SARANAC LAKE — North Country Community College men's basketball coach Chad LaDue was feeling better about things Thursday night.
After three losses to begin the season, the Saints broke into the win column with an 86-81 victory over Hudson Valley Community College.
"We played better and were more competitive, even though it wasn't a pretty win," LaDue said. "In our last game, we were tied with 1:50 left and lost. Tonight we were able to pull out the win, and it was a step forward for us."
Gene Bouyer was clutch for the Saints at the end.
North Country held an 11-point lead at one time in the second half before Hudson Valley closed to within one.
Bouyer was fouled with 11 seconds left and connected on both free throws. The Saints then stole the ball with six seconds left and Bouyer went in for a dunk to seal it.
Bouyer finished with 24 points and six assists, while teammate Mateusz Janiewski also had 24 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Also hitting in double figures for North Country were Steve Carder with 15 and Szymon Janiewski with 11.
"It was like a cat and mouse game," LaDue said. "We had to go small on them at times with our lineup to match up with them. We went small at the end, and it worked out for us."
Jeremy Taylor led Hudson Valley with 20 points, while Conor Maish added 19, Matt Walker 16 and Jacob Palmer 13.
The Saints are back on the court Saturday with a home game against Word of Life.
North Country 86, Hudson Valley 81
Hudson Valley (81)
Ferrari 1-0-2, Jones 4-1-9, Kruzinski 1-0-2, Maish 6-2-19, Palmer 3-6-13, Taylor 9-2-20, Walker 5-6-16. Totals: 29-17-81.
North Country (86)
Holden 1-0-2, Williams 1-0-3, Heden 1-0-2, Elmore 0-0-0, Poulter 0-0-0, Bouyer 10-4-24, M. Janiewski 9-2-24, Henderson 0-0-0, Gohlke 1-0-2, S. Janiewski 4-0-11, Carder 4-7-15, Briscoe 0-3-3. Totals: 31-16-86.
3-point goals: Hudson Valley (6): Marsh 5; Palmer. North Country (8): M. Janiewski 4; S. Janiewski 3; Williams.
Halftime: tied at 38.
Women North Country 70, Hudson Valley 65
SARANAC LAKE — Former Peru players Kelly Kezar and Stephanie Demarais helped out in the Saints' win.
"Our bench helped us in the first half," North Country coach Jerrad Dumont said. "Kezar and Demarais combined to hit four 3-pointers and set the tone. They got the team going.
"In the second half, the starters played very well and took care of the basketball to close it out."
Kezar and Demarais finished with six points each for the Saints, who held a 36-28 halftime lead.
Ayanda Ntombela led North Country with 17 points, six rebounds and 11 assists. Veronique Moore added 11 points and eight rebounds, while LaCandice Sanders chipped in with 10 points.
Arianna Youngs poured in 25 points for Hudson Valley, while Angelica Smith and Erica Houle each added 14. Kelly Kell was a fourth player in double figures with 10.
North Country 70, Hudson Valley 65
Hudson Valley (65)
Youngs 10-2-25, Badalucco 0-0-0, Smith 7-0-14, Kell 1-8-10, Houle 5-1-14, Dickson 1-0-2, Sanders 0-0-0, Skelly 0-0-0. Totals: 24-11-65.
North Country (70)
Ntombela 6-4-17, Smith 2-4-8, Moore 5-1-11, Sanders 3-2-10, Foster 3-0-6, Kezar 2-0-6, Demarais 2-0-6, Kyles 1-0-2, Branton 1-0-2, Sherman 0-0-0, Kujabi 1-0-2. Totals: 26-11-70.
3-point goals: Hudson Valley (6): Houle 3; Youngs 3. North Country (7): Sanders 2; Kezar 2; Demarais 2; Ntombela.
Halftime: North Country, 36-28.