Rick Lyons Staff Writer: I took a ride to Stillwater Wednesday night to see two Wasaren squads for the first time this season. The Red Raiders of Mechanicville off to a 7-1 start tipped with Lake George at 5:30 , and the Warriors of Stillwater perfect at 9-0 faced off with Schuylerville in the nightcap.
It was an enjoyable night of basketball at the Mike Lilac Gymnasium, and at night’s end the Raiders extended their winning streak to eight besting a pesky Lake Gorge squad, while Schuylerville handed Stillwater their first defeat of the year.
Mechanicville 75 Lake George 60: The Red Raiders never trailed in this one but were tested by a game, three point shooting Warrior team who hit just enough triples to hang around.
The Raiders jumped out to a 6-1 lead on an Evan Dunn drive, a nice high low find from C.J.Tironi to Jonathon Pickett, and a Tironi putback.
Lake George responded with a pair of scores the second a nice coast to coast deuce by Caleb Scrime.
A pretty drop step and score by Tironi gave the Raiders an 8-5 edge, but a Dylan Hubbard three at the 3:59 mark tied things at 8.
Giovanni D’Ambro quickly answered for Mechanicville with a triple of his own, and on the next possession Tironi hit a trail jumper for the 13-8 Raider lead.
Lake George closed the quarter on a 5-1 run the, final points coming on a Scott McLaughlin long ball and Mechanicville held a 14-13 advantage after one.
The Raiders started the second with a 10-2 and seemed poised to take control. D’Ambro got things started scoring on a run out and following with his second triple of the night. Three inside buckets from Dunn, Tironi, and Reggie McCann pushed the lead to 11 at 26-15.
But as they did much of the night the Warriors answered, putting together an 8-2 run highlighted by a pair of long three’s from Kaleb Helms and Lake George went to the locker room trailing by four, 30-26.
In the third Mechanicville gained some breathing room out scoring the Warriors 20-11 in the quarter. They started with a Dunn three, and finished with back to back triples from D’Ambro and Jacob Henes. D’ambro tallied 8 points in the period, while Dunn and Henes added 5 each.
Mechanicville hit a pair of free throws to start the fourth, extending their lead to 52-37. Lake George answered one more time scoring eight straight on a pair of triples from Dylan Hubbard and a bucket inside from Mason Flatley trimming the lead to 52-45 at the 6:40 mark.
Over the next two minutes, the Raiders Dunn, and the Warriors Hubbard had their own private shootout from downtown.
Dunn buried a wing three at the 6:26 mark, Hubbard responded on the next possession with one of his own. Dunn bottomed another wing triple with 6:04 left, a minute later Hubbard had the answer from the right wing, before Dunn ended the three ball show hitting at the 4:07 mark giving the Raiders a 62-51 cushion and ultimately the well-earned “W”.
Dunn paced the Red Raider attack with 24 points while D’ambro and Tironi added 16 and15 respectively.
Lake George was led by Hubbard’s 20 point night which included six makes from behind the arc.
Schuylerville 72 Stillwater 64: In a game where Stillwater played from behind most of the evening, the difference might have been the Black Horses ability to offensive rebound in the first half, and win the fifty fifty balls throughout.
Schuylerville broke on top 4-0 before Stillwater put together a 7-0 run. A Mitchell Wayand jump hook, a run out bucket and one by Nate Thrane, and a Wayand jumper gave the Warriors the 7-4 lead as the Black Horses took a timeout.
Schuylerville finished the quarter on a 14-3 spurt, Joshua Signor leading the charge with five of his seven first period points and Schuylerville led 18-10 at the quarter.
In a high scoring second stanza where both squads hung 22 on the board, Wayand showed why he’s one of the premier scorers in Section II.
After a Tanner Dunkel steal and score gave the Black Horses a 28-13 advantage with 5:10 left in the half Wayand went to work. The senior guard hit a three from the top, scored a transition lay-up off a sweet hesitation dribble, ripped another trey from the top, added a step back three, and finished the period with a slashing drive going glass. Teammate Zach Travis added eight points in the quarter for the Warriors and the teams went to intermission with Schuylerville holding a 40-32 lead.
Wayand scored nine of Stillwater’s 16 third period points, but the Warriors trimmed just a single point off the Schuylerville lead and trailed 55-48 with eight minutes left.
The Black Horse extended that lead to 61-50 on a sweet wrap around find from Zach Pierce to Stratton Sherman and Stillwater took a timeout to talk things over with 6:04 remaining.
Coming out of the timeout Wayand led a 11-3 Stillwater run bottoming three from deep, the last from the top with 2:50 left, pulling the Warriors to within three at 64-61.
That was as close as the home squad would get. A Clayton Patrick inside deuce on a nice find from Pierce, and a perfect six of six from the foul line down the stretch sealed the win for the visitors from Schuylerville.
The Black Horses placed an impressive five players in doubles with Dunkel scoring 17, Pierce 16, Sherman 14, Patrick 12, and Signor 11 for the 3-6 Schuylerville squad.
Stillwater, who suffered their first defeat in ten outings, was led by Wayand’s 38 points including seven 3’s with Travis adding 14 on the night.