Panthers win defensive battle vs. Red Raiders

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HOOSICK, N.Y. — If you are a fan of defense, Tuesday night's game between the Hoosick Falls boys basketball team and Mechanicville was your type of game.

The Panthers grinded out a tough, gritty defensive game to top the Red Raiders 50-33 at home.

The win is Hoosick Falls' 33rd consecutive Wasaren League home win and 35th consecutive league win as a whole.

Panthers coach Mike Lilac was happy his team was able to grind out a win in a game where both sides were locked in defensively.

"It was a great defensive effort for us and we needed it because they played pretty good defense too," Lilac said. "They played a good zone. They always have. We were a little stagnant out there offensively, but we kind of just grinded it out. We they had a couple starters out so we had to fight the natural tendency to let your guard down."

Hoosick Falls controlled the game early, holding a 10-point advantage by halftime. Sophomore Jon Kempf was the catalyst in the first half for the Panthers, notching nine points through the first two frames. He ended the day with 13 points.

Though the third quarter was competitive on both sides, it was Hoosick Falls seniors Evan McCart and Guy Milliman, who shined brightest in that quarter. The pair combined to score all of the Panthers 14 points in that quarter.

Milliman scored a game-high 15 points Tuesday, with 10 of those coming in the second half. McCart scored 13 for the contest. Other starters Max Kipp (4 points) and CJ Baker (2) got in on the scoring as well.

The only bench points that Hoosick Falls racked up in the contest was a three-pointer by senior Andrew Stevens in the fourth quarter.

Freshman Luciano D'Ambro was the only Mechanicville player to reach double-digit points, as he tallied 10 Tuesday night.

The Panther ran into a little trouble at the foul line throughout Tuesday's contest. Hoosick Falls shot just 9-for-18 from the free throw line.

Lilac wasn't too worried about those struggles following the game.

"I thought we were a little tired," Lilac said. "Especially Evan, he plays really hard. He's always playing so hard that he might have lost his legs there at the end. He'll make it next time. He's been shooting great from the line all year.

Hoosick Falls is back in action Friday against Tamarac on the road.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.


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