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Bomber basketball falls in regionals

PINE PLAINS — The Stissing Mountain High School boys varsity basketball team’s season came to an end on Wednesday, March 9, with a 91-64 loss to Tuckahoe High School in the state regional semifinals.But to get to that game, which was played at Mount Saint Mary College, the Bombers put forth some impressive efforts in the sectional playoffs, ousting Millbrook (which delivered two of Stissing Mountain’s four regular season losses) and S.S. Seward, which Pine Plains beat to become Class C Section IX champions, holding the sectional title for the first time in nearly 50 years.Rob Lamont was the high scorer in the loss to Tuckahoe with 21 points, with Justin Cooper adding 19.“It was a tough game,” said coach Brenden LoBrutto. “They were too quick, too deep and they were on fire, so it was really the perfect storm for us.“I’ve said before,” he continued, “we didn’t lose for lack of effect. We just got beat.”Despite ending the season on a loss, the coach said that his team should be proud of its efforts — they amassed a record of 17-5 — and that he wasn’t surprised with the sectional win.“At the beginning of the season we set three goals, one of which was a Section IX title,” he said. “Not to sound cocky, but we did expect to win it. We have a lot of talent, and I knew that if we played our game we’d be in a position to do this. I knew how hard our kids were working and the talent we had. It was a great reward.”Adding to the team’s list of accomplishments, Lamont and Tyler Lydon were both voted Dutchess County All-Stars as well as Mid-Hudson Athletic League All-Stars.The Bombers will lose two seniors heading into next year: starting point guard Marquis VanDeWater and backup guard Brandon Meccariello.“They’re definitely going to be missed,” LoBrutto said, “but the future definitely looks bright for Pine Plains basketball. We have a group coming back that obviously has tremendous talent, and more coming up from the JV level.”This was LoBrutto’s first year coaching varsity basketball, and Stissing Mountain entered the season on a note of controversy, with the last-minute decision by the Board of Education not to rehire former coach Jedd Sims being heavily criticized at several board meetings.“The season definitely started out very interestingly, to say the least,” LoBrutto said. “But I’m really, obviously, proud of what happened on the court and proud of the community. They didn’t let all of the off-the-field issues affect how much they supported the kids and the program. By the turnout we had, especially during sectionals, it makes me proud to see that the area rallied around the team.”

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