Red Hook boys basketball open with a big victory

Call them egalitarian. Red Hook’s varsity basketball team had three players in double figures and two players with nine points apiece when they rolled to a 63-43 victory in their Dec. 20 home opener against the visiting Highland Huskies.

Red Hook ran with a starting line of Nick Michitsch, Paddy Parr, Dennis Hare, Luke White, and Will Avis, and the combination, at least in their first home appearance, looked like they had the range, length, and speed to make some noise.

Things got moving after Michitsch hit Hare for an assist in the first minute, but they got moving slowly; Red seemed a little gunshy through the first couple of minutes. But Michistch, who would lead the game in scoring with 17, dropped a pair of threes in the middle minutes of the quarter to get things humming for the Raiders. Slick Mich poured in two more treys on the evening.

“My shot was on tonight,” he told the Observer after the game. “It all happened because my teammates kicked it out to me. It’s more my team than anything.”

The Red Hook attack slowed down in the second quarter, and the Highland defense picked up, with the Huskies playing with a high press that made it harder for the Raiders to make anything happen off the dribble. But Red only dropped 11 in the second quarter, going into the locker room up 31-18.

The Huskies cut the lead to seven in the third quarter, but Michitsch’s third three of the night put Red Hook up, safely, at 37-27 with 3:17 left to play in the quarter. And on call to put the nail in the coffin, deep in the third quarter, was Luke White, who flushed two threes. Red Hook went into the final quarter up 47-33. After Michitsch’s final three, with three minutes left in the fourth, Hayes sent out the Red Hook bench, and they didn’t waste their time on the floor.
Red Hook dominated the rebounding battle against the Huskies, out-boarding them 42-17.

“I’m really happy with how we played on a number of levels,” Red Hook head coach Matt Hayes told the Observer after the game. “It took us some time to make adjustments to cuts they were making, but I think as the game progressed we put it together. Anytime you get plus-25 on rebounds, you know you’ve done something right. I’m just proud of our guys’ willingness to go out and get the ball.”

Hayes added, “Michitsch played great. He’s very assertive on offense, and he’s doing things this year that he wasn’t doing last year. He’s defending better, he’s blocking out, and he gave us a big spark tonight.”

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