Section 9 champion Pine Plains’ star trio set the tone early and a team effort pushed the Bombers to their first-ever state regional win, a 63-40 Class C triumph over Section 1 champion Palisade Prep at Mount Saint Mary College’s Kaplan Center on Tuesday.
Tyler Lydon had a game-high 22 points to go along with five rebounds, six assists, three blocks and three steals, while brother Zach Lydon totaled 20 points to lift the Bombers to victory. Point guard Justin Cooper had 11 points and nine assists for Pine Plains (19-2), which won its 17th straight game.
Pine Plains advanced to the state Class C regional final on Saturday at 2 p.m. at SUNY Old Westbury and will face Section 11’s Stony Brook School. The winner of Saturday’s game advances to the state final four in Glens Falls.
“It’s amazing,” Tyler Lydon said. “We played great. Everyone who came off the bench was fantastic. You can’t ask for anything more. We just left our hearts out there.”
Palisade Prep tried testing Pine Plains’ interior defense early and came up empty as the Bombers held the Phoenix without a field goal for the first 4:09 of the game. Pine Plains hit the first four field goals of the contest. Cooper consistently found his favorite Lydon just about every time down the floor. Pine Plains ended the first half on a 9-2 run and held a 30-16 halftime lead.
Palisade Prep had a surge in the third quarter, outscoring Pine Plains 15-14, but the Bombers never folded. Pine Plains went on a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter and outscored the Phoenix 19-9 in the period.
Palisade Prep (18-4) was led by Fred Truss Jr.’s 12 points.
The last two seasons ended for Pine Plains with the Bombers falling to Section 1’s Tuckahoe in the state regionals, so Pine Plains coach Brendan LoBrutto was proud that his players got the job done.
“The monkey’s off our back,” LoBrutto said. “The last two years, we left in this round. The guys played well and I’m proud of them. (Cooper and the Lydons) are our most experienced players on this stage. Everyone stepped up to help as well. This is the way we’ve been doing it all year.”