A three-point assault and Malik Miller’s overtime effort lifted Lansingburgh to the Kirvin Cup championship Friday night at Mohonasen High School.
The Knights nailed nine threes, the last two inside the final minute of regulation, and Miller scored six points in the extra session as the Knights overhauled the host Mighty Warriors, 55-50, and claimed their second title in four years.
“Lansingburgh deserved to win,” said Mohonasen coach Ken Dagostino. “We had them by nine points a couple of times, and they didn’t go away. They kept hitting shots.”
Tournament most valuable player Darnell Sutton made the biggest one, a deep three-pointer with 3.5 seconds left in regulation that pulled the Knights even at 48-48. Miller went to work after that, with the 6-foot-7 junior sinking two foul shots after Mohonasen scoring leader Grant Massaroni fouled out, before dropping in a pair of short jumpers that made it 54-50.
“He shot the ball with confidence,” Mohonasen’s Nick Rapp said of Sutton. “Both nights, he shot with confidence.”
Sutton hit five threes and totaled 19 points in a 79-62 first-round win over Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons. The junior guard made four threes Friday and finished with 15 points to go with four assists in the Knights’ (4-4) fourth victory in five games.
“We let him create,” Lansingburgh coach Gary Pascucci said of Sutton’s three from five feet beyond the top of the circle that forced overtime. “He had three options. One option was to shoot, and he took that opportunity. He has to ability to make baskets far from the hoop.”
A buzzer-beating three by Adam Burke at the end of the third period and another three by Dante Carr to start the fourth got Lansingburgh within 38-37, and Joe Kennedy’s three with 34 seconds left got the Knights within 46-45.
Massaroni’s two free throws with 11.9 seconds remaining gave Mohonasen (2-5) a 48-45 advantage and set the stage for Sutton’s long delivery.
“Our perimeter defense was not acceptable. We were scrambling. We were out of position,” said Dagostino. “Nine threes is the most we’ve given up. We average giving up four per game.”
Massaroni hit a trio of threes in the first quarter, and his fourth long-distance hoist early in the second frame gave Mohonasen a 19-10 lead. Joe DeLuca’s layup soon after made it 21-12, and Lansingburgh began its comeback on consecutive threes by Sutton and Carr.
Carr scored 13 points to go with six rebounds and five assists, and Miller finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Miller had a season-high 28 points Thursday.
“The last two nights he came up big,” Pascussi said of Miller, who joined Massaroni, DeLuca, Dom Caputo of Schalmont and Brendan Maloney of Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons on the all-tournament team. “We’re not in this situation if he doesn’t come up big both nights.”
Massaroni scored six fourth-quarter points and finished with 20, and DeLuca had a season-high 14 points and nine rebounds, Jared Heidelmark added seven points, and Rapp contributed six points and six assists in Mohonasen’s third overtime loss.
“The guys battled,” said Dagostino, after his team was denied its second straight title and fifth since 2005. “The effort both nights was good. They came in determined.”
DeLuca had Mohonasen’s only overtime points, a pair of free throws that made it 52-50, and were quickly answered by Miller on a foul line jumper. Miller’s two free throws 23 seconds into overtime had given the Knights their first lead since the score was 8-5.
“Over the last two and a half weeks, the guys have started to jell as a team,” said Pascucci. “As a coach, I’m thrilled to see that.”
DeLuca dropped in three layups in a quick sequence to give Mohonasen a 35-28 third-quarter lead, and Donye Walker’s three made it 38-31 late in the period.
“We won it last year and we wanted it just as bad,” said Rapp. “We put a lot of effort into this.”
“I have a lot of respect for Mohonasen. They’re a tough, gritty team. They don’t give you anything,” said Pascussi. “They scrap and claw, and that’s a reflection of their coach.”
Lansingburgh also beat Mohonasen for its first Kirvin Cup championship in 2009. That game and Friday’s contest were two of Mohonasen’s eight straight title-game appearances.
Lucas Curtin scored a career-high 21 points, and Caputo went 11-for-11 from the line en route to 17 as Schalmont (5-3) defeated Bishop Gibbons in the consolation game, 61-49.
Caputo had seven rebounds, seven steals and five assists, and Nick Daversa added 13 points for the Sabres. Maloney led ND-BG (0-9) with 17 points and Dwayne Freeman had 13.
LANSINGBURGH 55, MOHONASEN 50
Burke 3-0-7, Kennedy 1-1-4, Carr 4-2-13, Miller 7-2-16, Sutton 5-1-15. Totals: 20-6-55.
Massaroni 6-4-20, Rapp 2-1-6, Walker 1-0-3, DeLuca 6-2-14, Heidelmark 2-3-7. Totals: 17-10-50.
Lansingburgh 10 10 14 14 7 — 55
Mohonasen 16 9 13 10 2 — 50
Three-point goals: Burke, Kennedy, Carr 3, Sutton 4, Massaroni 4, Rapp, Walker.
SCHALMONT 61, NOTRE DAME-BISHOP GIBBONS 49
NOTRE DAME-BISHOP GIBBONS
Verhayden 2-0-6, Freeman 3-6-13, Maggs 2-0-4, Zadio 1-0-2, Maloney 7-3-17, Sanders 2-1-5, Draper 1-0-2. Totals: 18-10-49.
Caputo 3-11-17, Daversa 6-1-13, Curtin 7-3-21, Murphy 1-2-4, Frank 1-2-4, O’Dell 1-0-2. Totals: 19-19-61.
ND-BG 13 12 18 6 — 49
Schalmont 14 14 20 13 — 61
Three-point goals: Verhayden 2, Freeman, Curtin 4.