TROY — Home or away, the North Country Community College men’s basketball team is putting close games in the win column.
The Saints improved their conference record to 3-0 Thursday night by holding on for a 68-66 victory at Hudson Valley Community College.
“We’re sharing the basketball extremely well, and we’re getting great leadership,” North Country coach Chad LaDue said. “We’re playing for one another, and it has shown in our first three games.”
The Saints erased a 28-22 halftime deficit before it got interesting in the final seconds.
“We had a 68-63 lead, and we missed the front end of a one-and-one,” said LaDue. “They came down and got a 3-point play to make it 68-66.
“They then forced us into a turnover. But we were able to get a defensive stop right at the buzzer.”
Steven Poulter led North Country with 20 points, while Jared Heden added 17 points and Steven Carder had 14 points and 16 rebounds. Brody Douglass added 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
“Poulter hit six 3-pointers for us in the second half,” LaDue said. “And Carder and Douglass made some big plays for us. And don’t forget Heden, who hit some big shots.”
Brandon Dean paced the Vikings with 19 points and was followed by Jose Reyes with 15 and Giacomo Giglio with 14.
“The six points we were behind at the half were the most we trailed in the game,” LaDue said. “We were able to come back and take the lead in the first two minutes of the second half.
“After that, it was a back-and-forth game the rest of the way.”
The Saints are back on the court on Saturday when they host Word of Life in a 5 p.m. contest.
North Country 68, Hudson Valley 66
North Country (68)
Douglass, 5-1-12, Heden 7-1-17, Poulter 7-0-20, Boyea 2-0-5, Henderson 1-0-3, Mills 0-0-0, Carder 6-2-14. Totals: 28-4-68.