Braves anxious for postseason

Slick passing and balanced scoring are two of the things that have helped propel Fonda-Fultonville t

Slick passing and balanced scoring are two of the things that have helped propel Fonda-Fultonville to the top of the Western Athletic Conference Northern Division standings.

Aggressive defense is another, and the Braves hit Galway with its full force Friday night.

“They stayed with us until the fourth quarter the last time we played. Tonight, we got after it early. It was a great team effort,” Braves senior forward Kevin Hanson said after a 71-32 victory over the second-place Eagles. “We jumped on them pretty good.”

Fonda-Fultonville (9-0, 12-2) collected 17 steals and had 15 defensive deflections, and Hanson led a trio of double-digit scorers with 16 points in a bounce-back win that clinched no less than a share of the division championship.

Fonda-Fultonville came out pressing and scored the first 20 points, and went on another 20-0 surge in the third period to open up a 58-17 advantage.

“Our turnovers killed us. They were scoring easy baskets,” Galway coach Kurt Redman said of the opening quarter, when his team turned the ball over 10 times. “We expected them to press because that’s what they do. They’re athletic. They’re big and fast kids, and that’s hard to replicate in practice.”

Hanson had three steals to spark the Braves’ first-quarter defensive stand, while junior swingman Seth Hidde finished four steals to go along with 13 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Brandon Mercado also totaled four thefts to go along with his six points, all of them coming in the opening quarter.

Two layups by Mercado and another by Hanson capped the Braves’ initial 20-0 spurt. Kory Nulty finally ended Galway’s drought by hitting a three-point basket with 1:51 left in the quarter.

“We got off to a good start using the press,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Eric Wilson said. “Our kids have done a great job with it all year. The kids are working hard in it and harassing people,”

That’s not the only thing that pleased Wilson on a night when the Braves — the state’s No. 12-ranked Class B team — bounced back from Tuesday’s 58-54 overtime loss to non-league foe Broadalbin-Perth for their eight triumph in nine outings.

“I was really happy with our defensive work in the halfcourt over the last three quarters. We denied the wings, fronted the post and helped,” he said. “It was a good defensive effort by all 10 guys. With the second group in, we didn’t miss too much.”

Tyler Hall scored 11 points for the Braves, and Luke Nethaway came off the bench to provide nine points and six rebounds as the hosts moved a step closer to what they hope is a perfect WAC run. The Braves have league games remaining with Northville, Saratoga Catholic and Fort Plain, and have already beaten each of them by over 20 points.

Fonda-Fultonville and Saratoga Catholic shared the Northern top spot last year, each going 11-1, and the Braves went on to win the WAC overall championship.

“Our most important game is the next one,” said Wilson. “There are big goals out there beyond the league that we’d like to accomplish, but we’ve emphasized one game at a time all year. The kids have done a good job of staying in the mom­ent.”

“The ultimate goal is to win the Section II [Class B] title,” said Hanson, who nailed a trio of three-point baskets during the third quarter. “It’s something we want to accomplish, but we can’t look ahead. We still have other things to take care of.”

Galway played shorthanded for the second straight game, with sen­iors Tod Cowper (its second-leading scorer) and Kyle Laux missing due to illness. Galway (6-3, 9-6) had won five straight games before losing Monday at Fort Plain, 55-34, and at Fonda-Fulonville.

“It’s been a week to forget,” said Redman. “We had some guys miss Monday’s game due to illness, and we were missing a few tonight, but we’re still 6-3 and we still have a chance to finish in second place. For a team that didn’t win a league game last year, that would be a pretty nice accomplishment.”

Sophomore Matt Wilday sank three three-point hoops in the closing minutes and led Galway with 13 points.


Nulty 2-0-6, S. Wilday 2-0-4, Kerwin

2-1-5, M. Wilday 5-0-13, Stover 2-0-4. Totals: 13-1-32.


Mercado 3-0-6, Ky. Hanson 2-3-7, Myers 0-1-1, Thomas 1-0-2, Hall 3-3-11, Hidde 6-1-13, Ke. Hanson 6-0-16, L. Nethaway 4-1-9, J. Nethaway 2-2-6. Totals: 27-11-71.

Galway  3 10  4 15 — 32

FF 24  8 26 13 — 71

Three-point goals: Nulty 2, M. Wilday 3, Hall 2, Ke. Hanson 4.

Categories: High School Sports

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