Catskill boys end Hudson’s winning streak

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

HUDSON – Catskill vs. Hudson in boys’ basketball represents one of the area’s premier rivalries, yet recent results have all been in favor of Hudson. In fact, the Bluehawks have ruled the Patroon Conference. Saturday, January 27, the Cats took command early and never allowed Hudson to overtake them.

A packed Columbia-Greene Community College gym was witness to a solid performance from Catskill that proved to be enough to stave off a comeback bid by Hudson as the Cats snapped the Bluehawks’ 45-game league winning streak with a 72-61 victory.

The Cats (14-2 overall, 11-1 league) ended a winning streak that spanned nearly three full years. Catskill was the last team to defeat Hudson (13-2, 12-1) in league play on February 7, 2015.

“That is a heck of a run,” Catskill coach Doug Lampman said. “My hat goes off to Hudson. They have put together a string of great seasons. They played hard and battled us.”

“We took a couple of hard losses to them last (season) and one earlier this season, so it is good to finally get one against them,” Catskill senior center Justin Worth said.

“It feels good. We fought hard and worked hard every day of the week for this game,” Catskill senior point guard Justice Brantley said. “This one was on our schedule since the beginning of the season.”

Catskill came out in attack mode and took it to the Bluehawks throughout the first quarter. The Cats made 11 of 15 during the first eight minutes to establish a 26-12 advantage.

“We used our transition game to get the butterflies out,” Lampman said. “There was a lot of energy in this gym and we’re dealing with 16 and 17-year-old boys.”

Even when the Cats cooled off shooting-wise in the second quarter, the combination of Worth (game-high totals of 21 points and 20 rebounds) and sophomore reserve Devon Haye (four points, eight rebounds) cleaned up on the offensive glass to extend possessions.

The Bluehawks struggled to find consistent rhythm and trailed 45-25 at intermission. Overall, Hudson was out rebounded 48-32.

“The shots weren’t falling early and it pretty much stayed that way all night,” Hudson coach Shawn Briscoe said. “Then you start to get hesitant and second-guess yourself on whether you should take it or not. The bottom line is we didn’t rebound. If we rebounded the ball, this is a completely different game.”

Hudson made a strong push late in the third quarter that extended to the early stages of the fourth quarter, drawing within 56-49 on a basket by Dayquan Griffin (19 points, 11 rebounds), but Worth’s extraordinary work on the boards allowed the Cats more chances to score after misses and the lead quickly went back up to 63-51.

“He is a very special player,” Lampman said of Worth. “He is a constant worker down there. He has the team on his back, and is not afraid to put them on his back. He does the blue-collar things that win you ballgames.”

“He killed us on the boards and we couldn’t get a body on (Worth) the way we needed to,” Briscoe said. “We rebounded better in the first game with them. That is probably the biggest difference in this game.”

“We knew it wouldn’t be easy, and you saw how much of a fight they put up in the second half,” Worth said. “They are a second-half team and they came out on fire.”

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