HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. — Close, yet so far, was the story for the Hoosick Falls Central School boys basketball team on Saturday night against Broadalbin-Perth. Down by two going into the fourth quarter, the Panthers were unable to stay with the No. 21 ranked team in Class B for all 32 minutes, and lost 57-52.
With under four minutes to go and the game tied at 48-48 midway through the fourth quarter, Broadalbin's Preston Taylor hit his fourth 3-pointer of the contest to give the Patriots as 51-48.
That would be the only shot that Taylor, who had a team-high 16 points would make in the quarter, but it helped spark the Patriots to go on a 9-4 run to end the game and improve to 9-1 on the season.
"I loved the effort tonight from the team, but unfortunately it wasn't enough," said Hoosick Falls coach Mile Lilac. "We're still a work in progress. Guys on the team are still trying to find their roles and we have to continue to improve as the season goes along."
In the first quarter, it looked like Hoosick Falls had no answer in stopping Taylor and the Patriots offense. That all changed though when Remington Hickey took over the game for the Panthers.
With his team down 10-5 midway through the first quarter, Hickey hit a three ball from downtown to make it a one possession game and convert a three-point play at the end of the quarter to give the Panthers a 15-11 lead.
In a break-out game, the senior had a career-high 17 points.
"I have never had that feeling before," Hickey said. "Everything I was putting up seemed like it was going to go in and it was awesome."
Hickey, combined with the play of fellow senior Connor McCart — who scored 13 in the first half — were able to give the Panthers a 26-18 lead just before the half.
Facing its largest deficit of the night, Broadalbin-Perth went on a 12-2 run to end the second quarter and make it a tie game going into halftime.
After trading layups back and forth to start the third quarter, Hickey again stepped up for Hoosick Falls, knocking down his second three-pointer of the night to give the Panthers a 35-32 lead.
Again, the Patriots would show their toughness and battle back to retake the lead, thanks to the play of their big man Vincenzo DiCaterino.
The senior scored all of his 14 points in the second half and took control of the paint on both ends of the floor.
"It's a tough one to swallow," said McCart, who had a game-high 23 points. "We couldn't capitalize on the momentum we had going into the second half and credit them, they made some tough shots and we're able to keep us from getting back in it at the end there."
His 23- point effort, marks the fourth game this season that McCart has scored 20 or more points.
Senior Alex Mendez had eight points and three steals in the loss for the Panthers as well.
Now at 3-4 on the season, Hoosick Falls will need to find away to get back on the winning track in this tough stretch they having coming up to start 2016. The Panthers play five games in eight days, with their first two games being back-to-back against tough opponents in Greenwich and Mount Anthony.
"We have a tough task in front of us this upcoming week," Lilac said. "I told the guys before the season started that nobody is going to feel sorry for us that we have a lot of tough games this year, so were just going start preparing for week with practice on Monday and take each contest game by game starting with Greenwich."