GLENS FALLS — If there was any doubt that the New York Mills Marauders were in control Friday, they erased it in the first minute of the second half.
Nick Comenale made an inside basket, grabbed a steal and went the length of the floor for a two-handed dunk. When Andrew Surprenant added a layup after another Moriah turnover, Vikings coach Brian Cross had to call a timeout. He would later say: “I knew we were in trouble then.”
Comenale scored 22 in the second half for a game-high 28 and the New York Mills’ defense smothered Moriah in a 57-24 decision in the NYSPHSAA Class D boys’ basketball semifinals at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
“They’re all around a good team,” Moriah senior Tyler Pratt said. “They’ve got overall size. We matched up pretty well with them, but I mean, their guards, they had a good (day) and unfortunately for us, we couldn’t put the ball in the basket very well (Friday).”
The Vikings (21-3) have been led by 6-foot-6-inch Adam Jaquish and 6-foot-4-inch Taylor Slattery all season, and New York Mills (22-1) was the first opponent that matched their height. The Marauders’ 6-foot-5-inch forward, Zach Vennaro, didn’t dominate the offensive paint — he scored eight points — but he and his teammates severely disrupted Moriah’s offense.
Top-ranked New York Mills swarmed Jaquish every time he touched the ball, making him work hard for every shot and even his kick-outs.
“We knew he wasn’t used to playing quite our size, so we tried to bother him with that … and he got in foul trouble early, which really hurt him and the team, I think,” said Comenale, a 6-foot-3-inch guard. New York Mills, from Section III, will meet Section IX’s Coleman Catholic in today’s state title game.