The Poughkeepsie High School boys basketball team had trouble getting on any sort of track in its season opener and fell to Peekskill 70-59 in the Danny "Butterfly" Washington Showcase at Newburgh Free Academy on Saturday.
"I thought they just outscrapped us, outhustled us and I think we were kind of lethargic for a good chunk of the first half," Poughkeepsie coach Brian Laffin said.
Poughkeepsie was 20 for 42 at the free-throw line for the game and hit only one field goal in the second quarter -- a basket by Devin Lawrence with 53 seconds left in the half.
"You're not going to win games if you're missing free throws like we did," Laffin said. "Free throws and rebounds were really key. We did not block out. We did some good things on the offensive glass. I don't think we addressed getting the ball inside, rebounding and obviously free throws."
Jermar Dancy had a game-high 21 points for Poughkeepsie, while Devin Lawrence added 12 points. The Red Devils, who were also playing their season opener, had four players score in double-digits: Chavis Pigott (14), Laron Holt (14), Neorck Brown (12) and Musheed Mahammad (10).
Peekskill pulled away from Poughkeepsie by going on a 10-0 run in the second quarter where Holt, who was named the game's most valuable player, hit a jumper and then Brown hit a layup and a 3-pointer. Holt gave Peekskill a 27-15 lead with another 3-pointer. "Peekskill's a very quick team and they made some shots when we made runs," Laffin said.
Poughkeepsie is missing two starters, point guard Ray Knight (wrist injury) and forward Brandon Weir (ankle injury), but Dancy said he thinks his team is good enough to win with the lineup they have.
"We've got good replacements, but we've just got to get tougher around the basket," Dancy said. "We didn't rebound. We didn't play hard enough 'D.' Getting back on defense was the biggest thing. We need to shoot more free throws in practice and get better and better every day."
Laffin thought his team had enough to beat Peekskill. "Peekskill played a great game," Laffin said. "We had enough guys capable of doing what they needed to do to get the 'W' tonight. We just did not make our free throws and turned the ball over in key spots. Whenever we would make a little bit of a run, we'd get to the line where we could make it closer and we'd miss a big free throw. We couldn't get transition into offense without getting a clean rebound. That's a credit to Peekskill's aggressiveness on the glass. It's a great game for us to be in early against a quality opponent."