In a Class B sectional match up between Wasaren champions, that came two rounds too soon, Hoosick Falls shot it a bit better, and turned it over a bit less providing the Panthers with just enough to post a 56-48 victory over the Red Raiders of Mechanicville.
With a nice crowd on hand in Mechanicville Tuesday night, the Raiders got on the board first with an inside bucket from C.J. Tironi.
The Falls responded with back to back threes from Remington Hickey and Alex Mendez, only to be answered by a pair of triples from Mechanicville’s Evan Dunn, the second at the 3:30 mark giving the Raiders the early 8-6 lead.
With just under a minute left in the quarter after a Dunn jumper had pushed the Raiders in front at 12-10, Mendez buried a corner three with :55 remaining giving the lead back to the Panthers, but a twisting drive to the rim for two by Raider Giovanni D’Ambro ended the frame with Mechanicville holding a 14-13 lead.
The Falls opened the second period with a 7-0 run with Connor McCart scoring on an elbow jumper, and an inside deuce, followed by a wing three from Hickey at the 6:03 mark prompting a Mechanicville timeout.
Points were hard to come by over the final six minutes of the second as both squads defensively imposed their will, and the Panthers went to halftime holding a 24-19 advantage.
For much of the third, the two squads again had trouble scoring the basketball. A McCart lay-in off a Raider turnover gave the Falls a 33-28 cushion with 1:39 left in the frame.
After a Mechanicville timeout, the Raiders closed the quarter with a Jacob Henes wing triple, and a Dunn jumper in transition knotting things at 33 heading to the final eight minutes.
In the fourth with the Panthers leading by three, Henes bottomed a wing jumper from distance tying things at 36 with 6:10 remaining.
At the 3:35 mark a Hickey triple from the top extended the Panther lead to 45-39, but on the ensuing possession Dunn drained a 3-ball trimming the lead to 45-42.
With 1:02 left a pair of Mendez free throws gave the Falls a 52-46 cushion, but a nice baseline drive by the Raiders Keegan McHale at the :51 mark kept Mechanicville alive down four at 52-48.
Those however would be the final Raider points of the evening, and the Panthers converted on 3 of 6 from the line down the stretch to secure the”W’, and advance to round two in the Section II tournament.
On the night for Hoosick Falls Mendez scored a game high 20 points while teammates McCart and Hickey added 19 and 13 points respectively.
Mechanicville, who finishes a fine season at 16-5, was led by Dunn’s 19 with Tironi and Henes adding nine points each.