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Section 10 basketball: OFA boys, Heuvelton girls take Overall titles

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POTSDAM — As the Ogdensburg Free Academy basketball team races onto the court, a song blares on the loud speaker that ends to the lyrics “I’ll be the one you won’t forget.”

On Saturday at SUNY Potsdam, the Blue Devils continued an unforgettable season and capped a dominant run through the regular season and the Section 10 Tournament of Champions by securing a second straight Overall (Class A-B-C-D) Championship in an 86-49 victory over Massena.

A run that climaxed with a shooting display that Section 10 basketball fans will long remember.

The Devils buried 17 3-pointers in their third win of the season over Massena (16-5), an honorable mention in the Class A state rankings all season.

Coach Mark Henry’s second-ranked state Class B champions reeled off their 21st straight win after a season-opening loss at Albany Academy, repeated as Section 10 champions, recorded the program’s 10th title and seventh in the past 11 years.

On the season, the Devils average 83 points while shooting 53 percent from the field, 21 assists, 14 steals and five blocked shots per game.

OFA enters state tournament play on Tuesday at 6 p.m. meeting Section 2 champion Voorheesville at Saratoga High School, while Massena meets Bishop Ludden on Wednesday night at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

Voorheesville downed Broadalbin-Perth 61-37, and top-ranked and undefeated Westhill trimmed Utica Notre Dame 53-50 for the Section 3 crown.

Sixth man Conor Hannan went on to net four 3s in a 14-point effort that was part of a trademark balanced offense led by Colin Ross, who scored 20 points.

Kinnon LaRose finished with 18 points, six rebounds, five steals and five assists, and Matt Piercey passed out five assists while scoring 12 points with three 3s.

Seth Pinkerton delivered a high-altitude seven-point, eight-rebound performance, and Jack Manke added four points and five rebounds.

Zavier Viskovich and Dante Viskovich delivered strong interior efforts for Massena scoring 12 and 10 points, and Zevon Viskovich tallied six along with Nick McKeel.

“This was just another outstanding team effort and what this team has done is really amazing while playing 14 players a game,” Henry said.

“We had a great crowd tonight and I hope they all come down to Saratoga on Tuesday,” he added. “The parents of this group deserve a lot of credit. They have taken these players all over to play basketball in the summer over the years.”

GIRLS

HEUVELTON 53, MALONE 45

History was made and served on Saturday at SUNY Potsdam’s Jerry Welsh Gymnasium.

Heuvelton won its initial Section 10 Overall (Class A-B-C-D) Girls Basketball championship in a masterful, 53-45 comeback win over 18-2 Class A champion Malone, which has produced 10 titles since the tournament began in 1975.

It was a first overall title for a Class D Girls team since 1994 when Madrid-Waddington earned the title under the direction of Gary Tischler. Colton-Pierrepont, coached by Ed Woolston, took the title in 1991 and in 1986, Loren Miller coached Hermon-DeKalb to the title.

Paige McCormick scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds for Heuvelton. Olivia St. Pierre (10 rebounds) produced eight of her 12 points in the fourth quarter. Maddie St. Pierre collected 10 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, while senior Logan Tallman chipped in 10 points and three steals.

Morgan Fountain paced Malone with 13 points including seven in the fourth quarter and grabbed five rebounds.

The Bulldogs prevailed in stunning and unlikely fashion after falling behind 11-0 just 2:28 into the game and 18-4 after the first quarter.

Tallman recalled the conversation after the first quarter that coach Rob Powers had with his team.

“He told us we needed to get it together and quickly,” said Tallman, whose team will meet the Section 7 vs. Section 2 winner on Saturday at SUNY Canton at noon for a trip to the New York State Final Four on March 14-16 at Hudson Valley Community College. “We came out flustered and we didn’t play to our ability. He just told us to keep chipping away at the deficit.”

And indeed they did.

The Bulldogs (21-2) methodically forged a 15-2 run in the second quarter and tied the game at 20-20 on a Tallman 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds left in the half.

“At halftime, coach Powers challenged us,” senior guard Alexis Weidner said after the Bulldogs’ ninth straight win snapped a seven-game Malone victory streak. “He told us that in the first quarter, Malone was outplaying us and that if we kept playing like we did in the first quarter we would not have a shot. Malone played with a lot of heart and we knew we needed to match it in the second half, which I believe we did,”

Tallman buried a 3-pointer to begin the second half and the combination of Olivia St. Pierre, Maddie St. Pierre, McCormick and Tallman fueled a march to a 34-26 lead. The Huskies climbed within four on a basket from Rachel Lamica at 38-34 and Kylie Piercey scored her second basket of the quarter for a 40-34 lead for Heuvelton.

In the fourth quarter, Olivia St. Pierre’s low post move of faking to her right and going up with her left produced Heuvelton’s first eight points for a 48-41 advantage lead.

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