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Potsdam boys run past Gouverneur in Class B semi-finals


POTSDAM - Coach Brooks Bigwarfe got the game he wanted as the Potsdam Central boys basketball team got the win it needed to advance once again to the Section 10 Class B Championship Game.

“We got a very good team effort. Our defense set the tone and we did executed well on offense,” said Bigwarfe after the Sandstoners relayed a 21-6 first-quarter lead into an 83-33 win at home over Gouverneur in the semi-finals of this year’s Class B tournament.

Potsdam, the three-time defending sectional champion, will now get set to take on NAC Central Division regular season co-champion OFA in the title game on Saturday, February 23, at SUNY Potsdam’s Jerry Welsh Gymnasium. OFA advanced via a 96-22 decision over Salmon River in the other semi-final staged on Thursday. The Blue Devils swept their regular season meetings against the Sandstoners.

“We showed a lot of improvement from our first game against Ogdensburg to our second, especially on defense. They are a tough team to defend because they have five or six guys that can shoot threes but we’ll try to come up with something,” said Bigwarfe. “We’re peaking at the right time as a team and hopefully we can give them a good game. We’re going to come out fighting.”

In the win over the Wildcats, the duo of senior guard Konnor Bigwarfe and junior center Shawn Clark anchored a balanced Sandstoner effort at both ends of the court. Bigwarfe, who rattled off the first five points of the night, tossed through four three-pointers in a 20-point outing while Clark, scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half where he had three forceful dunks and a long two-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer to put the Sandstoners ahead 41-20 at the half. Junior Will Coleman connected for 11 of his 15 points in the second half where Potsdam sealed the win with a 22-7 third-quarter run. Senior Owen Mitchell chipped in another nine points followed by Dequan Pitts with six and Nick Vaccaro with five while Jacob Bryant, Dan Stone and Ashley Herrick tallied four points apiece and Matt Sutliff closed out the Potsdam scoresheet with a free throw.

Mark Horne paced the Wildcats (4-15) with nine point. Troy Gates added eight followed by Dustin Hutton with four and Matt Ashley with three. Devin Cox, Curt LaPlant, Seth Carr and Tavaris Conley chipped in two points each and Austin Smith added a foul shot.

With the win, Potsdam improved to 13-5 overall. The Class B final is slated to tip-off at 4:30 p.m. following the Class C final at 1 p.m. and the Class D title game at 2:45 p.m.

OFA 96, Salmon River 22: In Ogdensburg, the Blue Devils (18-1) raced out to a 26-8 lead by the end of the first quarter then outscored the Shamrocks 22-2 in the second to put the game out of reach. Breton LaRose led all scorers with 20 points. Kinnon LaRose chipped in 13 followed by Matt Piercey with nine while Jack Manke and Alex Farrell each finished with eight.

Josh Hynes and Antoine Domino anchored the Salmon River (2-17) scoring with six points each. Jordan Wood added five followed by Justin Bigness with four and Tyler Brooks with one.

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