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Varsity basketball team begins season with a win

PINE PLAINS — The Stissing Mountain boys varsity basketball team started the winter sports season with a solid win over John A. Coleman on Friday, Dec. 9. The final score was 71 to 46.Stissing Mountain also dominated Coleman in rebounds, securing 55 against Coleman’s 23.Stissing Mountain’s top scorer during the game was Robert Lamont and the top rebounder was Zach Lydon.“We started to pound the ball into the paint and take advantage of our size in the second half,” coach Brendan LoBrutto said.At the end of the first half, Pine Plains was down 35 to 38, but the team came back strong in the second half of the game, letting Coleman score only eight additional points.“I was very impressed with how the team stepped up,” LoBrutto said. “It took us the first half to get into the flow of the game, but the guys responded to the challenge.”LoBrutto said he was also pleased with how the team dealt with playing without Justin Cooper, the starting point guard. Cooper was replaced on the floor by Tyler Lydon, who the coach said “did a great job of settling us down.”LoBrutto also called out Adam Miller for his strong game and how he used his towering frame “to shut down the middle on defense.”“Bryant Rosato and Charlie Nicolich also had an outstanding defensive game,” LoBrutto said.This is LoBrutto’s third year as a basketball coach and his second year in charge of the boys varsity basketball team. Last year, he lead the team to the Section 9 championships.“We’re excited about the year and looking forward to building on last year,” he said, noting that he was optimistic about his team.LoBrutto said his teams’s biggest strength is its height; despite having only four seniors, all but two of the players are over 6 feet tall, and four of the players reach 6 feet 5 inches, with one coming in at an impressive 6 feet 9 inches.LoBrutto said that kind of height is unusual in high school teams, especially in this region.He said that his team’s main focus is to work on playing a high-tempo game, which will strengthen their offense.LoBrutto said he and his team do not feel a lot of pressure to repeat the successes of last year because championships are not the main reason for being on the team.“It’s still a game. You still have to have fun doing it,’ he said. “It’s not worth it unless you’re having fun.”

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