NEW HARTFORD HOLDS OFF LATE WHITESBORO SURGE TO WIN 59-49
# 11 Jared Henderson maneuvers in the paint as # 1 Joel Jakubowicz defends for Whitesboro.
The New Hartford Spartans (11-2) and Whitesboro Warriors (9-3)got together for their second meeting of the season by exchanging three pointers to start off the game as New Hartford’s Jordan Henderson put the Spartans on the board first followed by Whitesboro’s Luke Moore on the next possession down court with a trifecta of his own.
Unfortunately for the Warriors it would be one of only two shots, both three pointers that would go down for them in the first quarter. A first quarter that let fans from both teams know what road this rivalry rematch would go down.
On the ensuing possession the Spartans looked inside to junior big man Mark Chanatry as he jousted for positioning and picked up two more points for New Hartford.
New Hartford senior Jordan Henderson then found the opportunity to drive the ball down the lane hitting the shot and picking up the foul off of Whitesboro’s Joel Jakubowicz and adding another point at the free throw line giving the Spartan’s an early 8-3 lead.
A turnover by the Warriors opened the door for the Spartans as senior Joey Donovan spotted and drained a three.
New Hartford continued to bring the pressure after Jared Henderson was able to pick a Warriors pocket and find senior Matt Desens who was then fouled and sent to the line and his free throw gave the Spartans a 12-3 advantage.
The Spartans continued to work the passing game finding the open man in senior Vinny Maugeri who added a bucket from in close.
Sophomore Tim “TJ” Borza hit a three pointer to get Whitesboro’s second bucket of the first quarter closing the gap to 14-6 only to have New Hartford respond with junior James Franco finding the range inside for two more points as the first quarter came to a close with the visitors up 16-6.
The second quarter saw much of the same from both teams as New Hartford continued to be patient and find the open man while Whitesboro was able to get good shot selection but the ball just would not drop.
New Hartford was able to hit the first bucket of the quarter from the hand of Joey Donovan who missed and then secured his own rebound for the bucket.
Both teams then seemed to heat up at the same time as they exchanged a series of buckets.
It was New Hartford striking first when Jordan Henderson put up two and then Whitesboro senior Tom Sblendorio found Luke Moore who gave Whitesboro two points of their own.
The Spartans followed with a three pointer from Joey Donovan and Whitesboro responded with a three of its own from senior Colin Salisbury as the pace picked up.
The bad bounces continued for Whitesboro as they had several second chance opportunities in the paint that just would not find the bottom of the net.
The visiting Spartans continued to add to their lead with Henderson hitting a pretty jump shot and the Warriors were finally able to get one of their own after Dean Sokolowski found Tom Sblendorio who dropped in two points.
When the dust settled in the fast-moving second quarter the visitors headed to the locker room up by 20 points, 35-15.
As well as the Spartans offense did in the first 16 minutes of play the defense wasn’t too shabby either holding the Warriors to just 6 and 9 points respectively.
Both teams came out to start the third quarter firing away but this time the rock was not cooperating for either team as both teams had a dismal third quarter.
The suddenly ice-cold Spartans scored nine points in the third and Whitesboro fared no better scoring just 7.
Both squads had stretches of sloppy play, with unproductive drives down the lane as well as missed second chance opportunities under the basketball and missed three-point attempts.
The Warriors were the first to score in the third after Luke Moore was fouled by Joey Donovan and he made one of two free throws. The Spartans added two of their own after Vinny Maugeri took a pass from Donovan and banged it in.
The Spartans and Warriors were both launching shots beyond the three-point arch with the hope that one would drop and ignite the spark that both teams were hoping for.
However, the spark never came in the third as Whitesboro’s Moore picked up a point from the free throw line while junior Vin Cotrupe added two points and Drew Nicolette knocked down a three for the Warriors.
New Hartford’s scoring came from Nate Donaldson and Matt Desens who both scored from the field and Jared Henderson then drove the lane to end the third with two more points.
New Hartford owned a commanding 21 point lead,43-22 with just eight minutes to go at the “ Warrior Dome.”
Facing that 21 point deficit the Warriors had quite the hill to climb in order to get back into the ball game but then again this is Spartans versus Warriors – anything is possible.
The Warriors wasted no time getting to work when senior Drew Nicolette drilled a three pointer to cut into the lead quickly but New Hartford’s Tom Clifford responded by sinking a two to silence any possible rally.
Whitesboro continued to chip away getting buckets from Vin Cotrupe and Luke Moore and then another two points after New Hartford blocked Moore’s shot only to have Colin Salisbury pick up the rebound and score.
With the home team picking up momentum the Spartans added two points from Chanatry off an assist from Clifford and then a steal by Jared Henderson gave the Spartans two more to add to the board.
The Warriors were not done and added a three pointer from Luke Moore only to have New Hartford respond with a three of its own from Joey Donovan. Luke Moore netted two points for the Warriors as did Joel Jakubowicz from the line closing the gap to 52-41.
The Warriors refused to fold and out scored the Spartans 27 to 8 in the final frame to make a game if it. Whitesboro cut the 21 point lead down to just 8 when Luke Moored drained a 3 with 20.7 seconds left.
That’s as close as the white and blue would get as the Spartans closed out the 59-49 road win.
Leading scorer for New Hartford was Jordan Henderson with 16 points followed by teammate Joey Donovan with 11.
In the losing effort Whitesboro’s Luke Moore had 17 followed by 9 by Drew Nicolette and 8 by Tim Borza.
New Hartford coach John Randall was happy with the victory but felt that his team got complacent and stagnant in the second half with the big lead. Randall said, “We played great in the first half and played good enough in the second half to hold on but this is a typical New Hartford versus Whitesboro match up – they will fight hard to the end.”
Randall went on to say that” The team didn’t shoot particularly well but they didn’t take bad looks. Our defense played well in the first half and we will definitely take this win.” Randall added that he expects both teams to do well in the sectionals down the road.
New Hartford 59 Whitesboro 49
New Hartford 16 19 8 16 59
Whitesboro 6 9 7 27 49
MHTS Scoring Summary: