Here it is: The last game of the season. The long march from mid-November is over. The last practice is complete. Now it’s time to tip for arguably the biggest prize in New York state high school sports.
Mount Vernon will play for Federation championship No. 6 this afternoon at 2 against Boys & Girls in the Class AA final. It is a rematch of last year’s Federation semifinal, which was won by Mount Vernon, although Boys’ roster was decimated by academic suspensions. The Kangaroos enter this year’s rematch with the lineup much more intact. They exacted revenge on Saturday, beating a St. Ray’s team that won head-to-head last month. Can Boys use last year’s loss at motivation against Mount Vernon?
I’m driving up to the Times Union Center in Albany this morning and will be there with all the details. The internet there has apparently been unreliable, but I’ll try to LIVE chat. If that doesn’t work, I’ll post updates LIVE either on this blog or on Twitter. Regardless of what happens during the game, I’ll post a recap shortly after the final buzzer.
State Federation tournament
Class AA championship
At the Times Union Center, Albany:
Mount Vernon vs. Boys & Girls, 2 p.m.
Class AA Federation championship
Boys & Girls 66, Mount Vernon 60: At the Times Union Center in Albany, Mount Vernon fell short in search of a record-tying sixth Federation title. Instead, Boys & Girls capped its three-year run as PSAL champs with the first Federation championship in program history.
Six-foot-4 senior Leroy Fludd scored 25 points for the Kangaroos and was named tournament MVP. Senior Wesley Myers added 17 points, including 12 during a second quarter that was highlighted by his team’s 20-2 run.
Boys (26-6) outscored Mount Vernon, the defending tournament champ, 16-2 with Isaiah Cousins on the bench with two fouls in the second quarter. Cousins returned in the second half and helped lead a comeback for the Knights (23-3), who pulled to within four points after trailing 57-41 midway through the final period. After a steal with a little over 20 seconds to play and Mount Vernon down four points, senior Mark Mitchell had a 3-point attempt rim out that would’ve cut the deficit to one.
Boys held off Mount Vernon thanks to its free throw shooting. The Kangaroos were 22 for 27 (81.5 percent) for the game and were led by Myers. He went 8 for 9, including 5 for 6 in the final minutes. Fludd also hit a pair to help stave off the Knights’ comeback.
Cousins finished with 13 points, six rebounds and four assists. Fellow seniors Randy Stephens and Will Robinson had 15 points and nine rebounds and 11 points and 10 rebounds apiece.
The Knights finished the game just 23 for 74 from the field (31.1 percent) and were 5 for 25 from 3-point land (20.0 percent). They scored just four points during the second period and watched an 18-11 lead turn into a 31-22 deficit at halftime.
Cousins went 3 for 5 from behind the arc, but the team’s two top outside shooters, Qwadere Lovell and Josh Doughty, finished 3 for 23 for the game and 1 for 14 from 3.
The Knights outrebound Boys 48-38, including 27-12 on the offensive glass. Big men Joel Angus and Shakur Pinder had seven rebounds apiece for the Kangaroos and combined to block seven shots.
Both teams struggled at times with turnovers. Mount Vernon had 19 turnovers, including seven by Cousins. Boys committed 22 turnovers, with seven coming from Tyliek Kimbrough.
Will Robinson, Mount Vernon (sportsmanship)
Daniel Dingle, St. Raymond’s
Isaiah Cousins, Mount Vernon
Tyliek Kimbrough, Boys & Girls
Wesley Myers, Boys & Girls
Joel Angus, Boys & Girls
Leroy Fludd, Boys & Girls (MVP)