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Boys basketball: Lyme, Sackets to meet in FL “D” final

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Leo Wilson was not a happy camper, and he let his Lyme Indians know why after a sluggish performance Tuesday night.

A day after beating Copenhagen by 30 points in the regular-season finale, second-seeded Lyme barely held off the third-seeded Golden Knights, 53-49, in the Frontier League “D” Division boys basketball semifinals Tuesday night at Jefferson Community College.

Lyme (10-6) advances to play top-seeded Sackets Harbor, an easy 59-30 winner over No. 4 LaFargeville in the second semifinal.

Wilson warned his players that if they played like they did Tuesday in Saturday’s title game, they wouldn’t be competitive against the Patriots.

“It’s disappointing to be playing this badly and with such little energy at this point in the season,’’ said Wilson, whose team routed Copenhagen 61-31 on Monday. “To me it looked like we were trying to lose the game rather trying to win it. We didn’t box out, our defense was very poor and they beat us to almost every loose ball.’’

Fortunately, division scoring leader Troy Wilson had another big game, pouring in 30 points for the Indians. Junior reserve Joey Paladino gave Lyme a huge lift off the bench with a career-high 12 points.

“Joey was key because we needed someone else to score with Tim (Morrow) in foul trouble,’’ said Troy Wilson, who went 11-for-13 at the foul line. “He’s done that a few times this year.’’

Morrow, averaging nearly 15 points a game, drew two early fouls, was on the bench most of the game and finished with two points.

Greg Kunert scored 18 points for Copenhagen (7-9) and Antonio Figueroa added 12.

For Golden Knights’ coach Scott Randall, it was a testament to his club’s bounce-back ability after a miserable performance just 24 hours ago.

“The difference tonight was we executed our game plan and played a full game,’’ Randall said. “We also rebounded a lot better and finally got some scoring from a few other people.’’

Copenhagen tried to slow the pace, holding the ball on almost every possession until the end of the shot clock. That seemed to frustrate the Indians at times and allowed the Golden Knights to stay in the game throughout.

Lyme raced out to a 16-8 first-quarter lead. But Copenhagen stayed within striking distance by drawing within 26-21 at halftime.

The Indians still held a 38-32 edge after three quarters. But Kunert led a late fourth-quarter Copenhagen uprising by scoring nine points, including two 3-pointers, during a three-minute surge that brought the Golden Knights within 49-47 with just over a minute left.

Wilson snuck in for a big offensive rebound bucket on Lyme’s next possession before Ian Sawyer’s basket in the lane cut the deficit to two points again.

Wilson was fouled with 8.1 seconds to play and calmly made both foul shots for the final margin.

“When we had a 10 point lead, it should have been 15 or 20,’’ Leo Wilson said. “But we got only 15 rebounds. Usually, we have two people that do that. But we failed to box out all night. Then we gave up the baseline line way too easily on defense.’’

Troy Wilson agreed that the energy level was not nearly the same as Monday, when Lyme celebrated Senior Night. “But that’s no excuse for coming out and playing like that. Give Copenhagen credit. They played their game and did what they wanted to make it closer.’’

SACKETS HARBOR 59, LAFARGEVILLE 30

This one was over in a hurry.

The Patriots (15-2) did not allow a field goal for the first 12 1/2 minutes, held the Red Knights (3-14) scoreless in the third quarter and led 42-9 before coach Jeff Robbins emptied his bench.

For Robbins, his team’s defensive intensity from the opening tip “was a very good sign. It’s something to build on for the rest of the season.’’

But he admitted, “It was hard to keep up the intensity on offense.’’

Josh Keruski and Colton Belcher each scored 13 points for Sackets Harbor, which beat Lyme twice this season — 67-46 at home and 47-42 on the road.

In such an uneven season, with team’s unable to practice regularly because of the miserable weather, Robbins isn’t quite sure what to make of his team heading into the sectionals.

“I think we can still be a very good team,’’ Robbins said. “But it’s been hard to find any consistency because we played one of two games then we’re off a week.’’

Sackets Harbor was playing without junior center Thomas Burch, who sprained his ankle on Saturday and is still out.

Matt Valin and Dan Leek led LaFargeville with eight points apiece.



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