MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon High School boys’ basketball head coach Bob Cimmino has been a part of the school's rivalry with New Rochelle for decades, so he knew his players needed no extra motivation Thursday when the Knights and Huguenots squared off in New Rochelle.
“I know as a coach that I don’t have to get them revved up to play New Rochelle because we’re so close,” Cimmino said. “And with the world of Twitter and social media and who has a girlfriend in New Rochelle, who has a girlfriend in Mount Vernon, they’re very, very close.”
The Knights took care of business with a 74-56 win in a game in which bodies and basketballs flew all over the court for the better part of 32 minutes. New Rochelle made runs in the fourth quarter but could never pull to within single digits.
Cimmino said his team’s efforts at the charity stripe had a lot to do with keeping New Rochelle at arm’s length.
“I think that we did something we haven’t been doing in a while: We made a few foul shots,” Cimmino said. “I know it energized the coaching staff. I think it might have energized the players, too.”
Cimmino referenced New Rochelle’s athleticism and he stressed to his players that they could not turn over the ball on Thursday afternoon. And, while turnovers were inevitable in such a high-energy, fast-paced game, Mount Vernon did enough to walk out with the win.
The two teams will not meet again until Feb. 6 in Mount Vernon. For now, Cimmino was just happy to put one in the win column.
“Every game is positioning for the sectional standings, so every game is important,” Cimmino said. “It’s good to try to keep as many W's as possible and you can determine your own fate. So it was a big win for us.”
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