Livingston Manor will be down two key players for state tourney opener

Livingston Manor will be without two key players who will be on a school trip for its opening-round Class D state tournament boys’ basketball game next week.

According to Livingston Manor coach Charlie Hicks, starting guard Dillon Taggart and forward Frank Kuttner, one of the Wildcats’ first players off the bench, leave on Sunday for a week-long Caribbean cruise. Livingston Manor plays Section 1 champ Clark Academy at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday at SUNY New Paltz.

“It’s just one of those things,” Hicks said. “I guess we have to do a better job of scheduling. This was set up in September. It’s hard, but I let those guys make their own decision. They are grown men. I hope they have a good time and can come back and help us.”

A Livingston Manor win on Wednesday would send it to the quarterfinals, where it would play Bridgehampton on Friday at SUNY Suffolk on Long Island. Taggart, who scored 14 points in Livingston Manor’s 61-30 win over Eldred in the Section 9 championship, and Kuttner would also miss that game.

Hicks said that two other Livingston Manor starters, forwards Max Kaplan and Terrance Lockhart, were scheduled to go on the Caribbean cruise. Both players decided to skip the trip and play for the Wildcats. Hicks said he wasn’t sure how much the trip cost, but some money for the vacation was collected through fundraising.

Lockhart averages 13 points and 11 rebounds per game and Kaplan is averaging 11 rebounds.

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