As the Millbrook High School boys basketball team prepares for its New York State Class C regional final, coach, Bill Kyle has instructed his players to relish their accomplishments.
“I told them to enjoy this as much as I’m enjoying it,” he said. “It’s something you’ll remember. When it’s over, have no regrets and leave it all on the floor.”
The Blazers (17-6), however, would like to beat Section 11’s Stony Brook (14-14), which they will face at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Suffolk Community College in Selden.
Should the Blazers win, they will advance to face the winner of Sunday’s regional final between Section 3’s Cooperstown and Section 4’s Moravia on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton.
Millbrook last won a state championship in 1999, competing in Class D. Kyle said his team isn’t looking to duplicate the success of the team from 18 years ago just yet.
“The big focus has been one possession and one quarter at a time,” the coach said. “We’re not trying to win the game in the first two minutes. We’re keeping total focus and we haven’t thought about anything past Saturday.”
To reach this year’s regional final, Millbrook defeated Section 1’s North Salem, 59-54, on Tuesday. Humberto Cabrera scored 28 points to lead the Blazers. He had scored 31 in Millbrook’s 77-42 rout of Tri-Valley in the Section 9 Class C final — the Blazers’ first section title in 2009.
Stony Brook had a bye into the regional final.
“I think the key to winning is what’s gotten us this far,” Kyle said. “We have to continue playing real good defense and keep up the intensity we bring to the floor.”
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports