For the Mt. Vernon Knights, getting props in Westchester takes not only superior basketball but also a tough outer skin. First, they had to beat New Rochelle and its rowdy crowd but then they would have to beat The White Plains Tigers with not only a loud and loyal crowd but with its star player, Sean Kilpatrick.
On Wednesday, that's exactly what they did as Mt. Vernon soundly defeated White Plains 76 – 56 even though Kilpatrick scored his 1000th career point.
As both teams walked to the White Plains court, one could tell that this game meant more than just a "W." It meant bragging rights (at least until the next time they play).
The Knight struck first and early as 6'4", junior Sherrod Wright scored a dunk that got the crowd hyped. Kadeem Dinham would score right after that and Wright would nail a quick three pointer and the score was seven to zip in favor of Mt. Vernon. "TIME OUT!" Tigers Coach, Spencer Mayfield called to prevent the potential of a runaway train.
Out of the time out White Plains 6'5" senior guard, Sean Kilpatrick came out fired up. There were quite a few colleges there to see him in addition to Tiger pride and he powered his way to the basket for four quick points, then swished a three. The Knights fought back but Bobby Jones, a 6'3" sophomore hit a bucket and the score was 15 – 13 in favor of the Knights. The momentum seemed to be shifting until West Virginia-bound Kevin Jones would score a three point giving Mt. Vernon the lead 20 – 15 at the end of the first quarter.
In second quarter Kilpatrick was a one-man show scoring at will but Sherrod Wright and Kevin Jones would counter with baskets on the inside or on the offensive glass and the score swelled to 35 – 20 with 2:50 left in the half.
Kevin Jones would hit another three pointer and the lead stretched to eighteen. The White Plains heavy crowd was urging their Tigers on at the top of their lungs but it seemed that only Kilpatrick could hear them. High flying 6'1" senior Rashad James seemed more interested in getting a rim rocking slam dunk then scoring points as he went 0 for 2 in that department. He did finally hit a mid range late in the first half.
6'1" freshman, Jabarie Hinds ran the offense effectively for the Knights while Tigers point guard 5'8" sophomore Nick Cutsumpas seemed a bit overwhelmed by it all. White Plains would go into the locker room down 40 – 23.
Sean Kilpatrick did put on an amazing performance with 18 points at the half but Sherrod Wright and Kevin Jones combined for 30 points.
To start the third quarter, Mt. Vernon walked onto the court early, confident and simply waited for their opponents while White Plains used every spare moment to plan and strategize before coming out. The Tigers went hard at Wright and forced Coach Bob Cimmino to take him out early with his third foul. For about two minutes, the game moved slowly as ticky-tack fouls ensued. Suddenly a game broke out as 5'10" sophomore guard, Ketema Brooks pushed the ball up and down the floor and Mt. Vernon amped up their attack. Kevin Jones gets two quick inside baskets. Kilpatrick countered with a mid-range but 5'8" shooting guard, Jordan Lessane hits a deuce. Rashad James finally comes alive offensively and scores two back-to-back baskets and the score is 48 – 35 but Hinds slithers in for an acrobatic lay-up for the Knights followed by another deuce by his teammate Andre Gaynor, a 6'2" junior. Hinds tries to slash his way to the hole again but this time Bobby Jones swats it away to the roar of the fans and the third quarter ends, 55 – 38, Knights.
In the fourth quarter The Tigers made one last go of it and would've gotten the lead down to 14 points with enough time for a miracle comeback but Bobby Jones missed a key basket that resulted in a score by Kevin Jones and the score was suddenly pushed up to 60 – 42 with 5:10 left in the game.
Mt. Vernon turned on the afterburners while White Plains looked dejected. All except Kilpatrick who could be heard yelling at his teammates, "Come to play!."
While Plains was down 19 points with 2:29 left to play and even though Ketema Brooks would foul out for Mt. Vernon who was now in double bonus, this game was already signed, sealed and delivered to the Knights.
After one last bucket by Sean Kilpatrick, Coach Mayfield pulled him from the game and it was announced shortly after that he had just scored his 1000th point to which the crowd applauded. To look at Sean Kilpatrick's facial expression, it was obvious that he would have preferred the win for the team to the accolades for his career scoring of one thousand points on this night as White Plains lost to the Mount Vernon by the final score of 76 – 56.
Sean Kilpatrick led all scores with 33 points however, the leading scorers for the winning team was Kevin Jones with 27 points followed by Sherrod Wright with 17 points.
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