It was an unlikely run this year for Red Hook varsity boys basketball. No local pundits saw them making it anywhere in the postseason, and there were plenty of reasons for that: The team didn’t perform well in the Mid-Hudson Athletic League tournament, and were just too young to pin any hopes on.
All they had were two seniors: forward Luke White and combo guard Paddy Parr.
But the “geezers” made all the difference in their final season with the team. The pair were crucial in postseason play, as the Raiders swept the Section 9, Class A title and went to the state final four games. Their teammates relied on Parr’s passing abilities and swashbuckling, to-the-hoop style and White’s presence on the low block, mid-range game, and his rebounding.
Parr, who made it to varsity as a sophomore in 2011-12, is the only team member who had the opportunity to play under former head coach Rod Chando and current head coach Matt Hayes. “They’re both coaches who know how to win. I’ve just been lucky to play under two really good coaches,” Parr told the Observer.
For his shift to the primary scorer role for Red Hook, one shared often with teammates Dennis Hare and Nick Michitsch, Parr credits his bump up to captain in 2013.
“I’ve definitely become more of a leader on the court, off the court, and in practice,” Parr said. “Being captain has made me a better leader.”
Parr will be attending SUNY Plattsburgh in the fall, with an eye to studying criminal justice, but is unsure about whether he wants to pursue basketball in the future.
White, on the other hand, would love to continue playing basketball, even though he plans on studying wildlife biology or natural resources at Paul Smith College. It’s just that certain circumstances next year won’t allow him.
“I would play ball in college, but … they don’t even have a team this year,” White said, adding, “Last year, they only had seven kids on the team and they went 1-18 on the year.”
White, also a team captain, was the Raiders’ most reasonable under-the-hoop scoring option,
and was loaded with post-moves.
He made it to varsity in the 2012-13 season and worked hard to develop his game, which he thought was one-dimensional when he made the jump from junior varsity.
“I got a lot more confident with my role as a player. Later, I pretty much stuck to outside shooting, but then also short-corner and post a little bit. Before, I thought I was playing too much in the center,” he said.
Asked whether he thought this year’s Raider team would get so deep into the playoffs, White is remarkably honest.
“No,” he said. “I was just hoping that we could get to the Sectionals, and maybe win Sectionals. I really never thought we’d make it to the final four.”