CLINTONVILLE — John Doyle and Sam Napper stepped up for Westport, while Moriah’s Ryan Jaquish was his usual self underneath Wednesday night as the two top seeds in the Section VII Class D boys’ basketball playoffs recorded semifinal victories at AuSable Valley Central School.
The second-seeded Eagles pulled away in the later going for a 48-41 win over third-seeded Schroon Lake and the top-seeded and defending sectional champion Vikings were a 60-39 winner over fourth-seeded Keene.
Moriah and Westport will play for the D crown at noon on Saturday at the Plattsburgh State Field House.
WESTPORT 48,SCHROON LAKE 41
Doyle and Napper accounted for 40 of Westport’s 48 points. Doyle led the way with a game-high 24 and Napper followed with 16.
“Schroon Lake came into the game trying to shut down Anderson Gay, Ryan Davis and Thomas Mero,” Westport coach Ike Tyler said.
“But we have five kids who can score. Napper also had 11 rebounds and came up big for us, along with Doyle.”
Westport held an 8-5 lead after one quarter and a 19-15 advantage at the half, with Doyle scoring eight of his points to lead the way.
It remained close in the third quarter. The Wildcats, however, tallied the final five points in the stanza to grab a 31-29 lead — their first lead of the game.
But Napper then took charge and scored eight points in the Eagles’ 12-2 run to open the fourth quarter.
A Caleb Maisonville 2-pointer brought Schroon Lake back to within 41-36, but that would be as close as the Wildcats would get the rest of the way. Five of Westport’s final seven points came from the line.
“Our foul shooting was killing us in the first half,” Tyler said. “But we rebounded well and our team defense came up big. We played against a team that scored 76 points in an earlier game and we were able to hold them to 41. We played hard and the kids wanted to get this win.