POTSDAM — Saranac Central enjoyed a fast start, taking a pair of early leads over Gouverneur in Tuesday’s Class B state opening-round girls basketball game at SUNY Potsdam.
The Section 7 champion Chiefs, who secured a 45-35 victory over the Section 10 champion Wildcats, started with 7-0 and 12-2 leads and then went on a 14-2 run over the game’s final three minutes to seal the victory.
The Potsdam boys team enjoyed greater success in the second game at SUNY Potsdam by defeating Section 7’s Beekmantown 55-44 to win a trip to the state quarterfinals on Saturday in Troy.
In the girls game, No. 5 state-ranked Saranac improved its record to 21-1 and will play Section 2 champion Albany Academy on Saturday afternoon at Hudson Valley CC.
The seventh-ranked Wildcats (23-2), who won their program’s first Section 10 over all championship in 34 years, gained the lead four times until the Chiefs’ decisive surge, featuring 3-pointers by Molly Dennis, Lia Parker and Brenna Ducatte to push them ahead 42-33.
“I really don’t have a favorite spot. I like to shoot from all over,” said Ducatte, a sophomore, who finished with a game-high 17 points and eight rebounds. “We have been a second half team this year and we like to press and run.”
Gouverneur gained the lead at crucial times but each time the Chiefs answered immediately. Chloe Smith converted two runners down the lane to give the Wildcats a 18-16 lead with 2:09 remaining in the first half but the Chiefs scored the last seven points, including four by senior Sydney Myers for a 23-18 lead.
“Sydney Myers is a just a tremendous athlete who is all over the place. She is the heart of our team. And Brenna Ducatte is a great shooter,” said Saranac coach Tim Newell.
“Conditioning has been a strength for us all year. We have been able to make runs late in the third and fourth quarters.”
Smith connected again for a 29-28 Gouverneur lead late in third quarter but a Mchenna Brown free throw tied it 29-29. Addy Conklin scored for Gouverneur’s final lead in the fourth quarter.
Smith led the Wildcats with nine points, followed by Elizabeth Riutta and Courtney Forsythe with six. Riutta and Lia Canell each controlled seven rebounds.
“It was a game of runs,” said Gouverneur coach Sean Devlin. “They had an early run and we played even to the half. We had a good run to take the lead going deep into the fourth. Saranac had the last run where they banked in a 3-point shot late and we could not recover.”
“It was a battle,” he added. “We are very proud of our team’s accomplishments this season. These girls are back-to-back Class B and Central Division champions. Last year they played for an Overall Section 10 Championship and this year they won that game. We are on a short list of teams who have done that in Gouverneur. We have had a lot of fun this year, this is a great group of girls.”
POTSDAM 55, BEEKMANTOWN 44
Dylan LaMora scored 17 points and Ian VanWagner scored 15 points to lead the Sandstoners past Section 7 champion Beekmantown in the second game at SUNY Potsdam, a state Class B first-round meeting.
The Sandstoners (12-12) will play Section 2’s Catholic Central in a quarterfinal game at 5:15 p.m. Saturday at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.
Theodore Hughes added 10 for Potsdam.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.