Hudson Valley Sports Report


Blue Devils Top Beacon In Tunnel Battle

COLD SPRING – Usually, Haldane High School boys basketball coach Joe Virgadamo said, when you get to Valentine’s Day it’s a signal that the season is coming to an end and the playoffs are just around the corner.

“I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that Sunday is Valentine’s Day and the Friday beforehand is our first game of the year,” he said, after his Blue Devils beat Beacon, 70-55, in a non-league contest. “It’s just so strange.”

But that’s what the coronavirus pandemic has wrought as most teams in Sections 1 and 9 finally began play after the so-called high-risk sports like basketball were put on hold for nearly three months.

But chalk up a win for Haldane as Daniel Santos had a game-high 20 points to lead the Blue Devils.

“He went off tonight,” Virgadamo said. “He was unstoppable in the second half.”

The Blue Devils trailed early, 7-3, and then scored 25 of the next 29 points to take a 28-11 lead at halftime.

“Beacon’s tough. They played hard,” Virgadamo said. “But our defense was outstanding. I mean we were really getting on the floor, winning a lot of 50-50 balls.”

Soren Holmbo added 19 for the Devils, including a driving baseline dunk, and Matteo Cervone added 16.

Ryan Irwin added six.

Beacon was led by Darien Gillins with a team-high 15 points. Leo Gecag tallied 14 points and four three-pointers and Jack Philipbar chipped in 10 points.

It was the opener for both teams.

“It’s crazy. We’ve been scrimmaging and trying to get the kids into game shape but there’s only so much we can do,” Virgadamo said. “All the kids were excited to play. The buzz was, it’s game day. It was just amazing to see how happy the kids were. You could see the energy. I played every guy in the first half tonight, all 12. I wanted to make sure they all got in and the kids also needed it. And there were some kids who gave me the first – I’m tired – and we expected that.”

Please enjoy this photo gallery by Todd McDonough.

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