If getting to the Section II, Class D championship is a tall order, it helps to have the size to do it.
Sharon Springs established its inside game early Wednesday, and rode its big men to a 68-57 semifinal win over Germantown at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The win put the third-seeded Spartans into Saturday’s 2 p.m. final against Heatly.
“We see a lot of teams in our league [the Western Athletic Conference] that like to pressure with their guards,” said Spartans coach Chris Smith. “We like to pound it inside.
“That’s what we wanted to do today. When we get our inside game going, then it opens things up for our guards to get shots.”
Doug Ullman proved to a problem from the start for the seventh-seeded Clippers, who knocked out No. 2 seed Fort Ann in the quarters. Ullman used his size to continually get position, and finished with 24 points. Mike Schilde and Zach Bartlett both added 14 points, and Kris Kelly contributed 10 points as the Spartans improved to 15-7.
“We’ve done that all year,” said Ullman, who also had 16 rebounds. “We want to be able to get the ball down low.”
“We thought we might present a problem for them trying to match up with us,” said Smith. “We stress rebounding. I must have 100 boxing out drills we work on all the time.”
The Spartans used their interior game to take a quick 11-2 lead. Germantown, seeing its path to the basket blocked, opted to fire away from the outside and pulled to within three, 13-10, at the end of the quarter.
Ullman’s play around the basket was the Spartans’ saving grace throughout the first half.
When Germantown got within 28-24 in the final minute on a pair of fast-break layups off steals, the next trip down the court the ball went to Ullman, who bodied up for a layup and was fouled.
“Sometimes, we get in trouble when we don’t take care of the ball,” said Smith.
The three-point play pushed the lead back to seven, before Thomas Griffin hit the front end of a one-and-one. The Spartans held for the final shot of the half, and Ullman had a pair of chances in the closing seconds, without any success, leaving him with 13 points at the break.
“That was a big basket,” said Ullman of his shot in the closing seconds of the half. “It gave the team a lift.”
Ullman, Schilde and Kris Kelly all had six points to account for all of Sharon Springs’ scoring in the third quarter, which ended 49-40 in the Spartans’ favor. Bartlett drilled a three-pointer — the only one Sharon Springs made in five attempts — to open the final period, and the Spartans were on their way to Saturday’s final.
Broast 7-1-16, Griffin 6-2-16, Niebling 4-3-13, Wyant 2-1-5, Diehl 1-0-2, Thomas 1-0-3, Lyons 1-0-2. Totals: 22-7-57
Schilde 6-1-14, D.Ullman 10-4-24, Bartlett 3-7-14, B.Ullman 1-2-4, Kelly 5-0-10, Simpson 1-0-2, Christman 1-2-4. Totals: 27-15-68.
Germantown 10 15 15 17 — 57
Sharon Springs 13 18 18 19 — 68
Three-point goals: Broast, Niebling 2, Griffin 2, Thomas, Bartlett.
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Categories: High School Sports