HUDSON — Catskill’s 1-2 punch of Lavon Fernandez and DeVon Haye will no doubt be a force to be reckoned with in Patroon Conference boys basketball this year.
Fernandez and Haye gave a glimpse of what they’re capable of on Thursday, combining for 36 points as Catskill defeated Coxsackie-Athens, 62-39, to win the Columbia-Greene Boys Summer Basketball League championship.
Fernandez and Haye both finished with 18 points as Catskill ran the table in the league, winning all 10 of its games, beating opponents by an average margin of 28 points.
“This championship means a lot,” Catskill coach Andy Gonzalez said. “We came in here with one mentality and that was to work hard on the defensive end every game and the guys got together and committed to it and look where it got us.”
Coxsackie-Athens was missing three of its usual starters and had just five players, but played hard the entire game and gave Catskill a game for most of the first half.
The Indians were still within eight, 26-18, with 1:45 to go in the first half, but Catskill closed the stanza on a 10-0 run to take a 36-18 lead at halftime. Leviticus Johnson scored six of his 13 points in the run.
“I thought we did terrifc,” Coxsackie-Athens coach Dennis Kiefer said. Five guys, no subs, missing three starters and we did what we did. We played hard and it doesn’t matter who’s there, we play hard. We knew what we were up again coming in, but I just told them to come in and play hard. I feel like they Yankees, next man up.”
Catskill went on to outscore C-A 26-21 in the second half to wrap up the victory and the league championship.
Vonis Donely added six points to the Cats’ cause. Daivon Gaillard had five and Kellen Gibbs two.
With the addition of Hudson transfers Fernandez and Johnson, an already good team was made even better, but Gonzalez knows the team must maintain its focus at all times in order to reach its ultimate goal.
“At the end of the day they have to put it all together and play good team ball,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t look at this team as just one dominant player, two, three. We have five dominant players every time we step on that court. We have a bench, this is one team. This is why we did this summer league, to get this team to start gelling, get them together, get them focused and get them ready for when the season starts.”
Should the team be able to play up to its enormous potential, the sky’s the limit, Gonzalez said.
“I think this team can go pretty far,” Gonzalez said. “At the end of th day, though, they have to be hungry for it, keep working together and stay focused. They can’t play that me basketball, they have to play that we basketball.
“I feel as if we can dominate the Patroon Conference if they all work hard and stick together and we can put in some work afte we dominate the Patroon Conference. These guy have to take pride in it, though, and keep working hard.”
Dillon Hynes led Coxsackie-Athens with 15 points. Andon Roe had seven, Josh Kiefer an Isiah Richardson six apiece and Timmy Simmons five.
Saugerties White won the girls championship with a 59-40 victory over Red Hook.