WATERTOWN — Both Lyme and Lowville defended their Frontier League division titles Thursday night at Jefferson Community College.
Lyme avoided a third overtime game against Copenhagen in the Frontier League “D” Division championship game and Lowville’s stellar defense helped balance out an uncharacteristically poor offensive night in a “B” Division victory over General Brown.
LYME 64, COPENHAGEN 48
The first two times Copenhagen met Lyme this season, the game wasn’t decided until the overtime period. But Thursday, it may as well have been decided in the first quarter.
When Tyler Wilson saved a overthrown pass on a breakaway late in the first quarter, he didn’t kick it back out to an incoming teammate, instead he spun around and put up an off balanced 3-pointer that fell with ease. The shot gave Lyme its 24th point of the quarter that ended 24-10.
Copenhagen (15-4) never recovered from that. The two teams battled back and forth for the remaining three quarters and played fairly evenly, Lyme (18-1) only outscored the Golden Knights 40-38.
To Isaiah Wilson, who scored 28 points, the key wasn’t the fast started, it was Lyme’s ability to keep Copenhagen at bay.
“What was even more important was that we didn’t let them back in the game,” Wilson said. “At home there was one point where we were up 12, that lead didn’t last long, got back up 13 and they came right back. So a big emphasis was knowing that they were a team that can get hot quick and likes to run.”
Lucas Graves finished with a team-high 14 points for Copenhagen (15-4) followed by Tucker Carroll, who had 12. Keegan Morrow scored nine points and made some tough passes to help set up his teammates. The Golden Knights were much better offensively in the second half and were a shot away from bringing Lyme’s lead to single digits.
While they improved their 2-point shooting, the Golden Knights struggled to consistently hit 3s. They finished with three 3-pointers compared to Lyme’s eight.
Copenhagen’s cold shooting allowed Lyme to stay in its 2-3 zone throughout the game.
“We thought we contained their shooters better than last time, last time they were hitting a bunch of threes in the first half and they did no do that this time,” Kyle Gaumes (12 points) said. “So we thought we could contain their shooters better this time, so we didn’t have to switch.”
Tyler Wilson, who popped off for three 3-pointers in the first quarter, only hit one other the rest of the game. After Lyme proved its 3-point shot was working, Copenhagen adjusted its defense to guard more around the perimeter.
“Copenhagen defense was pushing up more on me so it was hard for me to get off shots,” Tyler Wilson said. “I was trying to get open, but couldn’t.”
Tyler Wilson continued be productive by assisting his teammates and driving to the basket.
Lyme improved to 3-0 against Copenhagen this year, and to finally beat a top 25 Class D team in the state by 16 points sends a strong message heading into sectionals. “It’s a huge win because I thought this game is exactly what we needed going into sectionals, because we haven’t really been tested outside of Copenhagen,” coach Leo Wilson said. “That was a really good test for us, and to come out and play the way the boys did tonight, sharing the ball, moving the ball, playing good defense. I think that gives us a big boost going into sectionals.”
The Frontier League “D” Division All-Stars named afterward were Isaiah Wilson, Keegan Morrow, Tyler Green (Sackets Harbor), Kyle Gaumes, Jarett Beach (LaFargeville), Wyatt Parliament (LaFargeville), Cody Powis (Copenhagen), Taylib Kimball (Sandy Creek), Lucas Graves, Tyler Wilson and Kyle Moyer (Belleville Henderson). Isaiah Wilson was named MVP and Copenhagen’s Logan Spaulding was named coach of the year.
LOWVILLE 53, GENERAL BROWN 28
When Lowville looks back at the film of Thursday’s “B” Division title game, it will mostly note the defense. The Red Raiders’ 53 points is their third lowest of the season, but that didn’t end up mattering because they held General Brown to 28, a season low.
“We’ve been working really hard on our help defense, stopping every gap that people can run through and rotating really well,” Aidan Macualay said. “It kind of helps us round out our whole entire game. We’ve been able to put up points the entire year, so getting in a good hard-fought defensive game is really good for us going in to sectionals.”
Macualay finished with 12 points along with his brother, Gavin Macaulay. Chad Bach led the scoring for Lowville (18-1) with 17 points. He turned the buzz of JCC into an all out frenzy when following steal on General Brown’s first possession, he dunked the ball in open space.
“It got the blood flowing, that’s for sure,” Bach said.
Lowville created a few turnovers that hindered General Brown’s ability to consistently score.
“I think it was just knowing their tendencies and working as hard as we can on the defensive side of the ball,” Bach said. “Not just on offense, but all the way through the press and back on defense along with rebounding and securing the ball.”
Nate Heller proved to be General Brown’s highest scorer with 11 points followed by De’Shaun Thorigal-Brown, who finished with eight. Heller hit a 3-pointer for the Lions (16-4) in the first quarter that led to what ended up being only a 13-11 Lowville lead by the end of the first eight minutes.
On top of not shooting well, Lowville was a little sloppy on defense early. However, that sloppiness didn’t transition to defense.
“It shows their maturity, to not panic and to not be upset when they’re not shooting well,” Lowville coach Zach Shambo said. “The experience certainly shows.”
The Frontier League “B” Divison All-Stars named after the game were Chad Bach, Aidan Macaulay, De’Shaun Thorigal-Brown, Gavin Macaulay, Aiden Zehr (Lowville) and Nate Heller. Bach was named MVP and General Brown coach Jim Covey was named coach of the year.