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Potsdam boys reverse Massena; Canton outlasts SLC


MASSENA - The Potsdam Central varsity boys basketball team made a one-point loss at home to Massena last Friday night work in its favor in their NAC Central Division rematch on Tuesday.

“That was a tough loss to Massena. The kids took it very personally and all they’ve talked about in practice since Friday is redemption. I’m just very proud of the character they showed tonight by coming out and playing the way they did to get the win,” said coach Brooks Bigwarfe after the Sandstoners gained a quick reversal over the Raiders by surging to a 60-40 win just four days after their previous meeting.

“Everything for us stems from our defense. We played good defense against Massena in the first game but we didn’t translate that into points. Tonight we were able to do that,” Bigwarfe added.

The Raiders got off to a promising start on their homecourt when a last-second halfcourt heave by junior Tyler Haas rattled through the rim put Massena ahead 18-13 at the end of the first quarter.

But the Sandstoners turned up the fullcourt pressure to open the second quarter and reeled off 11 straight points over the first three minutes to go ahead 24-18. They went on to outscore the Raiders 20-4 in the second quarter and take a 33-22 lead into halftime then took further control in the third with a 15-7 run.

“We got off to a good start then everything completely stopped working for us,” noted Massena coach Tom Miller. “They got the momentum going and we never got it back.”

Unlike their previous meeting where only four players shot their way onto the scoresheet, the Sandstoners got offensive contributions from nine sources on Tuesday led by senior guard Thomas Hobbs and junior center Shawn Clark with 12 points each.

“That was Thomas’s best game of the year. He really sparked us in that second quarter and Shawn had one of his steadiest games of the season for us inside,” said Bigwarfe. “The difference tonight is we got a lot more guys involved in the scoring.”

Nick Vaccaro scored all nine of his points on three three-pointers. Owen Mitchell and Will Coleman contributed eight points apiece followed by Konnor Bigwarfe with six while Jacob Bryant, Travis Stephenson and Ashler Herrick each finished with two.

Senior Zack Rusaw anchored the Massena offense with 10 points. Tyler Haas added nine followed by Joey LaBelle and Zevon Viskovick with five points apiece, David Phillips with four and Xavier Viskovich with three. Zach Fregoe and Rhoades Tarbell closed out the Raider scoresheet with two points apiece.

The Sandstoners (8-4, 3-4) are slated to host an interdivisional contest against Route 56 rival Norwood-Norfolk on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. while the Raiders (8-6, 5-3) take on Central Division rival Gouverneur at home next Tuesday starting with the JV contest at 5:30 p.m.

The lone other NAC varsity boys basketball action on Tuesday took place at Lisbon’s James Darcy Memorial Tournament where Canton outlasted St. Lawrence Central 55-53 and host Lisbon gained a 60-39 decision over Hammond in what also served as a West Division matchup.

Canton 55, SLC 53: Canton guard Bryant Wentworth tallied 13 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and four steals in the winning effort. Evan LaPoint led the Bears with 19 points and seven rebounds matching up inside with Ramsdell who paced the Larries with 18 points and seven rebounds and also stepped outside to bury two threes. Eddie Bortnick netted 11 points for the Bears.

Josh White tallied 14 points for the Larries with 12 in the second half including a three-pointer which created the final score with 31 seconds to play. Tyler Savage contributed nine points and seven rebounds and Shane Fuentes finished with another six points.

The consolation game between SLC and Hammond tips-off at 5:45 p.m. followed by the championship game at 7:30 p.m.

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