A lot more than a win was on the line when Peekskill headed to Panas today for a rematch of one of the biggest upsets this year in the section.
Sure, there were league implications and win-streaks on the line, but it was more than that.
It was about reputation and pride.
And while the Red Devils 51-47 win wasn’t a resounding one, it was a victory nonetheless, snapping a six-game Panther winning streak.
Peekskill proved to be consistent down the stretch, going on a 7-1 run to close the game out.
Chavis Pigott’s basket with 39 seconds remaining pushed the lead to three. Peekskill coach Lou Panzanaro told the junior guard to hold the ball until there was 10 seconds left on the shot clock. Unable to find an open man, Pigott was forced to take a difficult shot as the shot clock expired.
Not that he was worried.
“I knew it was going to go in as soon as I got the ball,” Pigott said.
CORTLANDT MANOR As Peekskill guard Chavis Pigott spoke after his team’s 51-47 win at Panas, he made it clear that Wednesday’s game was more than a simple victory.
The Red Devils (12-3) were eager to reestablish their dominance after suffering their first loss to the Panthers (9-6) since 1996 earlier this season.
“It was about our reputation as Peekskill,” said Pigott, who finished with a team-high 12 points and three assists. “We can’t lose to Panas twice in one season.”
It was Pigott who hit a difficult basket as the shot clock expired to push Peekskill’s lead to three with 29 seconds remaining.
“It was just in the moment,” said Pigott of the shot that gave the Red Devils a 49-46 lead. “I had to knock it down. We needed it.”
The shot and win were exactly what the Red Devils required. After an 83-57 dismantling from Mahopac on Saturday, Peekskill coach Lou Panzanaro also was not pleased with how his team played in a 59-50 win over Kennedy on Tuesday.
“Oh yeah, we really needed this win,” said Laron Holt, who had nine points and 10 rebounds, and hit two free throws to ice the game. “That loss was a tough loss. They (Mahopac) were kind of bigger than us, but we had to come back here and let them know we could still run.”
Panas, led by Tim McCauley (15 points, three assists) and Vaughn Dweck (12 points, eight rebounds), held a 30-28 lead at halftime.
Peekskill showed improvement with its ability to withstand Panthers runs without imploding, something they struggled with against Mahopac.
Panas went on an 8-0 run in the third to take a 38-30 lead before the Red Devils were able to regroup and score nine unanswered points to close out the quarter.
“We were more under control,” said Pigott of the difference from Saturday. “We weren’t all helter-skelter trying to do it all by ourselves. We played as a team and together.”
Panzanaro said he was happy to let the game run its course as opposed to push his team too hard, something he felt he did against Mahopac.
“Look, what we are doing is good,” Panzanaro told his team down the stretch. “They’re missing shots. They haven’t been able to attack our defense consistently. Just keep doing what we are doing, and let’s just see what happens.”
The game also had league implications, as a loss would have ended the Red Devils’ chance at winning a league title. Panzanaro said he couldn’t remember the last time the Red Devils failed to win their league.
Still, revenge seemed to be the biggest motivation for the Red Devils.
“We had to come to their home and beat them,” Holt said. “They came to our home and beat us. We just had to do what we had to do.”