Regional Boys’ Basketball: Braves, 22-0, have some unfinished business

Fonda-Fultonville boys’ basketball coach Eric Wilson walked out of a locker room at the Glens Falls

Fonda-Fultonville boys’ basketball coach Eric Wilson walked out of a locker room at the Glens Falls Civic Center Sunday with a big smile on his face.

Winning the school’s first Section II championship in 40 years had something to do with that. So did the things he overheard his players discussing amid their celebration.

“They’re in there talking about not being done yet. They want to keep it going,” Wilson said after the Braves defeated Watervliet in the Class B final, 62-54. “They’re happy with what they’ve done, but they’re not satisfied. They’re talking about getting back to the Civic Center.”

It will take two more wins to do so for a Fonda-Fultonville team that has yet to lose. The Braves (22-0) meet Plattsburgh (17-4) tonight at 6 in a Class B regional semifinal game at Hudson Valley Community College. Potsdam (20-2) got the bye and takes on the Fonda-Plattsburgh victor Saturday at 4:30 at HVCC in a game that will decide who is headed to Glens Falls next weekend.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Christian Brothers Academy will also be vying for state final four berths tonight and Saturday at HVCC.

“I’d like the kids to have an opportunity to play in that at­mosphere, and they want it,” Wilson said. “It’s not going to be easy, though. At this point, you’re not going to see a bad team.”

Plattsburgh won its fourth Section VII championship in six years with a 65-54 triumph over AuSable Valley, while Fonda-Fultonville ended its lengthy title drought against the Cannoneers, using a 27-15 third-quarter burst to take control.

Section II Class B most valuable player Seth Hidde had 22 points and nine rebounds in the Braves’ fourth double-digit win during the sectionals, and 17th straight double-digit victory in all. After Wilson gave his team Monday off, the Braves went right back to work with the hopes of putting together another productive 32 minutes.

“Over the last couple of days, our practices have been great,” Wilson. “They’ve practiced like animals. You’d think it’s the preseason, but that’s the nature of these kids. They compete, even in our drills. They want to win.”

Fonda-Fultonville will be facing a Plattsburgh team that is similar in some respects to Watervliet.

“I’ve watched a couple of game tapes, and they’re quick, quick, quick,” Wilson said. “They’re not real big. I’ve been told their tallest guy is 6-1 or 6-2, but everyone on their team can put the ball on the floor and run the floor. They’re the same type of team as Watervliet, as far as athleticism and quickness.”

And like Watervliet, Plattsburgh wants to create offense with defensive pressure.

“In the games I saw, the majority of their offense came in transition,” Wilson said. “They like to create turnovers with halfcourt pressure, and by getting after it pretty good in the halfcourt set. They also leak two guys out on every shot. On a missed shot and on a turnover, they get it and go.”

Guards Tyler Hall and Brandon Mercado will play significant roles in combating Plattsburgh’s pressure defense. Hall was exceptional in the Watervliet game doing that, and distributing to the open man which resulted in 10 assists.

“If we can handle their ball pressure and move the ball, run our sets and set good screens, I think we can score. I think we can give them some matchup problems,” said Wilson. “The key is to got give up quick baskets at the other end.”

Mercado scored 13 points against Watervliet, and Kyle Hanson had eight points and 10 rebounds. Plattsburgh got 19 points apiece from Kyle Knight and Tre Bucci against AuSable Valley, and Chris Hartmann helped seal the victory by sinking nine of 10 free throws in the late going.

BB-BL, CBA in action

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (10-11) and Massena (18-4) play tonight at 7:30 in a Class A regional semi­final, with two-time defending state champ Jamesville-DeWitt (21-0) getting the winner Saturday at 6:15.

“We’re playing our best basketball right now, and we’re going to show up and compete,” said BH-BL coach George Dudas, whose Spartans, as the No. 7 seed, knocked off South Glens Falls, Gloversville and Lansingburgh to claim the Section II banner. “Hopefully, we can do the same things that got us here. Take care of the ball, show patience on offense, and play that good defense.”

Zach Morton piled up 29 points, including seven in overtime, in Burnt Hills’ 55-49 triumph over Lansingburgh. Massena got 15 apiece from Taylor Elsner and Trevor Bacon in its last outing when it topped Potsdam for the overall Section X title, 49-43.

“They won that game without their best player [Brady Condlin], who was out with a sprained ankle,” said Dudas. “That tells you something about them. That says they’ve got some players.”

Burnt Hills beat Massena and lost to Jamesville-DeWitt in the 2004 regionals, and beat Peru and lost to Mexico in the 2005 regionals.

Jamesville-DeWitt got 20 points and 19 rebounds from 6-foot-9 sophomore Daquan Coleman in a 68-50 win over Nottingham in the Section III title game. Jamesville-DeWitt used regional wins over Scotia-Glenville last year and Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons in 2008, as well as its 2004 victory over Burnt Hills, as steppingstones toward state championships.

Christian Brothers Academy (21-1) will make it fifth Class AA regional appearance in seven years Saturday night at 8 against Cicero-North Syracuse (19-2) at HVCC.

The Brothers extended their winning streak to 14 games with a 59-47 triumph over Shenendehowa in Tuesday’s Section II final, a game in which Max Weaver scored 18 points, Galal Cancer netted 17 and tourney most valuable player Kam­eron Ritter added 15, including the final six in a key 11-0, second-quarter run.

“I definitely think this is just a small step for us,” said Ritter. “At the beginning of the year, we said we wanted more than just a sectional title. It feels great, but we have more games to win.”

The Brothers lost to CBA of Syracuse in last year’s regionals, 50-45, and are looking to get back to the state final four for the first time since 2006. The Brothers also made it to the state final four in 2004.

Cicero-North Syracuse claimed its first Section III Class AA title when Anthony DelCoro banked a 25-footer at the buzzer in a 61-60 win over Utica Proctor. John Howell led the Northstars with 17 points and DelCoro had 15 off the bench, including four three-point baskets.

Categories: High School Sports

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