Panthers set record with stingy D



Sports Editor

HOOSICK, N.Y. -- Throughout his illustrious two-decade-plus career coaching the boys basketball teams at Hoosick Falls, coach Mike Lilac has always prided the fact that his team plays tight, tough defense.

So what happened against Tamarac on Friday night was definitely a source of pride for the Panthers' leader.

Hoosick Falls held Tamarac scoreless for the first 12 minutes en route to a 64-16 blowout.

The 16 points tied a school record for lowest points allowed in a game. The previous record had been set in December 2009, a 64-16 win over Berlin.

"That was something. We had a shutout quarter [in the first]," Lilac said. "We were not great on offense, but when our defense can carry us through a bad offensive spell, that is the difference. Then we loosened up in the second and starting scoring."

Will Bradley started the game with a triple as Hoosick tried to shoot from the outside with little success. Then Austin Pitt came alive with three baskets as the Panthers ended the quarter ahead 12-0.

"When we played the first time it was closer, so we wanted to come out strong against them and prove we were tough in the league," said Pitt, who led all scorers with 16 points. "We'll win if we play good defense, we have to shut people down because we play a lot of great scorers."

As the second quarter progressed, the Panthers started to find their shots, while Tamarac (0-11) was stuck in neutral. Mark Hackett scored nine of his 10 points in the second, including a basket off a steal to make it 22-0.

Finally with 4:36 left in the half, Zak Lewis got Tamarac on the scoreboard on a three-point play.

"There's definitely some competition to keep that zero, you don't be the guy that gives up the first bucket," Lilac said.

Hoosick kept up the strong defensive front, allowing only one more basket in the first half to lead 34-5 at halftime.

"Our defense created our offense with fast breaks and the defense picked up and got us going," Pitt said.

In the second half, Lilac subbed liberally as all nine players who played got on the scoresheet.

"All got in, it was nice to not have to play the starters a full game," Lilac said.

Tamarac coach Ron Beaudoin said he was encouraged by some of the play of his younger players.

"We're struggling right now, trying to change the program," Beaudoin said. "Hoosick is a good team."

The Panthers turn around and face Lake George on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Warriors are ranked No. 1 in Class C -- a wholly different opponent than the Bengals.

"You need to be mentally tough, you can't think about [Friday's] game," Pitt said. "You need to be tough to play the No. 1 [team] in the state."


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