JOHNSTOWN — Early this season, the Fonda-Fultonville boys’ basketball team relied on its defense to keep it in games.
As the season has progressed, the Braves have been finding their way on offense, and Tuesday they churned out 69 points in a 69-23 non-league victory over Johnstown at Johnstown High School.
The point total was the second-highest of the season for Fonda-Fultonville, which also held Johnstown to a season-low 23 points.
“Defense has been our identity this season since day one,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Eric Wilson said. “Offensively, we’re going in the right direction. That’s what you want to be doing as the season is winding down.”
The Braves had 11 of 12 players score in the win. Nate Mycek led Fonda-Fultonville with 15 points, while Brady Melious (12) and Jackson Cusack (11) also hit double digits.
Braden Jones had seven points to lead Johnstown, while Ryan Hoyt and Elijah Jones each had six points.
“They’re a better basketball team. Playing hard is their identity,” Johnstown coach Phil Satterlee said. “We can’t let good teams like that outwork, outhustle and outplay us. When that happens, this is the end result.”
In the previous meeting between the teams, Fonda-Fultonville posted a 55-25 win over the Sir Bills in the first round of the Bill Higgins Holiday Classic on Dec. 28 in Fonda.
The Braves were in control of the rematch from the opening whistle, jumping out to an 8-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game.
Mycek scored nine points in the opening quarter on three 3-pointers for FFCS, which led 14-8 after the opening quarter.
“I felt like we came out with a lot of energy and intensity,” coach Wilson said. “We try to get ourselves going defensively and I thnk we did a good job of that tonight.”
The Braves broke the game open in the second quarter, scoring the first 10 points of the frame to open up a 24-8 lead.
Fonda-Fultonville went on to outscore the Sir Bills 22-6 in the quarter to grab a 36-12 halftime lead.
The Braves continued to pour it on in the second half, outscoring Johnstown 33-11.
Fonda-Fultonville opened the second half with a 12-0 flurry to surge to a 48-12 lead with 4:13 left in the third quarter.
Melious scored nine points in the third quarter for the Braves, who took a 57-22 lead into the final frame.
Johnstown scored just one point in the fourth quarter as Fonda-Fultonville finished off the 69-23 victory.
It was the eighth time this season that the Fonda-Fultonville defense held the opposition to 40 points or less.
It was the eighth straight win for the Braves and the ninth straight loss for Johnstown, which started the season with four wins in its first five games.
“I thought every guy that went out there played well,” coach Wilson said. “We played unselfishly on the offensive end, and we moved the ball well.”
Fonda-Fultonville (11-2 overall) is scheduled to face Greenville in the Coaches vs. Cancer Bracket Buster at Hudson Valley Community College on Thursday at 5 p.m. The Braves are slated to return to Western Athletic Conference play Friday when they travel to Fort Plain for a 7 p.m. contest.
Tuesday’s game was the final non-league contest of the regular season for Johnstown (4-10 overall), which is slated to host Queensbury in a Foothills Council contest Friday at 7 p.m.
“We have two options. We can sit here and feel sorry for ourselves or we can wake up tomorrow and do something about it,” Satterlee said. “There’s still a lot of basketball to be played.”
Fonda-Fultonville 14 22 21 12 – 69
Johnstown 8 4 10 1 – 23
Fonda-Fultonville scoring: Boyer 0-2-2, Mycek 6-0-15, McLaughlin 1-0-3, Cusack 5-0-11, Wilson 2-0-5, Dettenrieder 1-0-2, Whipple 2-0-4, Jimenez 1-1-4, Miller 3-0-7, Frederick 2-0-4, Melious 5-0-12. Johnstown scoring: Hoyt 2-2-6, B. Jones 1-4-7, E. Jones 2-0-6, Wheelis 1-0-2, Yetto 1-0-2. Team totals: Fonda-Fultonville 28-3-69. Johnstown 7-6-23.