March 2, 2013

AuSable, Ti boys pull out all stops

PLATTSBURGH — AuSable Valley and Ticonderoga played two completely different boys’ basketball games this season — a two-point overtime contest and a 30-point blowout.

What will the third meeting be like?

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“I have no idea,” AuSable Valley coach Jamie Douglass said. “Somewhere in between.

“That last game was not indicative of the type of team Ticonderoga is. Several times they were just two or three shots away from making it a close ball game. They just got cold.”

There will be more on the line when the Patriots and Sentinels match up this time. They play Saturday in the Section VII Class C championship game at the Plattsburgh State Field House.

No. 2 seed Ticonderoga (10-8) reached the final by rallying past Northern Adirondack in the final minute of last week’s semifinal for a heart-stopping 54-53 win.

“I think it instilled some confidence in us knowing a game is never over until it’s over,” Ticonderoga coach Joe Defayette said. “It was a good feeling to win that way, and I think we’ve had some good practices this week. Hopefully we can avoid coming out slow again. We can’t get behind AuSable Valley or it will be even harder to come back.”

The Sentinels have won five of their last six games, with the loss being the 60-30 setback against the Patriots Feb. 13. AuSable Valley also won the much closer Jan. 10 meeting.

Junior guard Mike Graney leads Ticonderoga with 12.2 points per game and has knocked down 39 3-pointers, which is second in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference. Anthony Dushane is scoring 10.6 per contest, and Ty Denno is averaging 9.1.

Defayette wants the Sentinels to equal the Patriots’ tenacity.

“I’ve preached to my guys all year long to attack aggressiveness with aggressiveness,” Defayette said. “That’s one thing we didn’t do last time against them. We were timid and not ready to make the next offensive move when we caught the ball. We definitely have to try to attack their aggressive defense. We can’t just sit back.”

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