With super powers Kingston, Newburgh Free Academy and Middletown expected to battle until March, the Section 9 Class AA championship is a long way from being decided.
Still, score one for Kingston: The Tigers beat host Middletown 71-63 in a big-time Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association Division I showdown on Tuesday. That leaves Middletown, Kingston and Newburgh tied for first-place in Division I at 2-1.
Kingston (7-2) hosts Middletown and Newburgh later this season. The Goldbacks beat Kingston and lost to Middletown last month. As for Middletown vs. Kingston highlights on Tuesday?
For starters, you could call it a revenge game. Middletown handed Kingston a devastating 58-56 loss in last year’s Class AA championship game. Some Kingston players even had “58-56” written in their lockers and on their sneakers.
Kingston is a long way from the AA title, but the Tigers have every right to enjoy this win. Some highlights? Jordan DeCicco scored 24 points for Kingston and ignited a 25-7 run to end the third quarter, which put the Tigers in control.
After the game, DeCicco deemed Kingston the best team in Section 9. I like how DeCicco has come along as a player. Last year, he seemed to be a straight-up jump shooter. DeCicco has become more of a slasher and is full of energy on both ends of the floor.
He’s certainly tough to stop. Legit. Zack Short, another dangerous Kingston 3-point threat, finished with 11 points. Meanwhile, I love how, once again, Kingston point guard Justin Robinson, played within himself. He really let the game come to him.
J-Rob finished with 15 points, six rebounds and five steals. Aaron Ray, only a sophomore, had 33 points for Middletown, Ray is certainly a handful.
Thanks to the big third quarter run, Kingston led 56-40 entering the fourth quarter. Of course, it wouldn’t be that easy. Middletown pulled to within 65-63 on a Ray 3-pointer with 1:20 remaining. However, D.J. Mapes answered with a 3-pointer for Kingston. Short followed with a steal and fed Robinson for an easy lay-up.
What a great game. I can’t wait for the upcoming Middletown-Kingston-Newburgh games.