BY KEITH KANE
---- — PLATTSBURGH — There is still plenty to work on, but Coach Tom Curle will definitely take the way his Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team has started the season.
The hosts captured the Cardinal Classic with a 77-70 victory over York in the championship game at Memorial Hall Saturday afternoon.
“We’re not close to where we want to be,” Curle said. “We have lots of work to do yet, but being able to work on that after a win is a bonus.
“We will look things over and use what we have done to correct some mistakes. Coming off a win, that is a real positive.”
Plattsburgh didn’t have a single player outshine another on the court Saturday. At the half, Plattsburgh had 10 players already in the scoring column.
Tournament MVP Chris Manning and Shamoy McIntosh led the way for Plattsburgh with 11 points apiece. Shavar Fields, who had missed the previous game, tallied 10 points, while Ezra Hodgson finished with nine.
“It is going to be really hard for any team to pick one guy on our team to focus on stopping,” Curle said.
Plattsburgh jumped out to a 41-32 lead at the half. York’s Tony Vails scored 18 of his team’s 32 points in the first half.
Vails was only able to muster nine points in the second half, but the rest of his team finally came alive as York went on an 8-0 run to start the half.
At the 12:55 mark as DaShawn Bobbitt connected on a pair of free throws, Plattsburgh’s nine-point halftime lead had officially been erased, with the game was tied at 45.
York took its first lead with 11:11 on the clock on Shamir Wilkinson’s layup.
“(York) did a few things that I didn’t think a team was going to be able to do to us all year,” Curle said. “They outrebounded us by 17 and they beat us to a high percentage of the loose balls.
“We’ve got to do a better job at boxing out, and we have to do a better job of using our full body to gain possession and not just tap at it with our hands.”
York took its final lead of the game at 51-50 on a layup by Jose Arroyo. Manning then gave Plattsburgh the lead for good on a driving layup of his own.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by McIntosh and Hodgson gave Plattsburgh a 10-point lead again. York would only get as close as six the rest of the game.
“When it really counted we really stepped up,” Curle said. “We were able to cause some turnovers and convert on them.
“The biggest thing in the game was their turnovers led to points for us. They outrebounded us, but the point-to-turnover ratio allowed us to get the lead back.”
Vails finished with a game-high 27 points and four steals for York. Wilkinson added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Hodgson pulled down seven rebounds to lead Plattsburgh, while Manning added five assists and six steals.
“I don’t think we played particularly well,” Curle said. “But, when push came to shove in the last seven minutes we were able to pick it up.”
SAGE 72, NORWICH 48
In the consolation matchup, the Gators clamped down defensively in the second half to hold the Cadets to just 20 points on their way to the victory.
Norwich held a 28-26 lead at the half, but Sage outscored the Cadets 46-20 over the next 20 minutes.
Troy Nwanna connected on four 3-pointers and finished with 17 points for the Gators. Matt Farbotko also collected 17 points and pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
Josh Cabrera tallied 16 points, including four 3-pointers of his own, to lead the way for Norwich. Evan Tullar contributed 11 points and pulled down six rebounds.
Plattsburgh State’s Chris Manning was selected as the Cardinal Classic’s Most Valuable Player for his outstanding floor leadership over the weekend.
Ezra Hodgson, who led the charge for Plattsburgh in the first game, was selected to the All-Tournament Team.
York’s Tony Vails and Shamir Wilkinson, who each had a strong game against Plattsburgh, were also selected to the All-Tournament Team.
Evan Tullar took the honors for Norwich after two games of double-digit scoring for the Cadets.
Northeastern Clinton graduate Matt Farbotko was selected to the team from Sage. Farbotko scored 14 points in the Gators’ loss to Plattsburgh on Friday and added 17 points in leading Sage to the win over Norwich Saturday.
Plattsburgh 77, York 70
Bobbitt 0-4-4, Vails 9-7-27, Roper 0-0-0, Hart 1-4-6, Wilkinson 8-1-17, Trowers 0-0-0, Zullo 2-0-5, Arroyo 4-0-9, Rodriguez 1-0-2, Sealy-McCrorey 0-0-0. Totals: 25-16-70.
Mitchell 1-3-6, McIntosh 3-3-11, Moody 3-1-8, Hodgson 2-4-9, Siergiej 0-0-0, Manning 4-3-11, Tibbs 3-0-6, Williams 0-0-0, Fields 4-2-10, Baker 0-0-0, Parker 2-3-7, O’Shea 1-0-3, Correa 2-0-6. Totals: 25-19-77.
Halftime: Plattsburgh, 41-32.
3-point goals: York (4) Vails 2, Zullo, Arroyo. Plattsburgh (8) Mitchell, McIntosh 2, Moody, Hodgson, O’Shea, Correa 2.
Sage 72, Norwich 48
Havoutis 3-0-8, Tullar 5-0-11, Preckol 1-0-3, Kuhre 0-0-0, McDonald 0-0-0, Brooks 0-0-0, Torrence 1-0-2, Cabrera 5-2-16, McFadden 0-0-0, Warden 1-0-3, Tallon 0-0-0, Kelley 1-0-2, Wright 0-0-0, Marquis 1-1-3. Totals: 18-3-48.
Stopera 1-2-5, Horne 4-2-11, Nwanna 5-3-17, Farbotko 6-5-17, Sager 1-0-2, LaClair 0-0-0, Hennep 2-0-5, Paschal 2-1-6, LaBelle 0-0-0, Zurlo 0-0-0, Hornedo 0-0-0, Ford 4-1-9. Totals: 25-14-72.
Halftime: Norwich, 28-26.
3-point goals: Norwich (9) Havoutis 2, Tullar, Preckol, Cabrera 4, Warden. Sage (8) Stopera, Horne, Nwanna 4, Hennep, Paschal.