Although they finished on different sides of the final outcome, the OFA Boys and Girls Basketball Teams progressed toward season goals in Fridays NAC Central Division games against Canton.
At home. the 14-1 OFA Boys, who have moved into the third spot in the NYS Class B rankings, continued their explosive drive toward an undefeated division championship to 11-0 with three games to play in a 99-25 win.
At Canton, the OFA (9-6, 6-4 NAC) Girls closed the gap between themselves and Class B leader Canton (12-3, 10-2) which controlled the fourth quarter to secure a 47-43 come-from-behind victory.
Canton enjoyed some success at slowing tempo in the first half of the teams first meeting at the Bears Jerry Hourihan Court. On Friday, at the Bill Merna Court, the Devils took extended measures with an elongated 1-3-1 trapping defense to dictate tempo right off the center jump.
We knew that they (Canton) were going to try and slow it down as much as they could. We went to a 1-3-1 defense for the first time this season and the guys really played it well, said OFA Coach Mark Henry after the Devils raced out to a 33-8 first quarter lead where Colin Ross started a 22-point outing with nine points and Seth Pinkerton sailed around the rim scoring seven of his 12 points.
The defense helped us get off to a great start and Colin Ross really shot the ball well tonight. Kinnon LaRose had a another great game and he really distributed the ball well. But we still have things to work on especially weak side rebounding.
LaRose produced a steady stream of deflections and altered passes in the zone defense and produced a near triple double with 21 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and three steals. Ross passed out three assists, hit four threes and went 4-4 from the foul line netting a game-high 22.
Pinkerton grabbed five rebounds, Jack Manke delivered 10 points and eight rebounds, Matt Piercey collected nine points, five assists and three steals and Al Fisher chipped in six points.
Tristan Moore and Conor Hannan each tallied five points with a three-pointer. Mitchell Barber (3 points) grabbed five rebounds, DaKota Brady added four points and Justin Ross knocked down a pair of free throws for OFA which plays at Potsdam on Tuesday.
Scott Wight led Canton with 10 points and Evan LaPoint and Eugene Hitchman each tallied five. Tom Christy netted a three and Tyler Trathan added two.
The OFA JVs remained undefeated in NAC Central play with a 50-28 victory over a talented Canton club.
We didnt have one our better shooting games, but our defense was outstanding tonight, said OFA Coach Scott Sargent.
Offensively Joey Dalton worked the baseline for 12 points and guards Peyton Lalone, Connor Badlam and Cale Sargent delivered 11, 11 and seven points. Dane Ames tallied 12 points for Canton and Brandon Lorenc posted eight.
Six different players scored as Canton used a 20-11 fourth quarter to surge to erase a five-point deficit.
The Devils stayed within two points until the closing seconds when Tori Daley dropped in two free throws to complete a 15-point outing.
We did a great job settling down into our offense in the fourth quarter, said Canton Coach Mike Meyers who also received 12 points from Rachel Sanderson, seven from Mikaela Bresette and five from Kali Frank and Natalie DiSalvo.
Meg Dodge (7 rebounds, 2 steals) hit four threes on night while leading OFA with a game-high 16 points. Dodge netted seven in the third quarter leading the Devils to a four pount lead and buried two threes in the fourth.
Riley Luckie (3 assists) netted 10 points for OFA and went 4-4 at the free throw line leading a precise 11-13 team outing. Susie Morrow (5 rebounds) scored seven points and Courtney Sherwin (5 points, 2 steals) grabbed 10 rebounds.
We really played good defense and our ball movement was excellent. Canton is a good team and they figured out what they needed to do the fourth quarter and did it, said OFA Coach Lynn Blevins who will have his team at home for a Senior Night contest with Potsdam on Monday.
This was a very good game for us. It shows us that we are closing in to where we want to be in tree weeks. And that is playing for the Class B championship.
Emily Pinckney netted three points to round out Cantons total while Taylor Perry and Brooke Badlam (2 assists) each scored two for OFA and Erin Tooley added one.
MASSENA BOYS WIN
MASSENA - Climbing to 10-1 Massena Central posted a 69-37 NAC Central Division win on Retro Night at home against St. Lawrence Central on Friday. Xavier Viskovich fired through a game-high 23 points and Dante Viskovich added 14 points followed by Logan Deshane with 12. For the Larries (0-12), Josh White netted 11 points followed by Nathan Arquette with eight.
Salmon River 53, Gouverneur 35: The Shamrocks (6-7, 4-7) steadily pulled away from a 16-10 first-quarter lead. Kason Tarbell led the way with 13 points followed by Russ Oakes with 12. Devin Cox led the Wildcats (5-10, 2-9) with a game-high 16 points.
Malone 62, Potsdam 55: Matt Stone anchored a balanced effort for Potsdam (8-8, 6-6) with 12 points. Dequan Pitts chipped in 11 followed by Nick Vaccaro with 10, Alex Johnson led the Huskies (13-3, 9-3) with a game-high 19 points followed by Austin Lamay with 16 and Kody Mulverhill with 11.
MALONE GIRLS CLINCH
Malone 60, Salmon River 35: The Lady Huskies broke away from a 14-11 first-quarter lead to clinch at least a share of the division title at 12-0 (14-1 overall). Meghan OConnor led all scorers with 20 points followed by Rachel Lamica with 14. For SR (4-8, 4-7), Taylor Francis tossed through 16 points followed by Jaden Mitchell with 11.