The Massena Central and Potsdam Central varsity boys basketball teams finished on opposite sides of convincing NAC Central Division decisions on Thurday.
Massena 70, Gouverneur 44: At Gouverneur, the Raiders gradually worked their way to a 31-19 halftime lead then took control of the game with a 25-11 third-quarter surge.
Joe LaBelle led the way offensively for the Raiders with a 21-point outing that included three three-pointers. Zack Rusaw tossed through another 10 points followed by David Phillips and Zevon Viskovich with eight points each and Robert Cameron with five. Tyler Haas, Xavier Viskovich and Rhoades Tarbell contributed four points apiece. Nick Lobdell (3 points), Zach Fregoe (2 points) and Logan Deshane (1 point) closed out the Massena scoresheet
Mark Horne led the Wildcats (1-5, 1-3) with 13 points, including a pair of threes, followed by Devon Cox with 1- and Troy Gates with seven.
The Raiders (3-0, 2-0) return to action on Monday when they head to Ogdensburg to take on OFA starting with the junior varsity game at 5:30 p.m.
OFA 72, Potsdam 49: At Potsdam, the host Sandstoners rallied to tie the game at 34-34 heading into halftime but the Blue Devils countered with a decisive 18-4 third-quarter surge then sealed the win with a 20-11 run in the fourth.
We played a good first half and made some threes but OFAs balance and their defense were the difference in the second half, noted coach Brooks Bigwarfe. Were a young team and were looking to keep improving and peaking at the right time.
The senior duo of Konnor Bigwarfe and Owen Mitchell anchored the Potsdam offense with 14 points apiece with Bigwarfe knocking down three three-pointers. Will Coleman chipped in eight points followed by Shawn Clark with five, Jacob Bryant with four, Nick Vaccaro with three and Duquan Pitts with one.
Breton LaRose anchored a balanced OFA effort with 17 points and eight rebounds. Matt Piercey and Pat Cosmo (5 rebounds) struck for 16 points apiece followed by Kinnon LaRose (5 rebounds) with 15, Tyler Knowlton with six and Colin Ross with three.
Breton LaRose scored nine of his points in the first six minutes of the game in sparking the Blue Devils to a 15-7 lead but the Sandstoners closed with a 7-2 run with Bigwarfe converting on a putback at the buzzer to make it 17-14.
The Blue Devils (5-1, 2-1) built a quick 28-19 lead midway through the second quarter and went ahead 32-23 with just over two minutes left when Cosmo converted a pair of free throws. Back-to-back three-pointers by Vaccaro and Coleman cut the deficit to 32-29 and Owen Mitchell made it a one-point game with 1:09 left in the half. Kinnon LaRose put the Blue Devils on top 34-31 with on the next OFA possession and the Sandstoners were able to work their offense for the last shot of the half which was taken from the right corner by Jake Mitchell and his high-arcing toss snapped through the bottom of the net at the buzzer to send the teams into halftime knotted at 34-34.
The Blue Devils didnt allow any of the momentum of the late run carry over into the second half for the Sandstoners as they reeled off the first 11 points of the third quarter and didnt allow the first Potsdam points until Coleman completed a three-point play from the foul line with 3:40 left.
The Sandstoners (0-2) will look to get on track on Monday when they travel to Fort Covington to take on Salmon River with the JV matchup starting at 5:30 p.m.
OFA JVs 39, Potsdam JVs 32: Jon Rogers led the junior Blue Devils with eight points. Dakota Brady added seven followed by Tristan Moore and Al Fisher with six points each. Nick Sweeney, Peyton Lalone and Dom Yerdon closed out the OFA scoring with four points apiece.
Evan Cutler pace the Potsdam offense with six points followed by Brian Cole with five and Ashler Herrick with four. Jake Mitchell, Connor Prosper, Jack Byrnes and Matt Stone each added two.
In the other NAC boys basketball action on Thurday, Franklin Academy posted a 79-50 Central Division win over Canton, Tupper Lake edged North Division rival St. Lawrence Central 45-44, Chateaugay netted a 74-34 East Division win over Parishville-Hopkinton and Edwards-Knox downed Hammond 55-26 in the West Division.
FA 79, Canton 50: At Jerry Hourihan Gym, the teams were tied at 18-18 after the first quarter before the visiting Huskies went on a decisive 21-8 second-quarter run then outscored the Bears 40-23 in the second half.
Mitch Gallagher led all scorers with 19 points in the win. Kody Mulverhill and Austin Lamay added 13 points each followed by Alex Johnson with 10 as the Huskies improved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the division.
Bryant Wentworth paced Canton (2-2) with 17 points followed by Eddie Bortnick and Evan LaPoint with eight points apiece.
Tupper Lake 45, SLC 44: In Tupper Lake, the Lumberjacks built a 39-28 lead through three quarters before holding on for the win.
Mitch Keniston led all scorers with 21 points in the winning effort. Brock Tarbox hit for another eight.
Zane Ramsdell had a teamn-high 13 points for the Larries followed by Tyler Savage with 12, Josh White with 10, Shane Fuentes with five and Jesse Greer with two.
Chateaugay 74, P-H 34: In Parishville, the visiting Bulldogs led 27-2 by the end of the first quarter and never looked back for the win. Noah Bowes led the way with 16 points followed by Lang with 12 and Martin with nine.
Mike Burns had 16 points in the losing cause. Connor Sullivan added seven followed by Ryan Snyder with five. Tanner Wilson, Michael Cook and David Eames each finished with two.
In the only NAC girls basketball game on Thursday, Chateaugay pulled away to a 57-21 East Division road win over Parishville-Hopkinton.
Courtney Boyea fired through 22 points, including the only three three-pointers of the game, to spark the Lady Bullodgs. Makayla Fleury added 16 points.
Jenna Converse led P-H with 12 points. Kodi Perkins chipped in four followed by Caitlin McGregor and Mary Coventry with two apiece and Brianna Hayes with one.