HOOSICK, N.Y. -- A high seed in any tournament is only good if you use it, and the No. 2 Hoosick Falls Central School Panthers used their seeding advantage to put the 15-seed Coxsackie-Athens Indians to the sword in a 73-28 win in Section II Class B action on Tuesday night.
Behind 14 points each from Mark Hackett and Noah Chani, the Panthers weathered a close first quarter before blowing the game open with a 19-4 fourth quarter to seal the win.
"It looked like their game plan was to come out and eat a lot of shot clock and slow the game down, but once we started hitting some shots in the second quarter we really took off," said Hoosick Falls coach Mike Lilac.
"It's just [about] getting people open, drive and kick a lot, that is what we did tonight," said junior Will Bradley. "I think it took us a while to get going tonight, but once we got going it was pretty nice."
In the first, Andrew Hoag (10 points) would hit a three to start the contest and would bang home another to help Hoosick to the early lead, while Austin Pitt (10 points) hit two buckets and dished out two assists to give Hoosick the early 14-8 lead.
But if there was any hope for the Indians to make a game of it, the Panthers put those dreams to rest early in the second. Levi Brewster (8 points) opened with a bucket, then after a pair of free throws from Matt McDonald (5 points) the Panthers put together a 17-2 run that spanned the rest of the quarter to take a 33-12 lead going into the break.
Hackett hit two threes in the quarter, with Pitt and Bradley assisting on one each, and Brewster found some space in the lane to score six points.
"It's tough," Coxsackie-Athens coach Aaron Boudreau said of Hoosick Falls' shooting in the second quarter, "And then when you add when we started extending out a bit, they dumped it in. They are good passers and threw it right down low for easy baskets."
Hoosick Falls recorded 10 assists in the first half, something Bradley credits to the team's unselfish approach.
"We aren't afraid to make the extra pass because we have confidence in each other that we are going to make the shot," Bradley said.
After half, the Panthers opened the third with a 10-0 run to take a 43-12 edge, with Hackett adding two more triples during the stretch, and Hoosick Falls would take a 51-17 lead into the fourth.
In the final frame, Hoosick turned to its bench for some quality minutes and Justin Lynch responded, scoring all 11 of his points in the final quarter to help Hoosick see out the win.
Hoosick Falls ended the game with 18 assists on 29 made field goals, with Bradley leading the team with six dimes.
"These guys have been one of the better passing teams I've seen. Very unselfish, they have played a lot of basketball together. No one cares who gets the shots, they just want to get the best shot."
Hoag finished with a double-double for Hoosick Falls, adding 14 rebounds to his 10 points. Hoag also had three assists and two steals. Pitt dished out five assists in the contest, and Chani had five rebounds and two assists off the bench.
Coxsackie-Athens was led by Tristan Valencia, who scored 10 points.
Hoosick Falls will face the winner of Schalmont-Taconic Hills on Friday at Shenendehowa at 6:30 p.m. The game was scheduled for Tuesday, but inclement weather pushed the game back to Wednesday.