DESTINY DENIED? DESTINY’S DARLINGS? SACKETS HARBOR 62 NEW YORK MILLS 61
MHTS file photo-Jeff Pexton-PGI
DEFENDING STATE CHAMPS FALL IN SECTION III CLASS D TITLE TILT
Depending on what side you were supporting at yesterday’s Class D Section III Boys Basketball Championship game, you can land on the destiny denied side, New York Mills fans, or Destiny’s Darlings, Sackets Harbor fans.
After Sackets Harbor (22-0) eliminated the defending champs 62-61, in a hard fought, well played game, fans were left to take sides. Destiny denied or Destiny’s Darlings?
After all, the Marauders would certainly be able to figure out a way to get past the upstart Pats from Northern New York.
The Pats were the only Class D team to put a blemish on the ledger. The 68-63 win by Sackets Harbor came on the Patriots home court. New York Mills entered play 58-1 in their last 59 games.
The Marauders were used to high pressure games and a big stage like the one at the Dome on Sunday.
All the ingredients were there. Coach Mike Adey and his troops had another great lineup and all the ingredients necessary to get the job done. Matt Welsh has been lights out this season, averaging 17.6 points per game and 9 rebounds.
The senior point guard JT Ross had been the conductor, who ran the Marauders Express with a flair and of course great results.
Say what you will, this was an even-Steven matchup with two teams who play different styles of ball.
Sackets Harbor, the #1 ranked team in Class D, with their five seniors and bevy of sharp shooting long ballers, against the state’s #3 ranked Marauders, with their inside, outside offense featuring Matt Welch, JT Ross, Nick Etienne and Nick Comenale.
Fans were treated to a great game that boiled down to the last few possessions and fans left the big bubble wanting more.
The season ends for New York Mills with a record of (19-3) and the undefeated Pats are now 21-0 and ready to move on to Regional Play against South Kortright next weekend.
With coach Jeff Robbins and company its push and shoot and push and shoot. Live by the three, die by the three.
The visitors from the North Country had made 146 three point field goals entering Sunday’s showdown with New York Mills.
The Patriots marksman were at it again on Sunday as they nailed 8 long balls, Zack D’Allesandro hit 5 to account for 15 of his 17 total points.
Comenale hit 5 of his own from behind the line and scored 19 points to match the 19 put up by Matt Welch.
On most days the inside out tandem would do the trick. It almost did, as both teams tried time and time again to put each other away.
It looked like a fourth of July fireworks display, as both teams came out firing. Zach D’Allesandro canned 4 in the first quarter and Nick Comenale canned 4 of his own, as the Marauders kept pace.
It was 22-21 Sackets Harbor after the first eight minutes of action and New York Mills started feeling good about things, as they led 35-32, with under two minutes to go in the half ,following one of Nick Comenale’s long threes.
Cameron Allen, who was the wild card in this one, hit a bucket as the first half ended, with the Mills up 35-34. Allen ended up leading his team with 19 points, but it was the way he scored them that really hurt.
As soon as Welch found a seat next to coach Mike Adey, Allen drove the lane time and time again to score or get fouled. The other benefit of Allen’s slashing style was the fact that it freed up the big guns to blaze away outside.
Two things happened as New York Mills tried to battle their way to the regional round of play.
Matt Welch had to spend too much time on the bench because of foul trouble, not a good thing and the Pats defense figured out a way to shut down Nick Comenale in the second half. Shut him down they did.
The third quarter saw the defending champs build a five point lead, 43-38, with just under six minutes left, as Nick Etienne hit a free throw.
Sackets Harbor rallied to take a one point lead, 48-47, as we headed to the decisive final quarter.
A 9-2 burst out of the gates, early on in quarter four, saw Sackets Harbor grab a 57-49, eight point lead, as Alex D’Allesandro made one of two from the line.
Like a true champion, that he is, senior Matt Welch laid it all on the line, scoring 8 fourth quarter points, as the Marauders cut the lead to just 3, 61-58 with a tip in bucket with just :55 seconds left to play.
With 8.1 seconds left, Zach Allen hit a game clinching free throw. Nick Etienne made this last shot count, as the senior nailed a three and the game ended 62-61.
Destiny denied, Destiny’s darlings… you decide.
Nick Etienne, Matt Welch, Jordan Wilcox and Addison Wolanin played their last games for the Marauders. Guys thanks for the ride.
Sackets Harbor 62 New York Mills 61
1 2 3 4 Total
Sackets Harbor 22 12 14 14 62
New York Mills 21 14 12 14 61
MHTS Scoring Summary:
Cameron Allen 19
Zach D’Allesandro 17
Zach Allen 12
Marshall Smith 9
Alex D’Allesandro 5
New York Mills:
Matt Welch 19
Nick Comenale 19
Nick Etienne 9
JT Ross 7
Cody Mariotti 4
Jake Kehrli 3