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Mohonasen boys' basketball advances in OT

Mohonasen boys' basketball advances in OT

Mighty Warriors win first regional title
Mohonasen boys' basketball advances in OT
Mohonasen teammates celebrate their 76-71 overtime win over Utica Notre Dame Saturday at HVCC.

TROY -- For Mohonasen, it was a case of stopping, and going.

The Mighty Warriors made their biggest stops in the early minutes of overtime, and now they're going to the state final four for the first time.

"We recollected," Mohonasen coach Josh Peck said after his team beat Notre Dame of Utica 76-71 in a Class A regional final Saturday at Hudson Valley Community College. "Our identity all year was defense. It was, 'Let's recommit to defense, and the offense will come.'"

It certainly did.

The Mighty Warriors rattled off the first nine points of overtime after a missed foul shot gave them the opportunity, and Duncan Tallman helped seal the victory down the stretch with the final six points of his team-high 25.

"We came out quick," Tallman, a junior, said of the overtime spree. "I wish we started the game like that. Hey, we got it done in overtime."

That was after Treijen Gerrett missed a free throw and then made one with 6.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter to pull Notre Dame (Section III, 21-4) into a 59-59 tie with the Mighty Warriors (15-9).

"During regulation, we got a little sloppy," Peck said. "We nearly coughed it away."


Tallman started the overtime with a layup and afterward Chase Monroe sank four foul shots, Greg Van Epps hit another and Jalani Abdul-Aziz dropped on a another layup. Notre Dame broke through with just over two minutes to go when Jaylen Warmack nailed a jumper.

"That Utica team is legit," Peck said. "They put up a lot of points. Our guys did a good job containing them."

Notre Dame roughed up Franklin Academy 85-48 in a sub-regional Wednesday.

"We focus on defense," said Van Epps, a senor who totaled 13 points. "Some teams don't see defense like ours."

Mohonasen had lost regional games in 1992 and 2011 before breaking through and earning a state semifinal game Saturday at 10:45 a.m. against Section I's Ardsley at the Floyd L. Maines Arena in Binghamton. Abdul-Aziz had 18 points, Avery Deas had 10 points and seven rebounds, and Monroe had seven boards to go with his clutch four points in OT.

"We are 7-1 down the stretch," Peck said. "The whole group has bought in and we're playing teams tough."

Van Epps and Tallman hit 3-pointers to spark an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter that put Mohonasen up 58-53. After Notre Dame made a push late in regulation, Mohonasen pushed back even harder in the extra session.

"We never give up," Van Epps said. "We keep fighting and believing in ourselves."

Dante Griffin paced Notre Dame with 26 points and Garrett had 14, including a tip-in basket that got the Jugglers within 59-58 with 44 seconds left in the fourth.


Griffin 8-5-26, Warmack 3-4-11, Garrett 5-1-14, Lindsay 3-2-8, Bianco 1-0-2, Smallwood 1-0-2, Courto 2-4-8. Totals: 23-16-71.


Tallman 8-4-25, Abdul-Aziz 7-4-18, Van Epps 5-1-13, Febbie 1-0-3, Coehlo 1-0-3, Deas 5-0-10, Monroe 0-4-4. Totals: 27-13-76.

Notre Dame 14 14 19 12 12 - 71

Mohonasen 13 14 21 11 17 - 76

Three-point goals: Griffin 5, Warmack, Garrett 3, Tallman 5, Van Epps 2, Febbie, Coehlo.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, jims@dailygazette.com or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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