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Fonda boys' basketball bows out of sectionals

Fonda boys' basketball bows out of sectionals

Hoosick Falls pins down the Braves
Fonda boys' basketball bows out of sectionals
Andrew Georgia of Fonda-Fultonville makes a move against Tristan Williams of Hoosick Falls.
Photographer: Erica Miller

FONDA — That flurry of points the Fonda-Fultonville boys' basketball team needed so bad Tuesday night never came to be.

Hoosick Falls jumped on the Braves right from the start and refused to let them recover in a 74-43 Section II Class B tournament game, as the Panthers advanced to the quarterfinals.

"They didn't allow us to make any runs coming back," Fonda-Fultonville coach Eric Wilson said. "They're too sound defensively. They're too well-coached."

Hoosick Falls (No. 9 seed, 18-3) built a 20-13 lead after the opening quarter and outscored Fonda-Fultonville (No. 8, 16-5) in each one afterward. That included bursts by the Panthers of 19-7 and 20-9 in the middle frames.

"It was one of those games where a lot of things went right for us," Hoosick Falls coach Mike Lilac said. "I have been on the other end. It's tough to end your season like that."

Fonda-Fultonville did have a good season, capped by last week's double-overtime win against Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons in the WAC Cup title game.

"I'm proud of the way they fought. I'm proud of this season," Wilson said, before pointing to a group of his senior players. "Those six guys, I'm going to miss. We've been through a lot. It's a chapter in my book I'm going to look back on fondly."

Highlights were few Tuesday evening, though, for a Braves group that never found an offensive groove and never held a lead.

"We didn't handle their physicality," Wilson said. "They're physical. That's a good team."

Jon Kempf scored 37 points for the Panthers, including 22 in the first half, and the senior's production featured a 16-for-16 showing from the foul line. Tristan Williams had 23 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots and, along with Dmitri Rose, anchored Hoosick Falls' man-to-man defensive performance.

"Defense got it done tonight," Lilac said.

"We knew we were ready," said Kempf, who added five rebounds and four assists. "We saw this as an opportunity to show people we could play."

Jackson Atty paced Fonda-Fultonville with 17 points, but was held scoreless in the second quarter, when Hoosick Falls stretched its advantage to 39-20. Rose got the assignment to defend Atty, a career-1,000-point scorer and the school record holder in every 3-point category.

"Dmitri did a great job," Lilac said of the senior guard. "He made him [Atty] uncomfortable, and he had a lot of help behind him."

Fonda-Fultonville's best run of the game, a 5-0 spurt, came in the second quarter and got the Braves within 28-20. Hoosick Falls closed out the half with 11 unanswered points that included a 3 and four foul shots from the versatile 6-foot-5 Williams.

"We wanted to keep our foot on the pedal," Kempf said. "After the first quarter, coach said, 'Let's get up by 15 by the half.'"

Lilac thought the beginning of the game was key, when Kempf generated 13 points and Max Kipp had all five of his points, and when Hoosick Falls set the defensive tempo.

"We wanted to come out strong and pop the bubble of the crowd," Lilac said. "I thought we did that."

Hoosick Falls went on an 8-0 run early in the second quarter, and closed the third period with another 8-0 push to all but confirm its place alongside Catskill (No. 1, 20-1) in Friday's quarterfinal round at Hudson Valley Community College.

"We'll enjoy this one for about eight hours, and then we'll try to figure out a way to beat Catskill." Lilac said of the Patroon Conference heavyweight. "We've got to find a way to slow them down."

Andrew Georgia had seven points and five rebounds for the Braves, and his basket down low created the game's only tie at 2-2.

Atty made one 3-pointer to give the Castleton State-bound guard 93 for the season, which tied his own school record.

A moment of silence was held before the game in honor of Bill Higgins, a former Fonda-Fultonville administrator, boys' basketball coach for the Braves and state basketball coordinator, who died last week at the age of 83.

Hoosick Falls 20 19 20 15 — 74

Fonda-Fultonville 13 7 9 14 — 43

Hoosick Falls scoring: Kempf 9-16-37, Burnett 1-1-3, Kipp 2-0-5, Williams 8-6-23, Sparks 2-0-4, Rose 1-0-2. Fonda-Fultonville scoring: Canale 1-2-4, Atty 4-8-17, Mancini -0-3, Georgia 2-3-7, Egelston 1-2-5, Weaver 1-2-4, Sweet 1-0-3. Scoring totals: Hoosick Falls 23-23-74, Fonda-Fultonville 11-17-43.

Reach Jim Schlitz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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