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Chateaugay boys hand St. Regis Falls first basketball setback

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ST. REGIS FALLS – In the much anticipated rematch between a pair of Northern Athletic Conference East Division foes, the Chateaugay Bulldogs jumped out to an early first-quarter lead and held on for a 47-41 victory over the previously undefeated St. Regis Falls Saints on Wednesday.

In front of a capacity crowd at the St. Regis Falls Central School, the likes of which have not been seen in several decades, the Bulldogs bolted out to a quick 7-0 lead and all but silenced the SRF faithful.

That’s when Caleb Green showed up and drained one of his two 3-pointers, which brought life to the hometown fans. A Brandon Votra bucket tied the game at 7-all and the gym was louder than it has every been since the move to the new school.

But the Chateaugay boys knew just how to quiet the crowd and went on a 12-0 run to take a 19-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“That first quarter did us in,” stated SRF Coach Justin Todd. “But we didn’t give up and eventually cut their lead back down to four points in the fourth quarter. We just ran out of gas.”

In the game of runs, St. Regis Falls (7-1 league, 12-1 overall) took its turn and rattled off a 11-2 spurt of its own to cut the Chateaugay lead to three points with two minutes, 16 seconds left in the opening half of up and down the court action.

Noah Bowes drained a 3-pointer to halt the SRF run and close out the first half with the visitors on top 26-18.

“What a battle,” stated the CCS Coach Mike Martin, with assistant Jason LaPlante adding, “two heavyweights going toe-to-toe and trading punches.”

And just as they had done to open the game, the Bulldogs (6-1 league, 8-3 overall) went on a run to open play, tossing in eight quick points while keeping the Saints off the board for the first two minutes of the stanza.

And, again, the Saints didn’t fold and closed out the third quarter and started the fourth by cutting into the Chateaugay lead, getting to within eight points with 6:30 left in the game.

Two minutes later, the SRF boys had shaved off another five points as Corey LaBounty nailed a 3-pointer and Green swished a pair of free throws, cutting the deficit to 39-36.

The Bulldogs countered again and increased their lead back to six points on a traditional three-point play by Bowes and held a six-point advantage as the final minute of play was at hand.

A pair of standouts for each team, Bowes for CCS and Votra for SRF, traded buckets, with Bowes driving down the middle of the lane. Votra answered with a spinning move to an open spot down low for an easy lay-in, which resolved nothing on the scoreboard, but definitely excited the crowd.

Bowes sealed the win for CCS by making two of three charity tosses in the final 30 seconds of the game, but the never-say-die attitude of the Saints was evident as Green made the game’s final bucket, a long-range shot from beyond the arc.

Bowes led the CCS team in scoring, tossing in a game-high 19 points. The Chateaugay junior made two of the team’s four 3-pointers and helped seal the win by making five of seven foul shots.

Devon Barnes just missed another double-double, scoring nine points, collecting 10 rebounds and blocking five SRF shots. Seth Young stepped up his game and contributed 11 points and four assists to the win. Young and Jake English accounted for the other two treys for Chateaugay.

“Seth really stepped up for us tonight, especially in the third quarter,” explained the Bulldog boss. “And we had zero turnovers from our freshman point guard (Jordan Martin).

“I know some of the boys were disappointed that they didn’t get into the game, but they need to know that they are the reason that we won,” continued Martin. “They have been working so hard in practice to help make the starters better. They don’t see it that way, but Jason and I definitely recognize it.”

And Coach Todd also gave credit were it was due.

“You have to give Chateaugay a lot of credit,” said Todd. “They came in with a good game plan and Mike has done a good job getting his players ready for this one. I really hope we get to meet each other for a third time.”

The sentiment was echoed by the Bulldog boss.

“This was a game with two great teams, showing great class and sportsmanship,” summarized Martin. “Justin and his players are a class act and I hope that we will meet them again.”

Both coaches may get their wish, they just have to run the table so the two teams can play the rubber game of the season. To do so, they would more than likely have to win out and in order to meet in the Section 10, Class D title game.

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