March Hoop Journal with Paul Snyder

It was finally time to venture outside of Easthampton. After almost a year it was time to attend a High School basketball game again. After driving 116 miles from Montauk to Mt. Vernon High School on February 24th, I settled in and watched Poughkeepsie warm up. They had traveled 66 miles to play Mt. Vernon. Historically these two programs have met in memorable Playoff games. I remember traveling up to Poughkeepsie to watch Ben Gordon and the Knights in the playoffs over 20 years ago. Now Poughkeepsie was in the Knights’ House.

The Knights came out slow and scored only 17 points in the 1st quarter, while Poughkeepsie came out hot with 24 in the opening quarter. In the 2nd quarter Poughkeepsie went on an 8-0 run to take a 32-19 lead. Mt. Vernon’s legendary Coach Bob Cimmino called a key timeout that might’ve saved the game. The Knights hit back to back 3 pointers and it was 32-25. Then another back to back 3’s and it was 32-31. Poughkeepsie finished the half strong and took a 41-37 lead into halftime. Mt. Vernon finished the 3rd quarter strong with a 12-4 run and got within a point, 58-57 going into the final quarter. The Knights surged ahead with 4 points to start the 4th quarter 61-58. The Knights pounded it inside to take a 67-61 lead with 4:48 to play. When Dylan Colon threw an outlet to Quame Smith for a dunk it was 74-63. The Knights were rolling. Poughkeepsie cut the lead to 78-73 with 2:05 left to play. They would not score another point. The Knights closed out the game strong for a 81-73 win. Quame Smith had an impressive 2nd half, scoring 20 of his 24 points in the final half.

After almost a year the Knights were finally back in action. Even with masks on, you knew they were smiling. Can’t wait for the next game.