GREENVILLE -- Catskill is considered by many to be the team to beat this year in Patroon Conference boys basketball.
On Wednesday night in Greenville, the Cats demonstrated why they are held in such high regard.
With Justice Brantley and Devon Haye combining for 45 points and Yusef Abushqeir locking down Greenville's high scoring Cole Ackerman, Coach Doug Lampman's squad rolled to a 103-64 victory to remain unbeaten through five games.
The Cats dominated in all phases of the game from the opening tip to the final buzzer, knocking down 12 3-pointers en route to their highest total point output of the season.
But as impressive as their offense was, Lampman was most pleased with the performance turned in on the defensive end by Abushqeir on Ackerman, who came into the game averaging 25 points per contest and needing just 34 to reach 1,000 for his career. Thanks in large part to Abushqeir's effort, Ackerman had just one field goal in the first half and finished with 10 points.
"Greenville came out and showed a lot of hustle, they're going to scrap at you," Lampman said. "My game ball goes to Yusef Abushqeir. The defense that kid plays. He has been assigned Cole for a lot of years now and that rivalry is coming to a close, but he certainly got the better of him tonight. Watching him (Abushqeir) tonight was my highlight of the entire game. If you don't enjoy watching Yusef Abushqeir play defense, then you don't understand basketball. He is just an absolute beauty."
Greenville coach Dane Carpenter, whose team fell to 1-2 in the Patroon and 2-3 overall, said Catskill's size and athleticism had an effect on Ackerman.
"They're length bothered him a little bit," Carpenter said. "Cole's not used to having 6-2 and 6-3 guys that can keep up with him and get a hand in his face and hand check him a little bit, too. He wasn't able to free himself up as well. They played really good defense."
Ackerman wasn't the only Greenville player bothered by Catskill's size.
"When they have that much size and they're hitting that many outside shots, not much we can do on a night like tonight," Carpenter said. "We can put a hand in their face, but 5-10 against 6-6 isn't going to work. I thought we started to tire them out a little bit in the second quarter with our pace. We started to get back in it a little bit, but we missed four straight free throws and a breakaway layup, which would have helped, but certainly wouldn't have made a difference. They're a tough team."
Ryan McAneny's 3-pointer gave Greenville a 3-0 lead to start the game, but quick buckets by Abushqeir and Brantley put the Cats on top for good. They did suffer a bit of a letdown in the second stanza after going up 39-12, allowing Greenville to close the quarter on a 17-9 run to close the gap to 48-29 at halftime
"We're a team that when we move the ball and share the ball we're a very effective team. In the second quarter we struggled a little bit with that," Lampman said. "We got a little bit of a lead and got too comfortable, which frustrates the coaching staff on occasion, but we got back on track in the third quarter. I thought the reserves represented themselves very well. They've done a lot of work in the offseason and everyday in practice, just like the rest of us and it's neat to see them go out there and perform at that level and keep it going."
Catskill outscored Greenville 29-14 in the third quarter and 26-21 in the fourth to wrap up the victory.
Brantley finished with 23 to lead the Cats. Haye contributed 22, Justin Worth had 18 and Willie Bartholomew 14.
While happy with the win, Lampman said his team can't afford to take it's foot off the gas.
"There's a lot of holes, a lot of execution stuff we have to work on, some intensity and evolving to the next level, We're looking to keep evolving. Sometimes I feel we stay right where we are and I don't want to stay there. Our challenge is to continue to evolve and move to that next level. We saw parts of it tonight, but we certainly didn't see the complete package yet. Hopefully, we can keep working toward that end and continue to improve."
McAneny led Greenville with 15 points. Joe Nicosia had 13 and Ackerman 10.
"I like our team, I just wish we had a little more size," Carpenter said. "That's the one thing that hurts us. They miss a shot and we're in box out position, but when they're a foot taller and they jump up, it's not even over the back, they're just taller."
Greenville won the junior varsity game, 53-38.
Catskill returns home to play Cairo-Durham, while Greenville goes to Taconic Hills on Friday. Junior varsity actions tips off at 5:30 p.m.
CATSKILL (103): Hernandez 2-0-6, Fitzmaurice 1-0-2, Bartholomew 6-1-14, Carabello 1-0-3, Abushqeir 4-0-8, Brantley 9-0-22, Ivery 2-0-4, Worth 7-3-18, Haye 10-0-22, Davies 1-0-3. Totals 43-4-103.
3-pointers: Brantley 5, Haye 2, Hernandez 2, Batholomew, Carabello, Worth, Davies.
GREENVILLE (64): Fiducia 4-0-9, O'Connor 0-1-1, MCAneny 5-3-15, Russel 1-0-2, Ackerman 3-3-10, Nicosia 3-6-13, Edmonds 1-0-3, P. Mitchell 3-0-6, Gergen 1-0-2, Mulholland 1-0-3. Totals 22-13-64.
3-pointers: McAneny 2, Fiducia, Ackerman, Nicosia, Edmonds, Mulholland.
Chatham 39, Taconic Hills 38
Taconic Hills broke away from a 7-7 first quarter deadlock to take a 12-9 halftime lead in the low-scoring affair. Chatham led 22-16 after three quarters.
Kaleb Taylor paced Chatham (1-2, 2-3) with 13 points.
Russ Beck had 13 points for Taconic Hills (0-2, 1-2).
Chatham visits Rensselaer and Taconic Hills hosts Greenville in Patroon action on Friday.
TACONIC HILLS (38): Beck 4-5-13, Charron 2-1-5, Clegg 2-3-7, New 2-0-4, West 3-0-9. Totals 13-9-38.
3-pointers: West 3.
CHATHAM (39): Armstrong 0-2-2, Devine 1-0-2, Kastner 1-0-3, Madsen 1-1-3, Spock 2-1-5, Stockman 2-4-9, Taylor 6-0-13, Van Tassel 1-0-2. Totals 14-8-39.
3-pointers: Taylor, Stockman, Kastner.
PATROON GIRLS BASKETBALL
Taconic Hills 51, Chatham 27
CRARYVILLE -- Taconic Hills flew out to a 15-2 lead in the first quarter and never looked back as the Lady Titans beat Chatham 51-27 on Wednesday night in Patroon Conference varsity girls basketball.
"We did a great job on breaking the press and cutting down on our turnovers," TH coach Bob Bailly said. "It was nice to see us finish and the girls had some awesome passes."
Morgan Hoose led Taconic Hills with a game-high 13 points. Ali Shumsky added 11, Marleah Perry 10 and Emily Mottoshiski nine.
For Chatham, Hallie Allen scored 10 points and Hannah Taylor had eight.
Taconic Hills (1-2, 1-0 Patroon) plays at Greenville as Chatham (1-4, 1-2) hosts Rensselaer on Friday at 7 p.m.
TACONIC HILLS (51): M. Hoose 4-4-5-13 (1); C. Hoose 2-0-5 (1); M. Perry 3-3-4-10 (1); A. Snyder 0-1-2-1; A. Shumsky 4-2-3-11 (1); E. Mottoshiski 4-0-9 (1); M. Monty 1-0-2; Totals: 18-10-14-51 (3).
CHATHAM (27): H. Allen 4-2-3-10; H. Bradley 2-1-4-5; B. Doyle 1-2-4-4; H. Taylor 3-2-4-8; Totals: 10-7-15-27.