March 6, 2013

Yellowjackets turn up defense, knock off Vikings

POTSDAM — Madrid-Waddington made the plays down the stretch Tuesday night — and Moriah, as hard as it tried, wasn’t able to.

The Vikings dropped a heartbreaking 49-46 decision to the Yellowjackets in the NYSPHSAA Class D boys’ basketball regional semifinals at Potsdam State’s Maxcy Hall.

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“For a half and half of the third quarter, we played very well,” Moriah coach Brian Cross said. “But then turnovers off their press killed us in the third quarter, and we missed some foul shots down the stretch that you have to make. Then we turned the ball over twice in a row in the final minute.

“The kids played hard all game, and I’m proud of them for the season they had and the nice run they made at the end to win the sectionals. But the little things came back to haunt us tonight.”

The Section VII champions (10-12) held a 22-16 lead at the half.

“We fouled them at the end of the half, and they hit two free throws to make it a six-point game,” Cross said.

Derek Brassard then nailed a 3-pointer and Adam Jaquish scored on a rebound to give the Vikings a 27-16 advantage early in the third.

But then the Section X champions’ press started to rattle the Vikings, forcing them into a number of turnovers. Madrid-Waddington was able to cut its deficit to 33-30 after three.

Jacob Barney’s 3-pointer pulled the Yellowjackets into a 33-all tie early in the fourth, and the game then went back and forth.

A clutch Tyler Pratt 3-pointer put the Vikings into a 43-all tie in the late going before Colin O’Bryan answered with a 2-pointer for the Yellowjackets.

Brassard then connected on an equally-clutch 3-pointer to put Moriah back on top, 46-45. But those would be the final points for the Vikings.

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