When Zac O’Dell sank two free throws with a half-second left, the Schalmont basketball team could finally breathe easy.
The Sabres completed a season sweep of Voorheesville the hard way Friday night, with a fourth-quarter rally and a few fortunate bounces going their way in a 58-53 Section II Class B semifinal win at Hudson Valley Community College.
“Coach kept saying, ‘We’ve got to go on a run,’ ” said senior guard Aidan Frank, whose layup with a minute left gave Schalmont a 56-53 advantage. “The run never happened, but we stayed with it and battled.”
Frank Parisi came off the bench to score nine of his 13 points in the first half, O’Dell delivered 15 of his 19 in the second half and the Sabres (No. 3 seed, 19-3) survived a trio of three-point attempts inside the final minute before securing their first title-game berth since winning the Class B crown in 1996.
Schalmont will go against Hoosick Falls (No. 1, 21-1) in the final game of a championship triple-header tonight at 6 at Colonie. Hoosick Falls beat Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, 56-30, in Friday’s second semifinal.
“We knew they were going to be really motivated,” Schalmont coach Greg Loiacano said of the Blackbirds, who upset No. 2 seed Broadalbin-Perth in the quarterfinals, 61-59, in overtime. “They gave it everything they had.”
Schalmont had beaten Voorheesville (No. 7, 15-7) twice en route to the Colonial Council Liberty Division title; 59-53 in overtime, and 78-53.
“We went on a big run at Voorheesville and won by 25,” said Loiacano. “They limited our runs. We were waiting for a run to come, and it didn’t happen. That made it difficult.”
Voorheesville never put together a significant scoring spurt, either, in a contest that was tied nine times and saw 16 lead changes. Voorheesville’s biggest lead was five, at 12-7, and Schalmont’s biggest lead was also five at 50-45 and 58-53 after O’Dell’s clinching foul shots.
“We know Voorheesville is a pretty good team,” said Parisi, a junior guard. “We knew it would be a tough game.”
Isaiah Meaux led Voorheesville with 15 points on five threes, Sean Nolan had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Alex Minnick added 10 points.
Nolan’s three-point attempt bounced high over the backboard after Frank’s layup made it 56-53, and following a turnover by Schalmont, Meaux also missed a three and O’Dell grabbed the rebound, one of his 16.
Meaux was 5-for-8 from beyond the arc with three threes in the fourth quarter before his miss.
“We knew Meaux would want it, and [Tyler] Mattice stepped up,” Frank said of his sophomore teammate. “He fought through a screen and bothered him enough.”
O’Dell failed to add to Schalmont’s lead when he was fouled after his rebound and missed two from the line. That led to Robert Denman’s three-point hoist with three seconds left, and his shot bounced over the backboard.
“I was just hoping they wouldn’t go in, and we’d get the rebound,” said Parisi.
“The ball stayed in the air about 15 seconds on each shot. Each one, I thought it was going in,” said Loiacano. “The ball bounced our way.”
Josh Clifford had 12 points for Schalmont, with his putback basket giving the state’s No. 13-ranked team the lead for good at a 44-43, and O’Dell followed with a pair from the line, part of the junior’s eight fourth-quarter points.
Clifford scored six points in the final quarter and Parisi chipped in with four. Parisi had nine of Schalmont’s 16 second-quarter points.
“Frank makes good passes. He shoots well. He goes to the rim,” said Loiacano. “He was aggressive tonight.”
Voorheesville, last’s year’s Class B champ, shot 31.5 percent (18-for-57) from the field and was outrebounded, 43-36.
“We felt if we could hold them in the 50s we’d have a great chance to win the game,” said Loiacano. “All the time we talk about staying together and playing good defense.”
Trailing by one, Hoosick Falls outscored Ravena (No. 13, 11-11) in the second quarter, 14-5, and in the third, 15-3. Connor McCart led the Panthers with 14 points and seven rebounds. David Warnken had 13 points and eight boards for the Indians.
SCHALMONT 58, VOORHEESVILLE 53
Parisi 3-6-13, Frank 3-1-7, Mattice 0-1-1, O’Dell 7-5-19, N. Bird 0-2-2, Clifford 6-0-12, M. Bird 2-0-4. Totals: 21-15-58.
Parry 2-4-8, Giordano 1-1-3, Nolan 4-4-12, Denman 1-3-5, Meaux 5-0-15, Minnick 5-0-10. Totals: 18-12-53.
Schalmont 13 16 9 20 — 58
Voorheesville 12 18 8 15 — 53
Three-point goals: Parisi, Meaux 5.
HOOSICK FALLS 56,
Chani 5-3-13, Hoag 2-1-5, McCart 6-2-14, Bradley 3-0-7, Pitt 1-1-3, Wood 1-0-2, Hackett 4-4-12. Totals: 22-11-56.
Warnken 4-2-13, Carrk 1-0-2, Frangella 1-0-3, Babcock 1-2-5, Rebeor 3-0-7. Totals: 10-4-30.
Hoosick Falls 13 14 15 14 — 56
RCS 14 5 3 8 — 30
Three-point goals: Bradley, Warnken 3, Frangella, Babcock, Rebeor.
Categories: High School Sports