March 7, 2013

Watervliet pulls past Eagles in fourth

PLATTSBURGH — Watervliet would go on a little run Wednesday, and Beekmantown would come up with a run of its own to stay close.

Until the fourth quarter.

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Then the Cannoneers outgunned the Eagles 16-4 and pulled away for a 53-37 win in the NYSPHSAA Class B boys’ basketball regional semifinals at the Plattsburgh State Field House.

“Our focus tonight was to try to slow them down, and I felt like we did that for three quarters,” Beekmantown coach Ryan Converse said. “We didn’t want to get into a running game with them. That was not our plan.

“And I think that was the difference in the game in the fourth quarter — they were able to get out and run a little bit. And that’s their style; that’s what they like to do.”

Jordan Gleason scored 19 to lead Watervliet (15-8), which advanced to play Ogdensburg Free Academy in Saturday’s regional finals. Keegan Ryan had 19 points for Beekmantown (13-8).

The Cannoneers led by three at halftime, and they started to distance themselves in the third, taking their biggest lead of the game, 35-26, in the middle of the quarter. Beekmantown’s Greg Manney hit a pull-up jumper at the top of the paint to stop the Watervliet spurt, and that sparked the Eagles to a 7-0 run. Ryan scored from right underneath the basket and then converted an and-1 on the next trip to make it 35-33, the closest Beekmantown had been since the opening minutes of the game.

“I was proud of our kids for the way they fought. They never gave up,” Converse said. “I don’t think that team was expecting a dog fight when they came in here. I don’t think the crowd was expecting a dog fight.

“And I was proud of our kids for the way that they came out and pushed them and made a game of it.”

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