PLATTSBURGH — Despite trailing throughout most of the first three quarters, Ticonderoga dropped 26 points in the final frame to defeat Northern Adirondack 67-54 in the Section VII Class C semifinal match at Seton Catholic Saturday night.
After briefly taking a 4-2 lead to open the game, the Sentinels struggled on defense as the Bobcats went on a 14-3 run as part of an 18-point first quarter for Northern Adirondack.
“That’s really too much to give up for us against any team,” Ticonderoga coach Joe Defayette said. “Our focus was coming up with one stop at a time and being more confident on the offensive side.”
Defayette’s squad found itself in the second quarter, using an 8-2 run to knot things up at 20. The relentless Bobcats regained the lead 27-22 with just over 30 seconds to go in the second quarter, but the Sentinels yet again brought it back with a basket from senior Ty Denno before senior Michael Graney hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie things up at the half.
“I think that shot was a huge relief,” Defayette said. “We’re in a mindset of where its 0-0, kind of starting from scratch, so that was big for us.”
A back-and-forth third quarter ended with the Bobcats once again in front with a 44-41 advantage heading into the final quarter of regulation.
That’s when the Sentinels found their groove.
After averaging just more than 13 points through the first three quarters of the game, the team doubled that offensive output in the final quarter with 26 points.
Denno opened the scoring for the Sentinels with three points before junior Garrison Hughes hit a basket to give Ticonderoga its first lead since early in the first quarter.
In addition to improved defensive play, the Sentinels benefitted from a turnaround at the free-throw line. After hitting just nine of their first 20 free-throw chances, the Sentinels hit 12-of-14 from the line in the final quarter, including six straight baskets from Graney to close it out.