Mount Vernon played its first game since last year’s crushing loss to New Rochelle in the Class AA final on Khalil Edney’s iconic buzzer-beater. The Knights beat Scarsdale 85-47, outscoring the Raiders 51-26 in the second half. They also debuted two new starters: point guard Akeem Krubally (pictured above) and 6-foot-5 center Judah Alexander (lower right). Krubally missed last season because of academics. Alexander transferred back to Mount Vernon from nearby Mount St. Michael.
Here’s senior Brandon Martin and Krubally talking about the win, the play of the newcomers and what it meant to get back on the court nine months after the New Rochelle loss:
MOUNT VERNON They are more than nine months from that moment and nearly three shy of exacting any true redemption for it. Still, as Mount Vernon’s players huddled in the locker room before their season opener, that buzzer-beating loss to New Rochelle and their role in it hung heavy on their minds.
“It hurt us, it crushed us inside, but that just gave us the fire to keep going and going,” said senior Brandon Martin, one of nine returning players. “We were hyped. We were ready to start the season. We don’t want this season to end like last season ended.”
The Knights are a long way from March, but their march toward redemption began Wednesday with an 85-47 home victory against visiting Scarsdale.
Martin and junior Jakeeme Sturgis led all scorers with 14 points apiece and senior newcomers Akeem Krubally and Judah Alexander had successful debuts.
Krubally — a point guard who missed last season because of academics — steered Mount Vernon through a jittery start and had eight points, six rebounds and three assists. Alexander, a 6-foot-5 transfer from Mount St. Michael, chipped in with 12 points.
Both had played with current teammates either with the city’s famed Junior Knights or, in Krubally’s case, at the lower levels.
“It felt good,” Krubally said. “Those are my friends. I grew up with them. It just feels like we’re back together, and I’m just ready to play.”
Seniors Matt Katz and Jeff Leone helped keep Scarsdale (1-2) close until Mount Vernon found a rhythm in the second half and outscored the Raiders 51-26.
The Knights held a 41-20 rebounding advantage, grabbing 15 offensive boards alone.
“They were so anxious to start the season. It showed,” coach Bob Cimmino said. “I tried not to bark too much at the jitters because everybody felt it.”