In a critical league contest, no one expected it to be easy for either boy’s basketball team at Beekman Gym tonight after a four point margin the last time they played. Sure enough, it wasn’t.
Leading by just five at the half, New York Mills broke out on an 8-2 run to begin the third quarter, and the Marauders (12-2, 5-1) withstood a late challenge that withered their lead to just three as they dispatched visiting West Canada Valley(11-5, 3-2) 58-51 to stay just a game off the pace in Center State Conference Division IV play.
West Canada’s Jake Gorinshek (23) launches a three over New York Mills defender John Mitchell (40) late in the game. (Photo By – Jeff Pexton Perfect Game Imaging)
Corresponding runs were in order for the first quarter, and it was the Marauders who broke ahead first on their home floor, with their frontcourt players leading the charge. Ken Egan, Ben Kehrli, and Griffin Baur all had baskets as the Mills opened up an 11-2 advantage, prompting Indian coach Dustin Cool to burn a timeout. The strategy was effective, as the Indians turned the tables with a 10-3 run that shrinked the Mills lead to 2, with a 14-12 score after one.
That two point deficit was the closest the Indians would get, as they found themselves attempting to play catch up for the remainder of the contest. The Marauders opened the second quarter with a 6-0 run before settling for a five point advantage at halftime, and bolted out on the decisive third quarter run to put the Indians in a nine point hole to begin the fourth.
Griffin baur (34) gets way up over the West Canada defense for a third quarter bucket. (Photo By Jeff Pexton – Perfect Game Imaging)
Like a prize fighter prepared to go the entire fifteen rounds, the Indians didn’t go down without a fight. It was their three point shooting, which has been a strength all year, that kept them in the ring.
Back-to-back threes from Jacob Gorinshek and Josh Chapin brought West Canada to within two possessions for the first time since halftime. The Marauders responded with 7 straight points to reopen a double digit lead, and again the Indians had an answer, as Brett Greco paved the way back with five quick points, and Gorinshek slashed the deficit to just three points with a deep three in the waning minutes.
Terry Nichols (3) surveys the floor for New York Mills, during third quarter action. (Photo By – Jeff Pexton Perfect Game Imaging)
From there on in, momentum, and time, ran out for the Indians. The Marauders re-built a 7 point lead to close out a league victory, 58-51. Terry Nichols finished with a game-high nineteen points for the Marauders, and Griffin Baur knocked in fourteen of his own. John Mitchell logged significant minutes in the Marauder frontcourt, and made his presence felt with eight points and a career-high three blocks. The Indians finished with three in double figures. Gorinshek delivered 17 for the visitors, while Matt Carney and Chapin had 11 and 10, respectively.