Assistant Sports Editor
HOOSICK, N.Y. -- When Hoosick Falls Central School's Andrew Hoag wasn't scoring, he was pulling down rebounds. And when he wasn't rebounding, he was dishing out assists.
The junior guard posted a double-double stat line of 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as the Panthers were able to top Wasaren League rivals Schuylerville 65-56 on Friday night.
"He is running the show for us," coach Mike Lilac said of Hoag. "He is the engine that is driving us, and everyone else is playing their roles."
In the first quarter, the teams battled to a 13-13 stalemate, but the Panthers were able to get the Black Horses in foul trouble early in the quarter to set themselves up for the rest of the half. Of the team's 13 points, only 4 came from field goals. The other nine came from the charity stripe.
"[Free throws] make it tough," Schuylerville coach Matt Sgambati said. "They were calling it tight tonight. Obviously, we would have liked to be on the other end of that."
Hoag scored all four of his points from the line in the first quarter, with four other players also hitting free throws in the quarter.
"We talk about it all the time, with the new emphasis on hand-checking, we talk about taking it to the rim," Lilac said.
In the second, the Panthers were able to pull away by outscoring the Black Horses 18-9.
Mark Hackett (14 points) led the charge in the second, hitting two threes to spark the Panthers' offense. Austin Pitt also posted five of his team-high 16 points in the second quarter.
Dante Langley tried keeping the Black Horses in the game in the first half, scoring 10 points and pulling down eight rebounds, but the overall depth of Hoosick Falls was too much for Langley to match by himself.
"We knew they played as a team, we knew they moved the ball well," Sgambati said. "We were trying to slow them down a bit and force our wills on them on the defensive end. We gave our effort, but played a little too quick, and I think that was a big part of the outcome."
At halftime, Hoosick Falls led 31-24.
In the second half, the Panthers came out and put the game out of Schuylerville's reach by outscoring the Black Horses 20-11.
Hoag was again in the middle of it all, dishing out three assists in the period to help bolster the lead.
Hackett again hit a big three, off a pass from Hoag, to make it 40-26, highlighting a 8-2 run to start the second half.
"It seemed like that quarter [the third] there were several loosely structured, scattered situations. All of our guys can pass the ball and handle well, I thought we just kept attacking the hoop and took advantage o a couple of times we had numbers advantages," Lilac said. Pitt recorded two steals in the third, with both leading to buckets the other way.
In the fourth, Hoosick Falls would push the lead out to 58-39 on a Noah Chani (8 points) layup off of a Hackett pass.
Schuylerville would mount its last stand after the bucket, putting together a 8-0 run to cut the lead to 58-47, but it was too little, too late for the Black Horses.
To compound issue for Schuylerville, two players fouled out during the fourth quarter. On the game, Hoosick Falls attempted 49 free throws, converting on 32 of the freebies.
Hoosick Falls moves to 4-0 on the year, and 3-0 in the Wasaren League, with the win.
"[The win] was big," Lilac said. "If you told me we'd be 4-0 overall, I'd take it. I'm happy with where we are right now."
Schuylerville falls to 2-2, 2-1 in the Wasaren League.