Panthers pull away from a game Waterford
HOOSICK, N.Y. — Hoosick Falls boys basketball coach Mike Lilac knows that after 55 Wasaren League victories in a row, every team in the league is going to give the Panthers its best shot and knocking them off the pedestal.
Waterford had its chance on Tuesday night and hung around for three quarters before Hoosick Falls put them away in the fourth to the tune of a 76-57 win — the 56th straight win in league play.
"You have to give them a lot of credit, you knew they would go on a run," Lilac said. "It was a deeper one then I would have liked, but we gathered ourselves and ended up getting some good shots off of their pressure."
Down 16 at half, Waterford had a tremendous third quarter, using a pressure defense and hot shooting from the outside.
A Michael Talavera three-pointer in the final minute of the third quarter cut the Hoosick lead to 49-42, but Jon Kempf hit a pair of shots, a three-pointer from the corner and a floater at the third-quarter horn, to make it 54-42 heading into the fourth.
"We had a bad stretch and kept turning it over on the full court press," said Dmitri Rose, who finished the game with nine points. "We said we need to sharpen up our passes, make them quick and you see the results."
Hoosick continued the run into the fourth quarter, buoyed by good free throw shooting from the Panthers and eventually upped the lead back to 18 at 60-42 before Waterford coach Brian Eastman called a timeout.
As a team, Hoosick was 22-of-27 from the charity stripe.
"We take the ball to the hoop and get to the line," Lilac said. "We get it to the 1-and-1 and we made enough foul shots."
Kempf and Tristan Williams each had 22 to tie for the team scoring lead on the night. Williams scored 18 of his 22 in the first half as Waterford kept Kempf, the leading scorer in boys basketball history at Hoosick Falls, corralled with only two points.
The second half was almost the reverse, with Kempf scoring 20 of his points in the final 16 minutes.
Talavera was the high-scorer overall with 29 points, including three 3-pointers. He scored 15 of his 29 in the third quarter as the Fordians tried to keep up with the fast-paced Panthers.
Hoosick Falls improves to 10-1 on the year and 2-0 in the Wasaren League. They'll play Mechanicville on Friday.
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