Noah Morgan powers Mount Vernon over Pine Bush
Date: Wed, 08/03/2017

VARSITY INSIDER

Josh Thomson , jthomson@lohud.comPublished 7:23 p.m. ET March 7, 2017 | Updated 12 hours ago

Mount Vernon beat Pine Bush 68-59 in a Class AA state regional semifinal at White Plains March 7, 2017. Peter Carr/The Journal News

WHITE PLAINS - For Mount Vernon, the second half of Tuesday's Class AA state regional semifinal began to feel all too familiar. The Knights led by as many as 23 points in the third quarter before Pine Bush roared back. The Section 9 champ drew within four in the fourth quarter, but Mount Vernon remained steadfast in its approach.

"I didn’t do a thing differently," said coach Bob Cimmino, whose team surrendered a 26-point lead to Scarsdale before winning Sunday's Section 1 title in overtime. "We just rocked with the players and they took us home."

Whom the Knights rocked with, specifically, was Noah Morgan. The senior played one of the best all-around games of his four-year career. He had 25 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals as Mount Vernon beat previously unbeaten Pine Bush 68-59 at White Plains High School.

"Those Division I coaches are so foolish," Cimmino said of Morgan, who holds offers from Canisius, Maine and Saint Peter's. "So many more of them should watch. He does everything. He’s just a great player. He was sparked. Sometimes he needs a little fire."

Morgan ignited a 25-point second quarter for Mount Vernon, which assumed a 38-21 lead at halftime. The Knights widened the gap to 44-21 early in the third quarter before Pine Bush rallied by attacking the basket. That effort was helped by the absence of Greg Calixte, who played sparingly in the second half due to foul trouble.

Fellow senior Jayquan Smith thrived in place of Calixte. The 6-foot-5 forward had nine points and eight rebounds and drew three charges down the stretch.

"I know every time Greg goes out, I know I’m the next man up," Smith said. "Every time he goes out, I have to do whatever I can to step up."

Mount Vernon needed several chances to finish off the Bushmen (21-1). The Knights missed the front end of three 1-and-1s. They were 1 for 5 from the line in the final minutes overall before junior Jason Douglas-Stanley (12 points) hit a pair to ice it.

"We knew we had a difficult task in Pine Bush," Morgan said. "They were 21-0 this season, so we knew we had to come in here and play with energy and that’s what we did."

Bryan Powell had 19 points and eight rebounds and Mason Memmelaar added 14 and seven for Pine Bush.

Mount Vernon advanced to Sunday's regional final against Section 4's Corning (14-6) at Broome County Arena at 2:45 or 3:30 p.m.