MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The start to the 2021 season went about as well as could have been expected for the Mahopac varsity boys basketball team last week, with the ’Pac taking down longtime rival Carmel in back-to-back games to open the season, then following with a 69-65 road triumph over John Jay Saturday.
In Tuesday’s season opening, 57-45 win against the Rams at Mahopac, senior captain John Cosentino led the way with 19 points and seven rebounds. Vin Bastone added 10 points, six assists and five boards, and Miles Buckley added nine points.
“It was close well into the fourth quarter before we pulled away,” Indians coach Tom McMahon said. “John and Vin had excellent games and provided the senior leadership we expected coming into the season. John was able to get our group organized, which is important because of how few practices we’ve been able to have. Vin was strong inside and made some real nice plays.”
A day later at Carmel, the result was the same, with the Indians prevailing, 55-31. Cosentino scored 16, and Patrick McMahon added 13 for the Indians.
McMahon liked what he saw from his team in its first two times on the court.
“It was nice to start to the season, with two wins against a crosstown rival like Carmel,” he said. “The second game was a little different, we took control early and played better.
“John has been very solid for us on both ends,” he added of Cosentino. “And I thought Luke (Syku – seven points) gave us really good minutes off the bench. He really brings experience and toughness to our second unit.”
In East Fishkill on Saturday, Mahopac overcame a dismal, 1-for-17 shooting performance in the first quarter, and a 20-point deficit (27-7) in the second, before completing an unlikely comeback win over John Jay.
“I was disappointed with how we started, and we should have never put ourselves in that position,” McMahon said. “But showing the composure and character to stick with it and come back in a game on the road is something we will be able to build off of in the future.”
Buckley led Mahopac with a huge 19-point, 13-rebound performance, junior Michael Callahan came through with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists, Ryan Reilly added 11 points and grabbed nine boards, and Bastone had nine points to go with six rebounds and three assists.
“Miles was excellent for us,” McMahon said. “He had a couple of big put-backs that helped get us over the top. Michael was great filling in at the point for Cosentino (did not play) and had a wonderful all-around game. This was also Ryan’s best game of the season so far. He was strong inside. And Vin is so tough and consistent for us night in and night out.”
Mahopac was scheduled to host Yorktown Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m., visit Yorktown Saturday at noon, and visit Somers Monday at 5:45 p.m.