The Wildcats seemed to find their range late in the fourth after shooting poorly the majority of the game. They hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to 39-31 with a little over five minutes left.
Jesse Shaughnessy dominated the last three minutes on the boards, as he was able to grab rebounds on both ends of the floor and set up his teammates. He finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and three assists.
“Jesse played extremely hard the entire 32 minutes he was out there and made some key stops,” Silvernail said.
With 38.4 seconds left in the fourth, Shaughnessy was able to pull in a huge offensive rebound and kick it out to teammate Jeff Armstrong who, in turn, hit a three as he was getting fouled. Armstrong was able to make his free throw to complete the four-point play.
The Wildcats, forced to foul, sent the Vikings to the line on their next two possessions but Moriah made only 1-of-4 attempts, leaving Schroon Lake a sliver of hope.
Shaughnessy then came back at the other end and made another huge bucket to cut the lead 47-44 — the smallest margin since the opening minutes.
Shaughnessey continued his relentless play and stole the ball off the Wildcats’ full-court press. He then was fouled. But Schroon Lake’s free-throw woes continued as Shaughnessey could not connect on either from the line.
“You got to give them credit; they played their heart out the last three minutes,” Silvernail said. “But it’s usually the team that hits the free throws who will win the close games at the end.”
Derek Brassard ironically iced the game for Moriah with two free throws.
“I’m proud of my kids. They knew they had to play their best game to beat Schroon Lake, and I think we did it for the first 30 minutes,” Brian Cross said. “It got a little shaky at the end, but we stuck together and got through it.”