The OFA Boys (8-0, 11-1) and the Malone Girls (8-0, 10-0) remained undefeated atop the NAC Central Division standings with contrasting victories in Tuesdays Northern Conference Basketball action.
The Lady Huskies made effective use of the talents of post players Meghan OConnor and Rachel Lamica and a gimmick defense in the second half to pull away to a 52-41 grind-it-out victory at OFA (5-3, 6-5).
In Malone, the number four state ranked Blue Devils broke out to a 16-0 lead and went on to gain an 87-48 victory (6-3, 10-3), at the venue of their only conference loss last season.
In this weeks NYS Class B poll OFA trails Buffalo East (6-0) of Section 6, Westhill (9-0) of Section 3 and Putnam Valley of Section 5 (7-1).
Malone Coach Shelly Skelly improvised a triangle and two defense at halftime after Riley Luckie and Megan Dodge scored 20 of the Blue Devils 23 points in the first half where Malone led 24-23.
We hadnt even practiced a triangle-and-two but we had to do something, said Skelly after Meghan OConnor (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Rachel Lamica (8 points, 13 rebounds) produced a constant flow of offensive rebounds which were critical in a tenacious halfcourt duel between the two teams.
Meghan and Rachel have been the key to our offense all season, Meghan has been averaging almost 15 rebounds per game.
Morgan Fountain provided a very efficient outside complement netting 14 points on medium range jumpers. Fountain and OConnor each scored 10 points the second half.
Luckie (10 points. 7 assists) and Dodge (13 points, 7 rebounds) combined for 12 and eight points in the first half where the Devils made a solid recovery from an 8-0 deficit.
Brooke Badlam scored eight second half points for the Devils and scored five quick points to cut the Malone lead to 30-29 in the third quarter. OConnor answered with consecutive putbacks.
Susie Morrow scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds and cut the difference to 40-35 in the final minute of the third quarter. Lamica answered with a putback and the Huskies sealed the issue with six straight points.
Courtney Sherwin (2 points) passed out three assists for OFA which will host St. Lawrence Central on Thursday.
We played very hard but Malone is very tough inside and plays excellent defense, said OFA Coach Lynn Blevins.
They did a good job with the triangle and two. We have the people to attack it but we couldnt find the right combination tonight.
Malone won the JV game 39-28 led by 11 points from Abagail Collins. Jill Lincoln tallied eight points, three steals and seven rebounds to lead OFA with Chelsea Raven also scoring eight points.
Kierra Johnson tallied seven points and Kelsey Pinkerton supplied three steals to the effort.
BOYS HIT BOARDS
A stellar rebounding effort and a career high double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds by Seth Pinkerton highlighted the OFA Boys win which featured a 20-0 start.
This was our best night on the boards all season and we got out on the break very well, said OFA Coach Mark Henry.
Seth Pinkerton had career highs in scoring and rebounding and shot the ball very well.
Pinkerton converted four or five shots and scored seven points in the first quarter where Kinnon LaRose, who tallied 27 points on 10-13 shooting, scored 11 points. LaRose also impressively supplied game-highs in 12 rebounds, seven assists and eight steals.
Jack Manke (4 points) grabbed 10 rebounds and DaKota Brady (4 points), Al Fisher and Tristan Moore (3 steals) added five, five and four retrieves to the control of the boards.
Matt Piercey tallied 17 points with five assists, Collin Ross followed with 13 points and three assists and Conor Hannan passed out three assists. Jordan Yando tallied 10 points for Malone and Kody Mulverhill netted nine.
The OFA JVs also remained undefeated in the Central Division posting a 61-41 victory which featured a 19-9 first quarter lead. Joey Dalton delivered his best game of the season netting 18 points and Peyton Lalone followed with 16. Connor Badlam followed with 14 points for Coach Scott Sargent who cited his team for a very solid effort on both sides. We played very well, it was a very good road win, said Coach Sargent.
MASSENA, CANTON WIN
Massena pulled away to a 60-33 over Gouverneur as Tyler Haas netted a game-high 17 points for the Raiders (9-2, 7-1). Dante Viskovich tallied 16 points followed by Rhoades Tarbell with 13.
Devin Cox and Troy Gates anchored the Gouverneur (4-7, 1-6) offense with 10 points apiece.
Canton 58, SLC 50: Both teams were led by career nights as Evan LaPoint (12 rebounds) tossed through 32 points, including an 8-10 showing from the foul line, in the winning effort and Josh White struck for 28 to account for the majority of the Larries points. Ryan Caldwell netted three three-pointers in making a 15-point contribution as Canton evened its overall record to 5-5 while improving to 3-5 in the division. Mike Couglar chipped in eight points followed by Scott Wight with two and Louden Porter with one. Jayce Lanning tallied nine points for the Larries (0-10, 0-9).
Salmon River 56, Potsdam 50:The host Shamrocks (3-5, 3-4) overcame a 29-25 halftime deficit as Kason Tarbell tossed through a team-high 14 points followed by Josh Hynes and Zach Smith with 10 apiece. Nick Vaccaro drained four three-pointers in leading the Sandstoners (5-6, 4-4) with 14 points.