row homes currently stand. The intention is to ...

‘Sister Act’: A Musical Like Nun Other

Of all the Broadway musicals I’ve seen over the years at Westchester Broadway Theatre, only a handful have elicited the noisily enthusiastic audience response I observed at the recent opening night of “Sister Act.”

There were outbursts of applause in the middle of some numbers, and several clever turns of phrase sprinkled in the dialogue landed squarely, to the delight of big ...

Seen Any Good Ol’ Movies Lately?

As I become more, uh, mature, I find myself enjoying older movies more than newer movies. The trio of films presented here for your consideration are three of my all-time favorites. They share great stories, great screenplays, great directing, great acting. They also have in common ratings in the 90s on Rotten Tomatoes, and a place of distinction in the National Film Registry, a highly selective ...

Privacy? LOL!

Author’s Note: Mom + Pop Culture are a couple of real characters. They could be you and me. Or not. Every so often, I eavesdrop on their conversations. Let’s listen in on what they’re saying right now about how Facebook fans are shocked—shocked!—that their privacy has been compromised, prompting them to rise up and exhort oppressed social media users everywhere to ...

Cleaning the Empty Nest

Part of the shock of being a part-time empty nester is when the kids come back to visit and I have to watch my house transform overnight from a pristine haven of OCD goodness to a place that looks like an explosion happened at Forever 21.

After my kids moved mostly out, I put away whatever tchotchkes they chose to leave behind and then I put on a hazmat suit and cleaned their rooms until they ...

Tipping the Scales in My Favor

As I was settling into bed one night, I happened to catch my husband out of the corner of my eye.

He was getting on the scale.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I yelled at him. He jerked his head around and looked at me with alarm.

“What? I’m weighing myself.”

I jumped out of bed and yanked him off the scale. 

“You can’t do that now!” I ...

Doing Time in the Big House

“So, what did the doctor say about Dad?” I asked my mom over the phone.

“He has an incarcerated hernia,” she replied.

“INCARCERATED hernia?” I repeated.


“Why is it incarcerated? Did it rob a bank?”

“What? No.”

“Unlawful entry? Obstruction? Insider trading?” I ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, April 19, 5:30 PM

Starr Ridge Banquet Center, Brewster

CoveCare Center's 9th Annual Adult Spelling Bee

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Thu, April 19, 5:30 PM

Starr Ridge Banquet Center, Brewster

9th Annual Adult Spelling Bee

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back Health & Wellness

Thu, April 19, 6:00 PM

Athletes Warehouse, Pleasantville

FORE Your Health: Injury Prevention and Treatment ...

Health & Wellness Sports

Houlihan Lawrence in Yorktown Welcomes Three New Team Members

April 10, 2018

Zef Camaj, brokerage manager, recently welcomed three salespersons to the team.

Marco Nogueras is an enthusiastic and dedicated professional who uses technologically advanced marketing techniques bringing the real estate experience to a new level. He values customer service and will ensure your goals are met while keeping you updated on current market conditions. Marco has spent the majority ...