When you’ve won as much as Bob Cimmino has in his career at Mount Vernon, there are certain things in defeat that you can live with. Sometimes, the other team just makes more shots.
“Did I think they’d have 13 threes? No,” Cimmino said after Saturday’s 70-67 defeat to Liverpool in the NYSPHSAA Class AA semifinal. “I thought they were good. I knew they were undefeated and there was a reason for it. They all shot the ball well.”
Liverpool’s shooting prowess was the difference down the stretch as the Section 3 champion ended the Knights’ reign as Class AA state champions at the Floyd Maines Arena in Binghamton.
Five different Liverpool players connected on at least two 3-pointers in the win, led by Alan Willmes, who was 5 for 5 from behind the arc and scored a team-high 21 points. Liverpool, which will play Half Hollow Hills East from Long Island in the state final on Sunday at 2, was 13 of 22 from 3-point range.
Charles Pride added 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Nas Johnson and Noah Issakainen scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.
“They made plays and they shot the ball well,” Cimmino said. “They also made some key blocks when our run was about to make a turn. They’re just a good team. I’m very proud of the way my team played. They made some really good plays and they deserve to stay another day.”
Charles Lovett scored a team-high 17 points for Mount Vernon, which was shut down offensively in the second half. Jason Douglas-Stanley started strong but finished with only 13 points while Troy Hupstead scored 12 with 13 rebounds.
Despite the defeat, Cimmino reflected positively on the teams unexpected run back to the state final four.
“We needed Jason to have a great season and we Demetre (Roberts) to come along, and they both got so much better,” Cimmino said. “They helped bring Troy and Charlie came along. I’m so proud of where they were.”