Panthers bounced by Patriots
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. -- The Hoosick Falls boys basketball team delivered a tenacious performance in Tuesday night's Section II Class B semifinal vs. Broadalbin-Perth, but in the end the Panthers just couldn't make enough shots -- both from the field and the line -- to move on to the championship.
Hoosick Falls shot a dreadful 34.2 percent from the floor and 45.7 percent at the charity stripe and a last-second, desperation 3-pointer bounced off the backboard and then the front rim to cap a frustrating 44-42 loss to the Patriots at Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Panthers (19-2), seeded No. 2 in the tournament and ranked No. 13 in the state, fought their way back from 11 down in the fourth quarter to briefly take the lead at 42-41 on a basket by Andrew Hoag with 51.4 seconds remaining. Broadalbin, however, took the lead back for good on a layup by Chris Natoli with 21.3 seconds to play following a scramble for a loose ball. Jake Conveney then went 1-for-2 from the line for the Patriots before Hoag's 30-footer missed at the buzzer.
It was an excruciating loss for Hoosick Falls, which missed 19 of its 35 attempts from the line and managed only one field goal in the second and third quarters combined.
"This is a tough one to take. We're not a great team from the line, but we're better than that," Panthers head coach Mike Lilac said. "You work hard, make strong moves to the basket and you want to reward yourself at the line. We couldn't do that. It's so simple."
Broadalbin (16-5), the No. 6 seed, overcame plenty of foul trouble, including having top scorer Andre Taylor on the bench for the majority of the second quarter with two fouls. Taylor, who entered the game averaging 18.6 points and had 30 or more in both of his team's sectional games, was held to only four points.
"We weathered a big storm having our top scorer on the bench for the second quarter and other guys also in foul trouble," Patriots head coach Tucker Griffin said. "We had to shift things around all night and we were scrambling. We went from Plan A to Plan B to Plan C I was just really pleased we found a way and guys stepped up."
Junior Ryan Dingman led the Patriots with 11 points and freshman Preston Taylor, Andre's younger brother, matched his season-high with 10.
"Give them credit because when (Andre Taylor) went out they held down the fort really nicely and actually scored a little better with him out," Lilac said. "That was a big key to the game with us not taking advantage with him on the bench."
Lilac said nothing Broadalbin did surprised his team.
"They did what we figured they would. They played a good zone and fought hard," Lilac said. "We just didn't help ourselves at all."
Hoosick Falls trailed only 19-17 at the half, but a rough third quarter and an early burst by the Patriots in the fourth pushed Broadalbin's lead to 34-23 with 6:23 remaining. The Panthers rallied and for a moment looked like they would improbably pull out the victory before falling short.
"Our kids are tough competitors with as good an attitude as you can imagine," Lilac said. "They put a lot into this so it's going to hurt a while. We have a real good core coming back and this will obviously be motivation for them. You want to take advantage of it when you get (to Glens Falls), but we just didn't get it done tonight."
Austin Pitt finished with a game-high 16 points for Hoosick Falls and Hoag added 10.
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