March 3, 2013

Vikings' defense does in Schroon

PLATTSBURGH — Moriah’s suffocating defense limited previously unbeaten Schroon Lake to a season-low in scoring Saturday afternoon, enabling the Vikings to claim the Section VII boys’ Class D basketball championship with a 49-44 triumph at the Plattsburgh State Field House.

“They played really good defense,” Schroon Lake coach Lee Silvernail said. “Their interior defense was very strong; they did a good job not giving our shooters good looks.”

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Moriah coach Brian Cross started his team in a man-to-man defense, but had to make the switch to zone due to early foul trouble. Cross added his team was “getting killed” in the first half on the boards, so he tried to “make adjustments” to start off the second half.

Moriah took an 8-7 lead after one quarter and then stretched its lead to 23-16 by the break with the tempo picking up in the second. The Vikings broke through Schroon Lake’s defense as they found ways to get into the paint. Junior Tyler Pratt did an excellent job for Moriah, as he constantly slashed through the Wildcat defense to either lay the ball off to one of his teammates or go in for the basket.

“Coming out we were looking at setting up plays,” Pratt said. “But we analyzed what the defense gave us and realized we were able to penetrate through their defense.”

Pratt had an overall stellar game, finishing with a team-high 10 points and he led the Vikings aggressive defense with five steals.

Schroon Lake (20-1) trailed nearly the entire game, and saw its deficit balloon to 10 at the end of the third quarter. Heading into the fourth, the Wildcats went into their full court press , which allowed Schroon Lake to chip away at the lead.

“We were forcing turnovers, getting good looks and hitting open shots,” Silvernail said.

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