PLATTSBURGH — The Clinton Community College men’s basketball team is having one of its best seasons in program history.
But SUNY Delhi continues to be a thorn in the Cougars’ side.
The eighth-ranked Broncos, who recorded a 98-76 home win over Clinton earlier in the season, posted a 74-66 victory over the Cougars Saturday.
“They have great athletes, and they’re the quickest team we will play all year,” Clinton coach Kevin Daugherty said. “They play with a lot of intensity, and they use their depth to play great defense.
“They took us out of our game today.”
Matthew Banton and Arif Mehmetaj led the Broncos with 16 points each, while Sean Scott added 15 and Joe Banton, 10.
Bayron Carter paced the Cougars (16-4, 13-4) with 20 points, followed by Kyree Hull with 18. Mykelle Krecko finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and nine blocked shots, and Jamie Davison chipped in with 10 points.
Krecko, however, only managed six shots from the field, connecting on four of those. The Cougars need to get more offensively out of their big man.
Davison, Clinton’s floor general, picked up three fouls in the first 10 minutes of the contest and eventually fouled out with 1:42 remaining. After picking up his fourth foul in the second half, he was limited in what he could do defensively.
And Carter, who gave Clinton a lift offensively with a trio of 3-pointers, left the game in the second half because of an injury.
“When we lost to them down there, Davison had a great game with 26 points,” Daugherty said. “They paid a lot of attention to him today. And it hurt us when Carter had to leave the game.”
The Cougars held an early 3-point lead at 11-8. The Broncos eventually went up by seven points, 29-22, before settling for a 33-30 halftime advantage.
Clinton scored the first six points of the second half to grab a 36-33 lead and held a 48-44 edge before a major momentum shift.
Scott tallied seven points in a 13-0 Delhi run that gave the Broncos a 57-48 lead. Clinton cut its deficit down to three points on two occasions, but could get no closer than that the rest of the way.
“We weren’t on top of our game today,” Daugherty said. “But despite everything that happened during the game, we were able to weather the storm. We scrapped.
“Today, our lack of depth came into play for a rare time this year against a team that was both extremely quick and deep. But we were still in the game.”
The Cougars have another tough opponent on the schedule today at noon when they host Mohawk Valley Community College.
“The one thing about the weekend is that it’s like a regional playoff weekend against the quality of teams we’re playing,” Daugherty said.
SUNY Delhi 74, Clinton 66
SUNY Delhi (74)
Moore 1-0-2, Carter 0-0-0, Infante 1-2-4, Nickelson 0-5-5, M. Banton 6-1-16, Mehmetaj 8-0-16, Zarba 2-0-4, J. Banton 3-2-10, Scott 6-3-15, Toure 1-0-2. Totals: 28-13-74.
Davison 3-4-10, Carter 7-3-20, Hull 5-8-18, Valladares 0-0-0, Lamboy 0-0-0, Grant 1-2-4, Krecko 4-3-11, Ryan 1-1-3. Totals: 21-21-66.
3-point goals: SUNY Delhi (5) M. Banton 3; J. Banton 2. Clinton (3) Carter 3.
Halftime: SUNY Delhi 33-30.