DONOVAN ROCKS THE HOUSE-SPARTANS TOP DEVILS 79-42
New Hartford’s Cooper Deck (24) stands guard late in the contest.
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
Senior guard Joey Donovan scored 21 points, on the wings of seven three pointers, to lead the New Hartford Spartans to a 79-42 non-league win over the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Red Devils in front of a loud and proud crowd tonight at New Hartford High School.
With the win, head coach John Randall’s Spartans improved to (12-2) overall on the season and sit alone atop to the Tri-Valley League with a record of (5-0).
The Red Devils came into tonight’s game without Alex Saville, who had been averaging 15.6 points per game prior to being injured last week.
To make matters worse, VVS leading scorer Dalton Cousin, a 6’4″ power forward came in hobbled by a leg injury, but was cleared to play tonight.
The final score certainly didn’t indicate that New Hartford had it hands full in the early going in this one, but the Red Devils came out tough.
After the first eight minutes of the ball game, New Hartford’s lead was just six points and that advantage came as a result of a 7-0 Spartans run in the closing minutes of the period.
Joey Donovan nailed three 3 pointers in the opening quarter to lead New Hartford.
Spartans big man Vinny Maugeri chipped in six points of his own in the opening period as well.
John Bowers poured in nine points for the Red Devils in the opening frame, but the Spartans held a 17-11 lead after one.
Joey Donovan earned the starting spot at the two guard for New Hartford following his 17 point performance in the Spartans 73-68 victory over Class “AA” West Genesee back on 12/29.
In that one, Donovan nailed five of the Spartans 14 three pointers to pace his team to the big road win.
In the second quarter tonight Donovan nailed three more 3′s from the outside and Maugeri poured in 6 more from the paint to send the home club to the intermission with a 37-25 lead.
That advantage could have been significantly larger had it not been for a very gutsy second quarter by Red Devils forward Dalton Cousin, who scored 7 of his team high 13 points in the second period to keep his team within striking distance.
At the intermission, Coach Randall told My Hometown Sports – ESPN Radio 99.1 FM that while his team was challenged in the early going, he was pleased with his Spartans recovery and team effort in the first half.
Randall went on to say that he would definitely use the second half to work out a plan to defend VVS’ Cousin, who clearly had a strong first half.
Red Devils head coach Bob Esposito was also gracious enough to join ESPN 99.1 FM – My Hometown Sports at the half.
Coach Esposito said that he was very proud of his team’s effort in the first half, adding that he was impressed with the play of Dalton Cousin inside, despite his being hobbled by an injury and that he thought his team rose to the occasion, especially without the services of Alex Saville tonight.
The third quarter saw the Spartans build a 20 point advantage at 55-35 with 2:21 to go in the third frame, on a Jordan Henderson three pointer.
From there New Hartford’s lead increased to 27 when Joey Donovan drained his 7th three pointer of the game at the buzzer ending the third.
Coach Randall emptied his very deep bench in the final quarter and the Spartans got late points from Nate Donaldson, Jack Zalewski, Cooper Deck and Matt Desens as the Spartans rolled to the 79-42 win.
After the game, Monster Energy Drink Player of the Game Joey Donovan was all smiles as he told MHTS – ESPN Radio that he was feeling great on the floor tonight and that all of the shooting work in the family’s driveway with his Dad certainly paid off tonight, as he came within one of the school record for three pointers.
Coach Randall added that he liked where his team is at this point in the season and that with the post season approaching, he will try to get his team to peak at the right time to make a run at other Class “A” powers like Bishop Ludden, Cortland and Carthage, all of whom are ranked in the top 25 in the latest State poll.
Dalton Cousin, who left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury, led his team with 13 points.
John Bowers had a big night scoring twelve points and Nick Metzger added nine for VVS.The Red Devils dropped to (1-11) on the season.
Along with 21 from Donovan, the Spartans were paced by Jordan Henderson with 14 points and Vinny Maugeri with 10 points.
Both teams will have a week off for exam week and will return to action on Friday, 1/25.
New Hartford 79 VVS 42
1 2 3 4 Final
VVS 11 14 12 5 42
New Hartford 17 20 25 15 79
MHTS Scoring Summary:
Vinny Maugeri 10
Mark Chanatry 9
Tom Clifford 8
Nate Donaldson 6
Matt Desens 5
Cooper Deck 2
Jack Zawleski 2
Dalton Cousin 13
John Bowers 12
Nick Metzger 9
Casey Jones 4
Matt McCoy 4