On paper, the matchup for Blind Brook on Monday night felt like a good one. But the film from a month earlier for the Trojans was anything but favorable.
Blind Brook was overwhelmed by Putnam Valley in the regular-season meeting at home over a month ago. But with a refined focus and resurgance of confidence, the Trojans flipped the script in the game that mattered most.
“It was just a lack of preperation in the first game,” Blind Brook coach Mike Welsh said. “We just weren’t ready for them that day.”
The fourth-seeded Trojans ran away from No. 1 seed Putnam Valley 55-47 in a Section 1 Class B semifinal at the Westchester County Center. Jake DiGiansante scored 15 points and Mike Bucci added 14 as Blind Brook earned a spot in the Class B championship at Pace University against No. 3 Briarcliff.
Putnam Valley tied the game up at 37-37 with under five minutes to play before consecutive 3-pointers from sophomore standout Ryan Aiello reclaimed Blind Brook’s momentum.
DiGiansante took control down the stretch for Blind Brook, which will compete for its first ever Class B crown on Friday night.
Aiello scored 11 points, highlighted by a 3-pointer at the buzzer for halftime to give Blind Brook a two-point lead at the break. Putnam Valley hit six 3-pointer in the first half — by five different players — but was demoralized going into the half trailing. Seven different players in the game knocked down shots from behind the arc.
T.J. Brescia led the Tigers with 14 points and eight rebounds while Darnel Shillingford added 11 points and nine boards.
Listen to “The KDJ Show” on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. for a full interview with Blind Brook coach Mike Welsh as the Trojans head into the Section 1 final. To listen to last week’s show: