The states number two ranked Class B Boys Basketball team impressively established itself as the 2014 NAC Central League outright champions on Friday night at home before a standing room crowd on Senior Night and Coaches vs Cancer night at OFAs Bill Merna Court.
The game opened on an inhospitable note for the resident Blue Devils (13-0 NAC, 16-1) when Seth Pinkerton, a disruptive defender and offensive energizer, drew two fouls in the first 59 seconds against a Massena (12-2, 14-4) squad looking to gain a share of the division title.
On most nights, for most teams, the quickness of the foul trouble would pose a significant problem.
But not on this night for a very special team. Conor Hannan quickly jumped into the fray as Coach Mark Henrys squad severely scrambled Massenas offensive efforts, scored the first 19 points, opened a 34-3 lead and cruised to an 86-40 victory.
Before the game Coach Henry honored seniors Conor Hannan, Matt Piercey, Colin Ross and Mitchel Barber and Cheerleading Coach Jackie Pinkerton recognized her seniors Mackenzie Bresett, Janelle LaRue, Hannah Leeder and Jessica Logan.
The Devils will look to complete a 14-0 Central Division season today hosting Salmon River in makeup action which opens with a 1 p.m. junior varsity tipoff.
People talk a lot about our offense because we score a lot of points. But it is all about defense. said Coach Henry.
Seth (Pinkerton) got in foul trouble and Conor Hannan steps in and we just play a great defensive first quarter against an outstanding team. Colin Ross continues to shoot the ball very well and played excellent defense staying with Bailey (Bailey LaBarge).
Ross (16 points, 5 assists, 7 steals) buried three of his four threes in a 13 point first quarter and Matt Piercey (8 steals, 6 rebounds, 6 assists) buried five threes scoring a game-high 20 points.
Kinnon LaRose continued as the leader of the serpentine defense snatching 12 steals in a triple double which also included 18 points with 7-8 foul shooting and 10 rebounds. Jack Manke tallied 13 points with seven rebounds, Hannan buried a pair of threes for six points, DaKota Brady netted four points, Justin Ross hit a three, Seth Pinkerton and Al Fisher each netted two points and Tristan Moore added one.
Logan Deshanes 10 points led Massena, which received Honorable Mention in this weeks Class A rankings. Dante Viskovich scored eignt and Bailey LaBarge finishing with seven. Zevon Viskovich tallied five followed by Rhoades Tarbell with four, Rory Corcoran with two and Daniel Wing with one.
The Massena JVs deadlocked the NAC Central race by handing OFA its first division loss in a 57-36 victory.
Massena is an extremely good team and they played very well tonight. Their point guard, Xavier Goyco had just a great game, said OFA Coach Scott Sargent.
We missed some shots tonight but thats going to happen. They were the better team tonight.
Goyco tallied 16 points and directed the Raiders offense through their athletic front line. Nick McKeel netted a game-high 21 points, Nick Currier netted seven points and James Donnelly added five.
Peyton Lalone tallied a 18 points for the Devils. Joey Dalton netted six and Nate McCarney and Cale Sargent each scored five.
POTSDAM, SR WIN
Potsdam 60, Gouverneur 32:The Sandstoners (9-9, 7-7) bolted out to a 17-3. Nick Vaccaro fired through a game-high 16 points, including four three-pointers, to spark the Potsdam offense. Dustin Hutton led the Wildcats (6-11, 4-9) with 10 points.
Salmon River 60, Canton 49:The Shamrocks put together a 25-17 fourth-quarter run to earn the win. Josh Hynes tossed through a game-high 21 points in the winning effort. Louden Porter netted 19 points to lead the Golden Bears (7-10, 4-10).
Malone 58, SLC 32:The Huskies (14-4, 10-4) built a commanding 21-5 lead by the end of the first quarter as Alex Johnson connected for a game-high 13 points followed by Jordan Yando with 11 and Austin Lamay with 10.
Shane Fuentes paced the Larries (2-16, 0-14) with 12 points.
CANTON GIRLS WIN
In the lone Central Division girls basketball matchup on Friday, Canton Central pulled away to a 66-42 decision at home over Salmon River.
Tori Daley led the way offensively with a game-high 19 points for the Lady Golden Bears. Kali Frank contributed 12 points followed by Rachel Sanderson with 10 as Canton closed out the Central Division season at 13-3 and improved to 14-3 overall heading into an interdivisional encounter at home tonight against Class D contender Heuvelton starting at 7 p.m.
Jaden Mitchell fired through 16 points, including four three-pointers, and Taylor Francis netted 15 points, including three threes, to anchor Salmon River offense.