MAHOPAC, N.Y. – The No. 13 Mahopac High School boys basketball team hit the road to take on the Knights of Mount Vernon in the first round of the Section 1 Class AA tournament last Saturday (Feb. 23). The Indians stayed close before falling, 57-44, in what coach Tom McMahon called his team’s best performance of the season.

“That was the best we’ve played all season,” McMahon said. “The guys really battled and responded each time Mount Vernon made a run. I couldn’t be more proud of our effort. That’s the three-time defending sectional champion. They’ve been to the final four 23 straight years. It was a great experience for our guys to be in that environment, and to play the way that they did.”

Mahopac had the game tied after one (12-12) and took a brief lead in the second, before the Knights took a 27-26 lead into the half.

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The Indians were within three (45-42) with 5:30 to play, before the host took care of business down the stretch.

“I think it says a lot about our guys to play that well at Mount Vernon to end the season,” McMahon said. “It gives us some motivation for the offseason as we look forward to the 2020-21 season.”

Senior Matthew McMahon had 13 points and 3 steals, John Cosentino added 11 points and 5 rebounds, Patrick McMahon had 9 points, Vin Bastone had 7 and 4 rebounds, and Ryan Reilly came up with 4 blocks.

“Matthew and John were awesome all night,” McMahon said. “They handled the pressure, and scored the ball for us. Patrick gave us great minutes and some needed scoring as well. Vin and Ryan Reilly battled inside all night against their bigs, including Troy Hupstead (a three-time All-Conference/All-Section selection). We could not have asked for any more out of those guys or anyone else.

“When you go on the road in sectional play and you’re trying to pull the upset, you need to play a perfect game,” the coach added. “We played an amazing game, but it wasn’t perfect and so we fell just short. However, I could not be more proud of this group. Where we started in November, to where we finished here in February, is a testament to the work these guys put in over the last three months, and the dedication they showed. We will miss the leadership of our seniors (Michael Kertelits, Matthew McMahon, Adam Mitchell and Tommy O’Brien), but at the same time, we have a lot of guys that gained valuable experience this season returning next year, and so I think there is definitely some excitement.”