Hudson Valley Sports Report

THREE-POINTERS HELP PAWLING BOYS MOVE ON

Tigers Beat Putnam Valley In Sectional Outbracket

By Sean McGee
Special to HVSR

PAWLING – That black line that starts out on the baseline, arching at the top of the key on the basketball court, and settling on the opposite side, is as huge as you can imagine.

Just as the Pawling High School boys basketball team.

In a tightly contested battle, it was Pawling’s three-point shooting that was the difference as the No. 15 Tigers beat No. 18 Putnam Valley, 56-50, in a Section 1, Class B outbracket game on Saturday.

Pawling will travel to No. 2 Valhalla on Thursday for a first-round game.

The two teams went back and forth the whole game, yet Pawling’s three-point shooting would be the deciding factor. It would shoot 43 percent from deep for the game.

“If we don’t hit three-pointers we really can’t compete because of our size, so it was gigantic to come out in the first quarter and to already be hitting,” said Pawling head coach Jason Kuhlmann. “It gave us a leg up and some confidence.”

Senior guard Nick Grande lead Pawling in scoring with 24 points, draining six three-point bombs as 21 of those points came in the first half.

“I knew if we lost today it would be my last game ever and I wasn’t ready for that to happen,” said Grande. “I got to thank my teammates for finding me the ball and we got the job done.”

Grande did have some help with Alex Reda handling Putnam Valley’s defensive pressure. The sophomore guard was poised throughout the game, even in tense moments, finishing with 12 points.

“He’s a composed kid,” said Kuhlmann. “He is more mature than his years, for sure.”

 

 

 

The two leaders for Pawling were so good that Putnam Valley head coach Al Morales put a triangle and two defense on them.

“We were allowing a lot of naked threes, so we went to the triangle,” said Morales. “If these guys are going to shoot and score, it is with someone in their face.”

“We were able to get on a run, our coach came up with a good plan [Triangle and two defense] to come back,” said PV sophomore Arthur Holzman. “They soon caught on and they just got on a run and we couldn’t catch them.”

The young guard would be the only Putnam Valley player in double figures with 14 points. He had a three-point attempt to tie the game with a minute left, but it fell short.

The young and inexperienced Putnam Valley team made mistakes, but Morales embraced them and used them as a teaching point.

“It’s all about experience, it is a sour feeling right now, however you have to use this as motivation,” said Morales. “It’s all a learning process and they all understand that. When you have a young team, you make foolish errors here and there, but those are growing pains and you can live with that.”

In the fourth quarter, the game would become hectic as Putnam Valley tried to create turnovers. No team wanted to go home. “We really didn’t stay composed at the end of the game; we threw up four shots that were way to quick,” said Kuhlmann “There adrenaline and their excitement of the game, it’s really hard to kind of throttle down.”

In the end, it would be Pawling that would pull away, dealing with Putnam Valley’s pressure just enough to squeeze into the next round vs. Valhalla.

“We know they are really good, obviously a great record, but we have been underdogs all season and undersized,” said Grande. “We’re just going to do what we can to try to get the win.”

     

 

 

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