THIRD TIME’S A CHARM…DEPENDS…NY MILLS 51 ORISKANY 50
The Redskins crowd was loud and proud tonight, right to the bitter end.
Fred Miller-MHTS-Photos-Jeff Pexton-MHTS-PGI
Build it and they will come. Kind of a fitting phrase when you get down to brass tacks and New York Mills vs. Oriskany boys hoops.
When the overflow crowd started to filter out of the Oriskany High School gym, following a gut wrenching 51-50 win by the visiting Marauders, fans left wanting more. Especially on Senior Night and a night featuring a Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser.
Two early season matchups between New York Mills and Oriskany did indeed lay the foundation for the big build up and big crowd at the home of the Redskins.
Back on December 30th the two teams squared off in the finals of the Ed Wadas Tournament. A game won, in overtime, by New York Mills, 61-53. A hard fought win set up by a game tying bucket by Matt Welch with :02 seconds left in regulation.
The foundation continued to be built, in the first of two league matchups, on January 11th at Beekman, in New York Mills. This time the Mills pulled away for a 64 45 win over a Redskins team playing without Steve McCorduck.
Since that game, both teams and fans alike had circled their calendars awaiting the rematch in Oriskany. After all, “the third time’s a charm” right?
Answer is a no, if you are a fan of the, state ranked #9, Oriskany Redskins who saw that lead melt away and an emphatic no if you had to watch a last second jump shot by Steve McCorduck bounce off the front of the rim with just under seven seconds left to play.
The furious finish was set up by a steady and stubborn bunch of Marauders.
The Marauders main man, Matt Welch, picked up two quick fouls with just two minutes burned off the clock.
Coach Mike Adey did the right thing by asking the big guy to plant himself next to him on the bench.
The absence of the big guy inside made the Oriskany game plan a simple one to follow. Get the ball to silky smooth Steve Rossi . Rossi scored 15 of his 19 points in the first 16 minutes of play.
With Welch on the bench, Rossi was able to step back and nail two three’s and roam free, inside, to score at will. Roam free and block 10 shots on the other end of the court as well.
It was a double digit lead (17-7) when Rossi banged one home from deep with 2:20 left in the first.
New York Mills did not look like defending New York State Champs or the #3 ranked team in the Class D Polls. The lead was still ten after one, 19-9.
That is until a certain #34 Cody Mariotti decided to take the game over for the Mills.
With Welch out of the flow for most of the first half and in foul trouble, with three personals, the junior forward stepped up big.
How big? Mariotti scored 6 points in the second quarter and 6 in the third, to help keep his team off life support and in the game.
With Mariotti doing the dirty work, he ripped down 13 rebounds, the Marauders struggled to remain relevant.
Mariotti also had plenty of help from teammate Zach Vennaro, a sophomore who has come on strong.
Vennaro scored 6 of his 10 points in the opening quarter to help his team keep pace with the quick starting Skins.
Zach scored with 4:22 left in the first quarter, to cut the Oriskany lead to just four at 11-7.
On the other side of the floor, it was run and gun as the home team blew things open leading 28-17 midway through the second quarter.
The momentum and the game changed on what seemed like an innocent play with 4:18 to go until the half.
Nick Etienne, who scored 8 points on the night, turned the tide for good by sinking three straight free throws in a row to make it 28-20. The three points seemed to settle the Marauders down and give them a spark.
In fact, the visitors outscored the home team 14-4 to close out the half down, just 6, 32-26.
With 5:55 left in the third, Welch, with his three fouls along for the ride, started to take over and dominate inside. His defensive effort on Steve Rossi in the second half was key to the come back.
Rossi scored just four of his 19 after intermission.
Welch, on the other hand, went off scoring 9 of his 15 points in the second half, including 7 in the fourth quarter. The big guy also pulled down 10 boards on the night.
New York Mills took its first lead of the night, 38-37, as the third quarter wound down. Cody Mariotti scored with :59 seconds left, to give his team the lead.
A lead that lasted for :19 seconds before Rossi hit, from in close, to make it Oriskany 39, New York Mills 37, after three quarters of play.
Austin Smith, who tried his best to help his team cross the finish line first, scored 14 big points.
His two long range three balls had the rafters rocking, as Oriskany went up 46-40 with just 6:18 to play.
Welch took his turn in the spot light, scoring five straight points, to make it 47-46 Mills with 5:30 to go.
Austin Smith came up with a steal and a fast break bucket to help the Skins regain the lead 48-47.
Oriskany would enjoy its last lead of the game when Nate Keating made a beautiful mad dash to the rim, from the left side of the court, for a pair of points that made it 50-49 Oriskany with time running out.
Matt Welch sealed the deal, with a duece of his own, scoring a put back bucket with just :36 seconds left.
Oriskany had one more shot at redemption with 10.4 seconds to go, but Nate Keating missed twice from the line.
A last second chance by Steve McCorduck bounced off the rim.
New York Mills came away with the ball and ran out the clock and ran out of the gym with a (13-2-10-0) record and a two game lead in the CSC IV standings.
The victory earned the visitors at least a tie for the CSC IV title.
Oriskany dropped to (14-3) and (9-2). The only two league losses coming at the hands of the Maraduers. “Third time’s a charm”…. depends!
Up next for coach Bob Reid and his Oriskany Redskins is a matchup with Frankfort-Schuyler on the 6th and New York Mills visits Rome Catholic on Saturday.
New York Mills 51 Oriskany 50
1 2 3 4 Total
New York Mills 9 17 12 13 51
Oriskany 19 13 7 11 50
MHTS Scoring Summary:
New York Mills:
JT Ross- 4