Lake George outlasts Hoosick Falls in sectional finals
The Panthers did the same thing Saturday in the Class C Section II championship game, but the result was the same as the first matchup, as Lake George topped Hoosick Falls 61-49 at the Cool Insuring Arena to remain unbeaten and win the sectional title.
Like their first game against each other, Saturday's game was back and forth throughout. Lake George held a lead early, before the Panthers made a run to make it a one-point game by halftime. From there, each team was in striking distance of the other at pretty much every point.
Late in the fourth, Hoosick Falls grabbed a lead, but the Warriors quickly went on a 7-0 run in what would be the last momentum shift of the game.
In the waning moments of the game, Lake George had to take back the momentum quickly, knowing how gritty the Panthers team is.
"We're just a composed team," said Warriors senior Caleb Scrime. "We had a tough game with them in our holiday tournament. They're a really good team. We stay composed, coach drew up the game plan and we executed it."
Panthers coach Mike Lilac recognized that importance of that run on the final result.
"They picked a good time to get some good possessions," Lilac said. "It's unfortunate because I thought we were right there where we wanted to be. They went out in the last four minutes and they just won it."
Coming out slow in the first quarter is something Hoosick Falls had rarely done throughout the season, so having to fight back early on was a bit of an adjustment for the Panthers.
"We've been playing well early in games for most of the year," Lilac said. "That was a little uncharted territory for us. The kids kind of regrouped and got back in the game."
The three-point shot was a major emphasis on both sides.
There were many points in the game where Hoosick Falls would knock down a 3 and the Warriors would come back and respond with a 3 of their own on the ensuing possession.
The two teams combined to make a total of 14 three-point shots.
One of the guys who was hot from behind the arc throughout the game was Scrime. The 6-foot-4 senior had a game-high 24 points and four made three-pointers.
Center Chris Becker did some nice work in the post for the Warriors. The 6-foot-7 Becker put Panthers center Evan McCart to work in the first half, scoring eight in the first sixteen minutes. McCart adjusted pretty nicely in the second half by trying to keep the ball out of Becker's hands, holding him to just five second-half points to finish the day with 13 points.
Lake George guard Alex Jones notched 14 points, with 11 of his points coming from the foul line.
Hoosick Falls did a very nice job containing Mason Flatley, holding the star senior to just five points. Lilac put his best defensive stopper, Guy Milliman, on Flatley and kept him in check throughout the game.
On the Panthers side, Jon Kempf had a big game with 19 points.
With the season-ending loss, Hoosick Falls prepares to lose six seniors from this year's squad to graduation. That group includes three starters, McCart, Milliman and CJ Baker.
Lilac is so proud of what that group accomplished in their time suiting up for the Panthers.
"It happens every year. Kids move on and you can't coach them forever," Lilac said. "Guys that played two years of varsity are leaving here with never losing a league game. They're handing off a 40-game league win streak to the underclassman. They all left their jerseys in a better place then when they got here."
Adam Aucoin can be reached at email@example.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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