Our Lady of Lourdes High School senior Kyle Santoro nailed a huge buzzer-beating 3-pointer to lift his Warriors to a 68-66 win over Red Hook on Monday in the final of the Dutchess County Basketball Coaches Association Holiday Tournament.
Santoro, who had 15 points, seven assists and three steals against the Raiders, thinks Monday’s win will help the 5-0 Warriors as they move forward in their season.
“It gives us confidence,” said Santoro, whose Warriors visit Beacon at 6 p.m. on Friday.
“At the beginning of the season, we didn’t really know where we stood compared to other teams in our league. After watching teams and seeing how we compete with other teams, we have a pretty good idea that we can come out and compete.”
Missing a member of its starting lineup, Steve Latino, because of a suspension for a double-technical foul received against Roosevelt, Lourdes inserted Dean Rotger into the starting lineup Monday and the sophomore had five points. Lourdes guard Justin Rhynders took advantage of the extra defensive attention Red Hook showed to Santoro and had 25 points and seven rebounds. Six-foot-five freshman James Anozie had 15 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocks, but got in late foul trouble.
The classic game had 22 lead changes and eight ties. Red Hook coach Matt Hayes is a former Lourdes player under Warriors coach Jim Santoro
“I thought it was one of the best executed games I’ve seen in a while,” Jim Santoro said. “There weren’t many mistakes on either side. Coach Hayes is a fantastic coach and he’s doing a great job with those kids.”
Senior point guard Paddy Parr led Red Hook (4-2) with 17 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and two steals. The Raiders are currently missing key players Dennis Hare and Nolan Dalton due to injury, but got 13 points and six rebounds from 6-foot-4 sophomore Colin Bemis, 11 points and eight rebounds from senior Luke White and 10 points from sophomore Nick Michitsch, who was 6 for 6 from the free-throw line. John Alessi guarded Santoro in the first half and held him to five points.
Red Hook faces a tough task at Marlboro at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
“We take more positives from this than negatives,” Hayes said. “We have to put this one behind us quickly, which isn’t easy, because we have Marlboro, at Marlboro, on Friday, which has all kinds of implications.”
Parr said despite the loss, his Raiders are more battle-tested.
“It helps us a lot for sectionals,” Parr said. “We had two of our key defenders out and people like Alessi and Bemis stepped up. Games like this help. It really prepares us.”
The late Duane Davis was a big part of starting both the Dutchess County Basketball Coaches Association, as well as the annual boys basketball staple, its Holiday Tournament.
Starting next year, the DCBCA Holiday Tournament will be renamed the Duane Davis Memorial Holiday Tournament. The former Franklin D. Roosevelt coach died Nov. 4.
“I started in the early ’80s as a freshman and JV coach and back then, Dutchess County kids got recognized for little or nothing in terms of postseason recognition,” Spackenkill coach Terry Feeley said. “Duane thought our kids were getting the short end, so he took it upon himself to empower the local coaches and try to form the organization.”
Feeley said Davis and Bob Stauderman got the Holiday Tournament going and it’s grown since then to the four-day event it is now.
“In the aftermath of his passing, the coaches got talking about possibly renaming the tournament and it was really a no-brainer,” DCBCA president Ernie Verdis said. “It’s the right thing to do for us. He has meant so much to Dutchess County basketball. He’s a legend in Dutchess County. It’s the appropriate thing to do and we’re very, very happy we’re able to do that.”