Strong first quarter propels Panthers to win

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HOOSICK, N.Y. — The Hoosick Falls boys basketball team took control early in its matchup with Stillwater Friday night at home and they would ride that momentum to victory.

The Panthers topped the Warriors 69-48 to sweep the season series between the two Wasaren League squads.

Hoosick Falls jumped out to a 20-8 lead after the first quarter. That early game run was propelled by guards Jon Kempf and CJ Baker. Kempf had four made field goals in the opening quarter for eight points, while Baker knocked down a pair of 3's en route to an eight-point quarter as well.

Hoosick Falls coach Mike Lilac knew it was important to come out strong because he knew Stillwater would be coming out with a lot of energy.

"We talked about the fact that they were going to be coming out with a lot of energy, so we wanted to to try and come out with more energy," Lilac said. "We wanted to go right at them. We did a good job of grabbing the early lead."

From there, the Panthers would outscore Stillwater in the second and third frames to put the Warriors in a hole they could not get out of.

Kempf led the way for Hoosick Falls with 18 points on the night. Usually known for his three-point prowess, the sophomore only knocked down one in the game, opting to drive to the basket to get most of his points.

Guy Milliman had a strong game as well with 17 points. He had a strong third quarter, knocking down a trio of three-pointers in the frame.

Starters Baker and Max Kipp were hot shooting the ball in the contest. Kipp scored 11 points, including a trio of 3's, while Baker scored eight with two made 3's.

"They put their big guy on Max Kipp and had him sagging off," said Lilac of Kipp. "I don't think they realized how good of a shooter Max can be. Him hitting those 3's was big for us tonight."

Evan McCart added eight for Hoosick Falls.

The three-point shot was a major asset for the Panthers Friday night. As a team, they knocked down 10 three-point shots.

Brian McNeil and Cooper Monast both scored 11 each to lead the Warriors.

Stillwater showed fight in the final quarter, outscoring Hoosick Falls 13-12 in the final eight minutes.

The Panthers continue dominance in the Wasaren League as they remain undefeated in Wasaren League play this season. They've won their last 34 Wasaren League contests and 64 of their last 66 in conference.

Hoosick Falls is back in action Tuesday at home against Mechanicville.

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


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