Fonda-Fultonville finally got it done, beating a perennial area powerhouse to claim its first Section II basketball championship in four decades.
The Braves pulled away from Watervliet with a third-quarter charge that was absent in recent trips to the Glens Falls Civic Center, and secured the Class B banner Sunday with a 62-54 triumph that wasn’t really that close.
Seth Hidde had 22 points and nine rebounds, Brandon Mercado had 13 points and nine rebounds and Tyler Hall put the defensive clamps on Watervliet standout Devonte Gleason as the top-seeded Braves went to 22-0.
“It feels good. We haven’t had one in 40 years, and it’s a great accomplishment,” said Mercado, an all-tournament selection. “We came out and played hard and got the job done.”
Fonda-Fultonville gained command with a 27-15 third-quarter run, a burst in which Hidde, the Class B most valuable player, generated 12 points.
“Everything clicked,” Braves coach Eric Wilson said of his team’s third-quarter success, which it parlayed into a 52-35 advantage. “It started with breaking their pressure, and not being in a hurry to score. We did a great job in transition, but we also pulled it out when it wasn’t there. One of the best things we did was decision-making.”
Fonda-Fultonville (No. 1, 22-0) had reached the sectional semifinals last year, in 2008 and 2006, only to be eliminated by Broadalbin-Perth, Hoosic Valley and Saratoga Catholic. Broadalbin-Perth and Hoosic Valley went on to win championships.
“The last few years, we didn’t get a second game at the Civic Center,” said Wilson, whose Braves eliminated Johnstown before taking down the 14-time Section II champion Cannoneers. “I couldn’t be happier for this group. They deserve it. With everything they’ve been through, and everything they’ve done, they deserve it.”
Fonda-Fultonville’s third-quarter run included 12 unanswered points during one stretch, that burst coming after layups by Jordan Gleason and Griffin Kelly had pulled the Cannoneers (No. 2, 18-4) within 25-24.
“For most of the game, they played with more energy than we did,” said Watervliet coach Walter Bowden. “The third-quarter run was a big example of that. They’re athletic, they’re good, and they played with more energy. If we matched them energy-wise, maybe it’s a different story.”
Hidde had seven of those 12 points on a three-point play, a reverse layup and two foul shots, while Luke Nethaway added a putback basket and Kyle Hanson dropped in a three to make it 37-24.
“Seth is a great player. A phenomenal athlete,” Wilson said of the 6-foot-4 senior forward. “It was nice to see him break out. He was finishing. It was nice to see him step up in a big game like this.”
Hidde added five more points in the third quarter’s final minutes, Nethaway chipped in with four and James Sheehan sank a buzzer-beating jumper to make it 52-35 with eight minutes left.
“We came out and wanted it,” said Mercado, one of seven seniors on the Fonda-Fultonville roster. “Enthusiasm pulled us over the edge.”
Hanson and Nethaway both added eight points for the Braves, Nethaway’s layup giving the state’s No. 5-ranked squad a 57-38 lead in the final stanza. Jordan Gleason led Watervliet with 23 points and fellow all-tourney pick Nick Durocher had 14, while Devonte Gleason managed only four on 2-for-20 shooting from the field.
Not only did Hall harrass Watervliet’s junior star, he also picked up 10 of the Braves’ 14 assists and added six points.
Fonda-Fultonville won the Class C title in 1970 by beating Coxsackie-Athens. The Braves lost to Whitehall in the 1971 “C” final, and didn’t play for another championship until Sunday.
Fonda-Fultonville will take on the Section VII champ, either Plattsburgh or AuSable Valley, Friday in a regional semifinal game at Hudson Valley Community College.
Chris Despart nailed a three-point basket with four seconds left in overtime to propel Maple Hill to its second straight championship, 46-45, over Hoosick Falls.
Quinn Rasmus converted a three-point play in the extra session, and after a Maple Hill turnover, the junior forward made a free throw to give Hoosick Falls a 45-43 lead with 19.7 seconds remaining. Despart followed with his third three-pointer, clinching MVP honors.
“Time was running down,” said Despart, a senior guard. “I had the ball, had an open look and shot it.”
Despart and Dom Prinzo scored 12 points apiece for Maple Hill (No. 1, 21-1), a 2009 state finalist, and Sean Danaher collected 10 points and 16 rebounds.
Maple Hill will play Brushton-Moira of Section X in a regional semifinal game Friday at SUNY-Potsdam.
Cody Broast scored 22 points, Larry Niebling had 21 and Germantown hit more than half of its shots as the Clippers defeated top-seeded Argyle, 70-61, its first title-game win since 1980.
The Clippers (No. 2, 18-4) shot 56.5 percent from the field (26-for-46), with Broast, the Class D MVP, and Niebling both going 8-for-13. Thomas Griffin added 15 points and four steals for the state’s No. 19-ranked small-school team, which heads to SUNY-Plattsburgh for regional play Saturday.
Joey Lufkin led three double-digit Argyle (No. 1, 19-2) scorers with 18 points, going 12-for-14 from the line.
FONDA-FULTONVILLE 62, WATERVLIET 54
Gleason 2-0-4, Kelly 2-0-4, J. Gleason 9-2-23, Pontore 3-2-8, Durocher 4-3-14, Nittinger 0-1-1. Totals: 20-8-54.
Hall 2-2-6, Hanson 3-0-8, Mercado 5-1-13, Sheehan 2-0-5, Hidde 7-8-22, Nethaway 4-0-8. Totals: 23-11-62.
Watervliet 10 10 15 19 — 54
Fonda-Fultonville 14 11 27 10 — 62
Three-point goals: J. Gleason 3, Durocher 3, Hanson 2, Mercado 2, Sheehan.
MAPLE HILL 46, HOOSICK FALLS 45 (OT)
Lilac 2-0-5, Williams 1-1-3, Rasmus 1-3-5, Hayden 5-0-10, McMahon 7-4-18, Dingman 1-2-4. Totals: 17-10-45.
Prinzo 5-2-12, Despart 4-1-12, Chesdy 2-2-6, Jasiewicz 1-0-2, Briggs 1-2-4, Danaher 5-0-10. Totals: 18-7-46.
Hoosick Falls 16 10 7 3 9 — 45
Maple Hill 3 13 12 8 10 — 46
Three-point goals: Lilac, Despart 3.
GERMANTOWN 70, ARGYLE 61
Broast 8-3-22, Niebling 8-3-21, Griffin 5-4-15, Thomas 1-0-3, Lyons 1-0-2, Wyant 3-1-7. Totals: 26-11-70.
Horton 2-4-8, Liddle 2-0-5, Lufkin 3-12-18, Stevens 4-0-9, Humiston 5-1-11, Ingram 4-2-10. Totals: 20-19-61.
Germantown 11 18 23 18 — 70
Argyle 10 16 18 17 — 61
Three-point goals: Broast 3, Niebling 2, Griffin, Thomas, Liddle, Stevens.
Categories: High School Sports