Mohonasen’s long wait over (with photo gallery)

Mohonasen ended a 19-year championship drought Saturday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Mohonasen ended a 19-year championship drought Saturday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

The basketball game itself, that was all but over in 19 minutes.

The Mighty Warriors followed a dominant first half with a third-quarter spurt that they parlayed into 53-36 Section II Class A victory over top-seeded Scotia-Glenville.

Mohonasen gave up just three first-half field goals, and equaled that total quickly in the third frame before Jeff Kruzinski’s two foul shots capped a 9-0 run as its lead ballooned to 28-9, and the kids from Rotterdam were on their way.

“Nineteen ninety-two. Wow. That’s way too long,” Mohonasen coach Ken Dagostino said in referrence to a 51-48 Class B title-game win over Hudson that year. “These guys weren’t even born yet.”

They were alive and well in the school’s first final since then, though, with seven of them scoring points led by Grant Massaroni’s 17, and every Mighty Warrior playing a role at the defensive end.

“Everybody on the team took pride in winning this game,” said Mohonasen senior forward Garrett Sisson, the Class A most valuable player who kick-started the third quarter with a baseline jumper. “Everyone who went in there wanted to contribute.”

Ben Dalton scored 10 points, Billy Manikas had nine and Sisson added eight, while the Mighty Warriors (No. 2 seed, 17-4) collecively held the Tartans to 26.7 percent shooting (13-for-49) from the field while ending their 16-game win streak.

“I give a lot of credit to Mohonasen,” said Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammttei, who had guided the Tartans to the 2009 championship. “It was their night. Tonight they were the better team.”

All-tournament pick Terell Winney led the Tartans with 14 points and six rebounds before fouling out with 3:42 left and his team trailing, 47-28. Brad Callahan managed seven points and Casey Norton had five as part of a frustrating venture for the Foothills Council champ­ions, who came in with a No. 10 state ranking and 19-1 record.

“We’ve played defense all season,” said Sisson, the middle man in Mohonasen’s 2-3 zone. “We knew if they got hot, they can be a dangerous team. Our plan was to get out on their shooters, close out and rebound their misses, and hustle for loose balls.”

Mohonasen’s defensive gem followed a semifinal win over Lansingburgh in which it held the Knights to a season-low 33 points. Scotia-Glenville scored four points in the first quarter and five in the second.

“Over the six years I’ve been here, defense is what’s carried us. They buy into defense,” said Dagostino, before adding. “Am I surprised? Not really. We did it to Lansingburgh. We did it to teams in the Suburban Council. I’m surprised we scored 53.”

Fifteen of them came in the first quarter, including seven by all-tourney team member Massaroni and five by Dalton.

“We never have a big first quarter, so that was huge,” said Dagostino. “We got the momentum and kept building.”

Kruzinski, Dalton and Massaroni each hit a three in the first quarter, and Scotia-Glenville’s only hoop was also a three, by Winney with 2:06 to go.

“Fifteen points in the first quarter was big for us,” said Sisson. “We got up 15-4 and rode the wave.”

Scotia-Glenville made just three of 19 shots in the first half (15.7 percent), which included a pair of threes by Winney, the senior’s second making it a 19-9 game at the break.

“You’ve got to try to weather the storm,” said Giammattei. “From a defensive standpoint we held them to four points in the second quarter, but we could not make a shot. We were taking the same shots all year long and made them.”

After Sisson’s jumper to start the third quarter, Manikas nailed a three before turning a steal into a layup, and Kruzinski followed with a pair from the line three minutes in.

Scotia-Glenville got its 10th point on a free throw by Callahan with 4:38 remaining in the third, making it 28-10. Mohonasen’s advantage grew to 21 twice in the third, at 31-10 on a trey by Massaroni, and at 33-12 on a jumper by Dalton.

Scotia-Glenville was 7-for-28 on three-point tries, four of those makes coming in the final quarter. Mohonasen was 6-for-9 on threes, and 20-for-35 in all from the field.

Mohonasen gets a bye in the regional semifinals, and will meet Friday’s Section III (Jamesville-DeWitt)-Section X (Massena) winner Saturday at Cicero-North Syracuse High School at a time to be determined.


Tallman 1-0-2, Dalton 4-1-10, Manikas 4-0-9, Ritz 1-0-2, Massaroni 7-0-17, Kruzinski 1-2-5, Sisson 2-4-8. Totals: 20-7-53.


Corker 1-0-2, Renko 1-0-3, Zanta 1-0-2, Winney 5-1-14, Norton 2-0-5, Callahan 2-2-7, Sutherland 1-0-3. Totals: 13-3-36.

Mohonasen 15 4 21 13 — 53

Scotia-Glenville 4 5 13 14 — 36

Three-point goals: Dalton, Manikas, Massaroni 3, Kruzinski, Renko, Winney 3, Norton, Callahan, Sutherland.

Categories: High School Sports

Leave a Reply