That’s roughly how many miles the Mount Vernon boys basketball team logged during their first six road games.
Needless to say, the boys were happy to get a home game after so much traveling.
The crowd seemed just as eager. In fact, during the unveiling of last year’s state-championship team photo most of the Mount Vernon fans stayed seated and talked among themselves, uninterested in last year’s achievements.
The message was clear: That was then, this is now. Show me what you got.
The Knights did not disappoint, as they cruised to a 74-44 win against Scarsdale.
MOUNT VERNON There was no hiding the joy on Brandon Martin’s face after Mount Vernon’s first home game.
“I was real excited coming in,” Martin said. “I wanted to play in front of all my friends, fans, everything.”
That seemed to be the case for the entire team. The Knights rode a a strong first quarter to a 74-44 win over Scarsdale on Friday.
“I know emotions were high,” Mount Vernon coach Bob Cimmino said. “I know the whole community was really excited to finally play home and I was just worried we would come out and go a little too fast.”
While the Knights (6-1) did play fast, it certainly wasn’t something Cimmino had to worry about. Mount Vernon jumped out to a 10-0 lead, and by quarter’s end the Knights had a 21-4 advantage, thanks in part to Martin, who had eight of his 14 points in the period.
“We needed to come out big and show the crowd what we could do,” Josh Doughty (pictured right) said. “We needed to show the crowd what’s going to come from the season.”
Cimmino credited Doughty (18 points) and Jamal Lewis (12), both senior guards, for dictating the flow of the game early.
“We’ve been waiting for this moment since Nov. 13, since the season started,” Doughty said. “We know this is a big win for us. We had to come out big and just play hard defense and we would come out victorious.”
The Knights didn’t let up in the second quarter, pouring in another 23 points to hold a 44-17 lead at the half. Scarsdale’s (9-2) Dylan LoBue was the lone bright spot for the Raiders, coming off the bench to score eight of his 16 points in the quarter.
Cimmino said his team’s big bench kept the players on the court from letting up.
“If they let down we’ve got a lot of other guys that want to play so they’ve got to keep going,” Cimmino said. “What have you done for me lately?”
By the fourth quarter Cimmino had emptied his bench. While he did feel he got some good things from his reserves, he thinks there is room for improvement.
“I’d like them to push the starters more,” Cimmino said. “We’re about 10 deep overall. I’m greedy. I want to go all the way down the end of the bench without having a big drop-off.”
Before the game Mount Vernon unveiled the team photo of the 2011-12 state champions, the latest addition to a gymnasium that seemingly has a new one every year. Doughty, who was a role player on the team, is ready make his mark in his final season.
“The seniors came out right last year, so we want to do the same thing,” Doughty said. “We don’t want no letdowns. Just keep the tradition going, states after states after states.”