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Rye Takes It To Pi­­­­­oneers To Win Section 1, Class A Boys Crown

By Sean McGee
Rich Thomaselli

HVSR Staff

WHITE PLAINS – It was reversal of fortunes on Sunday night in the Section 1, Class A high school boys basketball championship game.

Rye did to Poughkeepsie what Poughkeepsie has done to the section – and the state – for the better part of the last two seasons.

The Garnets got physical with Po’town, held the Pioneers to one shot on most possessions, got out to the break quicker, and ran away with a 74-55 victory for the title at the Westchester County Center.

The season ends for the Pioneers at 19-6, a year after winning the state championship.

“We had a tough time rebounding all year, so this game it caught up to us a little bit,” Poughkeepsie coach Cody Moffett said. “So when we were missing some of our open shots and you add in the easy transition baskets they got, any rebound that we didn’t get was magnified. The rebounds were a cherry on top of all the other things that weren’t going right.”

It started out as a game of runs and had all the makings of an up-and-down affair. Rye opened the contest with an 8-0 run, and the Pioneers came right back with 12 consecutive points.

With 3:45 left in the first half, it was still close as Rye led 27-21. But it was an eventful final half-quarter. Poughkeepsie’s Zaccai Curtis picked up his third foul, the Garnets had two huge blocks on the defensive end in the same sequence – one on a dunk attempt – and scored at the other end to ignite the crown. It was all part of a 13-4 run to close the half and give Rye a 40-25 advantage.

“At half time our message was to get it into single digits going into the fourth quarter. There’s no 15-point possession, so we were trying to get one possession at a time,” Moffett said.

The deflated Pioneers were never closer than that again as Rye hit two quick buckets to start the third quarter and quell any comeback.

Shaun Johnson led Poughkeepsie with 18 points.

“A lot of people doubted us,” Johnson said. “They didn’t think we would make it this far. We put a lot of hours in the gym and worked hard to get here. They had a good game plan. They played their brand and did what they did.”

Moffett said the loss meant the Pioneers fell short of their goals.

“I wouldn’t say great,” the second-year coach said when asked about the great season his team had. “No disrespect, but our goal every year – which has not changed and will not change – is a federation championship. That is our goal every single year. As long as I’ve been a head coach it’s always been my goal. When I was at Briarcliff it was my goal. Here at Poughkeepsie it is my goal. Now, having said that, we say it humbly because obviously that is a high goal. We work hard for it, we put in the work, we put in the hours and we try to go after it.”

Please enjoy this terrific photo gallery from Todd McDonough.

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