Panthers lose tight one against Stillwater


HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. >> The Hoosick Falls Central School boys basketball team fell short against undefeated Stillwater on Friday night, losing 61-53 to the Warriors.

Leading by three going into the fourth quarter, the Warriors (7-0) were able to pull away from the Panthers with their outstanding outside shooting from senior Mitchell Wayand and junior Jared D'Aloia.

Wayand led all scorers with 37 points, including nine 3-pointers.

"Their offense shot the ball really well tonight," said Hoosick Falls coach Mike Lilac. "I think we played pretty good defense on them all night, but they kept making shots and you have to tip your cap to them for that."

In the first half, the teams went back and forth, with Hoosick Falls senior Connor McCart hitting his third 3-pointer of the half to make it a tie game going into halftime.

McCart had 15 of his team-high 31 points in the first half.

After Wayand hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game to give Stillwater the lead to start the second half, McCart went on a run of his own for the Panthers, scoring seven unanswered points to give Hoosick Falls a 32-28 lead midway through the third quarter.

"Connor has really evolved in to a great all-around player for us this season," Lilac said. "He has developed a outside jump shot and is now a threat to score from not just the paint but on the perimeter as well. He also has become a better on ball defender, which really makes it easier for our team to play man or zone defense."

The Panthers would make it a six-point lead after Remington Hickey hit a pair of free throws, only to see their lead fall to the wayside, as Stillwater went on a 11-2 run to end the third quarter.

Once the fourth quarter began, both team started the quarter trading baskets, until the Stillwater defense was able to shut down McCart and the Panther offense and allow their offense to take over as D'Aloia scored all nine of his points in the final frame.

McCart tried to get the Panthers back into the game in the final minutes, but it was too little, too late for Hoosick Falls, who fall to 2-2 on the season.

The loss also marked the first missed opportunity for Lilac to pick up his 300th career victory. Lilac is in his 20th season leading the Panthers and is an alumni of Stillwater, where he played for his father Mike Lilac Sr. His father is the all-time winningest coach at Stillwater, with 450 career victories.

"It would have been nice get number 300 tonight against Stillwater, " Lilac said. "Biggest thing though is getting the team's third win of the season, not getting number 300 for myself."

Lilac and the Panthers will try to get the elusive 300th win and the team's third win of the season, when they travel to play Granville on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.


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