Pine Plains defeated Red Hook High School’s boys basketball team, 59-42, on Saturday at the Officials vs. Cancer event at SUNY New Paltz.
It had been so long since Pine Plains defeated Red Hook that none of the players on the court were born yet and everyone who was around back then couldn’t recall when it was.
“I have no idea,” said Pine Plains coach Brendan LoBrutto, who played for the Bombers in the 1990s.
“No clue,” Red Hook’s athletic director, Tom Cassata, added.
“I couldn’t tell you either,” Pine Plains senior forward Zach Lydon said.
The answer, LoBrutto said after consulting with several Bombers hoops experts was 1993 when Pine Plains was coached by legendary field hockey coach Dick Meilinger and Red Hook was, of course, coached by the vaunted Rod Chando, who retired after last season
Another rarity in the Pine Plains-Red Hook series is a size advantage for the Bombers, but 6-foot-9 Lydon set the tone for Pine Plains (9-2) with a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds in Pine Plains’ seventh straight win.
“(Red Hook’s) a good young team. It just feels good to get another good solid win for us,” Lydon said. “I think we played outstanding defense. We all had good chemistry and we’re all playing hard. We all chipped in for a good ‘W’.”
Pine Plains scored the first five points of the game as Tyler Lydon dunked and Zach Lydon scored the next three points. Paddy Parr (16 points) and Nolan Dalton banged back-to-back 3-pointers. The lead changed four more times before the end of the first quarter with Red Hook holding a 15-14 lead.
Pine Plains started the second quarter on an 8-0 to start to get separation from the Raiders. The Bombers held a 27-19 lead at halftime.
Pine Plains outscored Red Hook 32-23 in the second half. The Raiders got to within eight points of the Bombers late in the third quarter, but Pine Plains held on.
“They’re a good team,” LoBrutto said of Red Hook. “They lost a lot from last year, but we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game. We just kind of controlled the pressure and relaxed a little bit. We started playing more of our game and spaced the court out a little bit. We used our size down long, pounded the ball down low, and things started going our way.”
Justin Cooper contributed 15 points, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals, while Tyler Lydon had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Adam Miller had five points and eight rebounds. Alejandro Ayala contributed six points and six rebounds.
Freshman Dennis Hare had 10 points for the Raiders (5-6), part of a young frontcourt for first-year coach Matt Hayes.
“We’re still growing and we’re still learning,” said Hayes, whose team has lost four straight games. “They’re a great group of kids. They get along well and they compete. If they can come with that type of energy every night, we’ll be OK. Pine Plains is very good. They’ve got three of the best players in the area playing together (the Lydon Brothers and Cooper) and they play well together. They’re a very good team. There’s no shame in losing the way we did tonight.”
Phil Strum: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4847, Twitter: @PJStrum