LUDDEN STARTS FAST-FINISHES OFF SPARTANS-57-44-FOR CLASS “A” CHAMPIONSHIP
New Hartford’s Jordan Henderson (11) works against Ludden’s Jack Rauch and Kevin Sierotnik (35) late in the first half.
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
The Bishop Ludden Gaelic Knights got a thunderous slam dunk from Dan Kaigler to open the game that ended up setting the tone for the title tilt as Ludden pulled away from New Hartford late to capture the Section III, Class “A” boy’s basketball championship in the Carrier Dome this evening.
Ludden, the number two seed in the sectional tourney, utilized their height advantage ( 5 guys over 6’2″) and played some tenacious defense to halt the number four seeded Spartans bid for a section title.
The Gaelic Knights, who won the 2012 New York State Championship in Class “B”, entered today ranked #4 in the latest State rankings in Class “A”, with a record of (18-2) after knocking off Cortland by a score of 54-51 in the semi-finals.
New Hartford, which came in at (17-3) and the State’s #24 team in the most recent Class A rankings, defeated top seeded Carthage in the semi-finals to earn the invite to the dance in the dome.
After falling behind 8-0 in the opening minutes of the first quarter, New Hartford stormed right back with a 12-4 run of their own over the last three minutes of the quarter to head into the second eight minutes of action with a 12-12 tie.
Nate Donaldson’s long two pointer at the buzzer pulled the Spartans back to even with Ludden after the first eight minutes.
The second quarter saw Spartans head coach John Randall go to his bench early and often and the constant flow of fresh legs paid off, especially on the offensive boards as New Hartford simply started to beat Ludden to loose balls and rebounds. This resulted in multiple second chance scoring opportunities.
New Hartford also moved to double team both Kiegler and Ben Hackett, who combine to average almost thirty points per game, which forced other Ludden players to step up.
The Spartans took their first lead of the game in the waning moments of the second quarter, 21-20, on a Jordan Henderson free throw but Bishop Ludden’s Dan Kaigler answered with a field goal of his own with under a minute to play in the half and the Gaelic Knights went to the first intermission with the lead at 22-21.
Mark Chanatry led the Spartans with seven points in the first half, despite not having too much success inside against the Ludden big fellas.
Ludden’s Zack Walser led his team with six points in the first sixteen minutes.
At the half, Ludden head coach Patrick Donnelly acknowledged to ESPN Radio – 99.1 FM that the Spartans ramped up intensity to close out the first half was giving his team problems.
Of major concern was the amount of second chance baskets the Spartans were getting by their guards crashing the boards on a regular basis.
John Randall also spent some time with ESPN at the half and said he was excited about the way his guards rebounded their way back into the game in the first quarter, especially given the stark height disadvantage his team was up against with Ludden this evening.
The third quarter saw Ludden open up a seven point lead at 32-25, over the course of the first five minutes of up and down action.
One thing that started to become evident in the second half was that New Hartford was not having the success from three point land that they have enjoyed all season long.
The Spartans connected from outside the arch seven times tonight. While that may sound like a big number for most teams, its a sub par night from long range for this group of Spartans.
Dan Kiegler ended the third quarter the same way he started the game, with a big slam, and the Gaeilic Knights held a 38-27 lead after three.
Mark Chanatry and Jared Henderson combined for the six points the Spartans scored in the third quarter.
The three point shooting woes continued for New Hartford in the final quarter as three consecutive trips up the floor midway through resulted in missed long balls that went right back to the Knights, who outscored New Hartford 19-17 in the final eight minutes to take this one by a score of 57-44.
Ben Hackett led Bishop Ludden with fourteen points, while Kyle Hawk finished with twelve in the winning effort.
New Hartford was led by Mark Chanatry who poured in sixteen points and Jordan Henderson who added fourteen.
Bishop Ludden (19-2) will now move on to face the winner of Section II champ Scotia and Section X champ Massena, at 8 p.m. Saturday at Onondaga Community College.
New Hartford finishes another strong season at (17-4).
Bishop Ludden 57 New Hartford 44
1 2 3 4 Total
New Hartford 12 9 6 14 44
Bishop Ludden 12 10 16 19 57