Several of Kyiev Bennermon’s relatives are in Orlando right now. It was a sunny 73 degrees there on Saturday, if anyone is wondering.
The Bennermons have made it a tradition to travel to Florida after Christmas and ring in the new year with family.
Not this time.
Kyiev and his Spackenkill High School teammates had a basketball game on Saturday, forcing he and his parents to forego their typical New Year’s Eve festivities.
The Spartans, by virtue of their success in the preliminary rounds of Duane Davis Memorial Tournament, had earned a berth into the final against Beacon. And, by virtue of the inclement weather on Thursday, the semifinals were postponed to Friday and the final pushed back to Saturday. The schedule changed, thus the travel plans.
“It’s OK, though,” said Bennermon, a 6-foot-4 center. “You’re making a sacrifice, but it’s to do something you love. Florida would be nice, but so is playing basketball with my friends.”
That was the pervading sentiment of players involved in the tournament, which featured three loser’s bracket games preceding the final at Our Lady of Lourdes High School.
It would seem the several hundred fans who packed the gymnasium agreed. As well as the police working security there, too.
“Sports is a New Year’s Eve tradition, right?” said Chris Hamel, a patrolman in the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department. “I like the fact that so many people came out to support our local kids. If I wasn’t here, I’d just be sitting around watching college football.”
Bennermon, whose game ended at 6 p.m., said he and his family would head to church for an evening service to celebrate.
“The alternative” he joked, “would’ve been me at home eating stuff I shouldn’t.”
Dan Duffy said that earning a win made it worthwhile. The Arlington point guard helped his team erase a fourth-quarter deficit and beat Franklin D. Roosevelt, 62-57, in a consolation game.
“It’s not so bad because we got the (win),” said Duffy, whose parents and two siblings were in the stands. “We ended 2016 on a high note.”
Stephen Haynes: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4
On the web
Visit http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com for an expanded look at Saturday’s Duane Davis Memorial Tournament final.