West Winfield – Mount Markham’s boys basketball team opened the 2015-16 season with a 58-43 non-league win against Poland. Saturday afternoon the teams met again the Tornadoes evened the season’s series by notching a 53-46 victory.
“The first time (Collin) Maine had about six threes and made it difficult for us,” Poland coach Dave Tabor said. “This time we were prepared for him.”
Maine was held to just seven points in the January 2 rematch while Cameron Tabor had 26 points to lead the Tornadoes to victory. It wasn’t the highest scoring effort for Poland’s talented and hardworking senior, but it was critical in beating coach Kyle McCarthy’s Mustangs.
“Cameron’s pretty versatile,” his coach/father said after the team improved to 4-6 in a battle between teams with identical marks entering the afternoon affair. “He can usually finish.”
Tabor was a little off at the foul line down the stretch, but he made enough shots to keep MM (3-7) from rallying, and he helped break the full-court pressure the hosts used to cut a 13-point deficit to as little as four. Poland led 45-32 with four minutes to play then saw Dylan Luke score twice off steals in the press and Brenton Bond making a basket off a great pass from Jordan Baucom to get MM within eight with 3:00 to play.
Tabor, Anthony Hampel teamed to make six of 11 shots at the line as time wound down, Hampel’s last two being the most important as the mustangs had closed to within four points with 47.9 seconds left.
Coach Tabor pointed out two other Tornadoes who were key to victory along with his son.
“Josh (Carter) we needed,” the coach said of the guard who left the first half with a shoulder injury but was able to return in the second. “Without him we have to move Cameron to guard. We got him going, thank God. And Franklin Szaraek didn’t get a lot of time before (against Mt. Markham). He’s been big for us.”
Despite not scoring, Szaraek, a sophomore forward, altered and blocked a lot of shots to help lead a stingy defense for Poland. Carter also played a big role for the visitors as he helped lead the offense and played tough defense before injuring his shoulder.
“It was already hurting me all week during practice,” the Poland junior said. “Once I went in the locker room and got it rubbed, I just kept it moving, and that helped. I was okay.”
Carter wound up with just two points, but he had two assists in the early going and helped Poland build a 13-5 lead. Zachary Rickard’s assist on a basket by Jordan LaSalle capped Poland’s opening run. Brenton Bond’s basket late in the first period got MM within seven then the hosts took advantage of Carter’s departure 1:48 into the second quarter by going on a 9-0 run. Maine had a three to highlight the effort, but Gavyn Flansburg scored all four of his points and Dakota Mower and Tabor scored to help Poland erase MM’s brief lead for a 27-21 edge at the break. An 8-0 run in the third period helped Poland retake control of the game and a 4-0 burst at the start of the last stanza also proved important.
Luke led MM with 11 points with Maine, Bond and Devan Palmer having seven apiece to round out MM’s top scorers.
Cameron Loomis was second best for Poland with eight points.
Poland 17 10 14 12 – 53
Mt. Markham 10 11 11 14 – 46
Poland (3-6): Cameron Loomis 8, Cameron Tabor 26, Dakota Mower 5, Josh Carter 2, Anthony Hampel 6, Gavyn Flansburg 4, Jordan LaSalle 2.
MM (3-6): Collin Maine 7, Chad Collins 4, Brenton Boyd 7, Tyler Bunch 2, Devan Palmer 7, Asmir Keren 2, Dylan Luke 11, Jordan Baucom 6.