Defeat Rhinebeck to set up trip to Long Island
The Haldane boys’ basketball team continued its season on Wednesday (March 8) with a relatively easy victory, 65-47, over Rhinebeck, the Section IX champion, at O’Neill High School in Highland Falls.
The Blue Devils (19-4) will face Section XI champion Pierson (15-8) in a regional final at 4 p.m. today (March 10) at Eastport-South Manor High School on Long Island. The winner will take a spot in the final four, with the semifinals scheduled for March 17 at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls.
The regional final will be broadcast by the NFHS Network (nfhsnetwork.com). The New York State Sportswriters Association ranks Haldane at No. 6 among Class C schools and Pierson at No. 22.
The Blue Devils led 21-10 after one, 37-24 at halftime, and 54-40 at the end of three. Matt Nachamkin was a steadying force for Haldane throughout, delivering a team-high 20 points, and Matteo Cervone, who drew plenty of attention, still got 16.
“We set the tone early,” said Coach Joe Virgadamo. “Once we got a 15-point lead we may have gotten a little comfortable, and we can’t do that.”
Rhinebeck hit a three-pointer to open the second that made it a 21-13 game, but the Blue Devils responded with an 9-0 run, and led 30-13 on a Nachamkin bucket with 4:23 left in the half. Haldane led by as many as 21 in the second half and was never threatened.
Virgadamo said his team is trying to stay mentally prepared and take one game at a time. “They don’t want their season to end right now,” he said. “We feel like we’re in a great spot. This is a special group, and we still haven’t played our best.”
Video by Jeffrey McDaniel