POTSDAM — Saranac boys’ basketball coach Brent Denis challenged his team to step up its defensive intensity.
He got what he was looking for at the Section VII/X Challenge Monday.
The Chiefs, up three points with 15 seconds remaining, disallowed Tupper Lake from attempting a final shot in their 52-49 win.
By virtue of Seton Catholic’s win over St. Lawrence, Section VII claimed the Section VII/X Challenge, going 6-4.
“(Monday), we came ready to play,” Denis said. “Caleb Keysor matched up on Mitch Kennison, the returning Section X Player of the Year, and did a fantastic job on him. We made some defensive stands down the stretch.”
Dylan Christopherson paced Saranac with 14 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field. John Maye added 12 points and 12 rebounds, good for a double-double.
Mitch Pellerin accumulated 11 points, including three 3-pointers in the second half. Tanner Rascoe dished out eight assists.
“We’re lucky because Tupper Lake has a very good basketball team,” Denis said. “My hat is off to them. It was a great game to watch.”
Saranac 52, Tupper Lake 49
Pellerin 4-0-11, Earp 0-0-0, Rascoe 1-2-5, Cross 0-0-0, Cutaiar 3-0-8, Maye 5-2-12, Keysor 1-0-2, Stanton 0-0-0, Christopherson 7-0-14. Totals: 21-4-52.
Tupper Lake (49)
Gagnier 6-1-17, Lamere 3-0-6, Stevens 3-0-6, Duquette 2-0-4, Wesley 1-0-3, LaPierre 0-0-0, Delair 0-0-0, Kennison 5-3-13, Larson 0-0-0. Totals: 20-4-49.
Saranac 26 26 — 52
Tupper Lake 21 28 — 49
3-point goals: Saranac (6) Pellerin 3, Rascoe, Cutaiar 2. Tupper Lake (5) Gagnier 4, Wesley.
Potsdam 44, Beekmantown 38
POTSDAM — The Sandstoners’ pressure defense made it tough for the Eagles to run their offense with any kind of efficiency.
“The game was more physical than what we’re used to in Section VII,” Beekmantown coach Ryan Converse said. “They let both teams mix it up more than what we’re used to back home.”
The Eagles didn’t have one player reach double figures, but did have five players contribute five or more points.
“I was pleased that we had a lot of different guys contribute,” Converse said. “We struggled offensively, though. I felt like we did a good job defensively, but we just had a hard time putting the ball in the net.”