FONDA — The basketball revival taking place at Fonda-Fultonville now includes a playoff win.
Jackson Atty tallied 26 points to lead a balanced scoring effort, and the Braves pinned down Coxsackie-Athens with a sterling defensive showing in a 69-47 Section II Class B boys' basketball first-round victory Tuesday night.
"A lot of guys played well," Braves coach Eric Wilson said.
Wilson has offered up that sentiment throughout this turnaround campaign. The Braves improved to 17-4 with their latest triumph after prevailing 10 times last season, and winning a total of 10 games in the three seasons before.
"It's a combination of things," Wilson said. "Knock on wood, we're having a healthy season. This group has excellent chemistry. In practice, they compete against each other so hard. They hold each other accountable. All of those things have factored in."
Fonda-Fultonville won the Western Athletic Conference Hudson Division, but lost to OESJ in the overall league title game 53-51 in overtime. The Braves still earned the No. 5 Class B seed for their overall body of work, and Tuesday's sectional win was the program's first since a 2014 play-in victory over Tamarac.
Fonda-Fultonville's last first-round win came back in 2011, when the Braves reached the Section II Class B final.
"There is a lot of focus on Jackson, but we have so many pieces around him," Wilson said. "Everybody has fulfilled their role. All of the guys have bought into their role."
The Braves meshed exceptionally well at both ends Tuesday night, with their stingy man-to-man and help defense, and with their slick passing that set up numerous open looks both inside and on the perimeter.
"A lot of guys were bummed out after the loss to OESJ because that was one of our goals, to be WAC champions," said Atty, a junior guard who snagged five rebounds and was 10-for-11 from the foul line. "We bounced back and played well."
Wilson liked the defensive part the best. Over the first three quarters, Coxsackie-Athens (No. 12, 11-9) never had a run longer than four points.
"They have a lot of athletes with the ability to get to the rim," Wilson said. "We kept them from doing that. To hold a team like that to 47, that's some defense."
Coxsackie-Athens had scored 70 points or more in three of four games prior to its meeting with the Braves. Gill Bell led the Indians with 21 points, but 13 came in the fourth quarter after the Braves had built a 54-21 advantage.
"All season long, we've stressed defense," Atty said.
Fonda-Fultonville led 19-9 early in the second quarter when it went on an 11-0 run to take command. Atty sank a pair of 3-pointers in the run to add to his career and single-season school records, and John Mancini knocked down another longball.
Mancini finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four assists, and fellow forward Angelo Georgia came off the bench to contribute nine points and eight rebounds.
"Our inside guys have been unheralded this year," Wilson said. "They don't put up huge stats, but their defense, rebounding and interior passing has been a big part of this."
Atty delivered 20 of his points in the first half, and Angelo Canale hit three 3-pointers in a put-away third quarter.
"They came out in a diamond-and-one on Jackson," Wilson said. "That's something we worked on, and we got some early baskets and got them out of it."
Fonda-Fultonville will meet Catskill (No. 4. 18-3) Friday at 6:30 p.m. in the second game of a Class B quarterfinal doubleheader at Shenendehowa. Catskill posted early tournament wins over Fonda-Fultonville last year as well as in 2016, 2013 and 2012.
"We'll be ready to play," Wilson said.
Bell 7-7-21, Roe 0-2-2, Hynes 1-1-3, Kiefer 2-1-6, Oravsky 3-3-9, Schrader 1-2-4, Boehm 1-0-2. Totals: 15-16-47.
Mancini 5-0-11, Shaw 1-0-2, Hunter 0-1-1, Neff 1-0-3, Georga 4-1-9, Canale 3-0-9, Atty 6-10-26, Araya 3-2-8. Totals: 23-14-69.
C-A 7 6 8 26 — 47
F-F 17 17 20 15 — 69