CANTON -Thirty-six years after winning its last sectional championship, the St. Regis boys basketball program will have another shot this Saturday.
The Saints pulled away to 45-38 victory over Harrisville on Wednesday night at SUNY Canton to reach Saturdays Class D final versus defending state finalist Madrid-Waddington.
Caleb Green, who wasnt even born until 19 years after that last St. Regis Falls championship, kept the Saints in the game early, scoring 13 of his game-high 21 points in the second quarter as the senior guard would finish with a quartet of three-pointers on the night.
Trailing 25-24 at intermission and 36-35 after three quarters, the Saints outscored the Pirates 10-2 in the final quarter to pull away, the second-half offense being provided by Tyler Daggett who swished through four three-pointers of his own to finish with all 12 of his points after intermission. Also, it was Brandon Votra taking over inside, the big forward finishing the night with 11 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
We played huge on defense in the second half after talking about that at halftime. We had a big fourth quarter and shot the ball very well tonight, said Green, the lone senior starter on the Saint roster.
Our community has been so supportive of us. Its been 30-plus years since were going to a final and its a great feeling.
The Pirates patented full-court press forced numerous Saint turnovers in the first half, but St. Regis Falls adjusted well after halftime according to Saints coach Justin Todd.
Harrisvilles defense is predicated on the press and Caleb did a great job carrying us in the first half and keeping us in it until we did a better job, said Todd.
Tyler Daggett stepped up with the outside shooting in the second half. Weve been trying all season long to get him to shoot more. And Brandon Votra, we found him isolated on the low post and he went to work there, added Todd who began working with his current crop of players when they were in sixth grade.
Its been a long road for these guys. Theyve been together for quite a while. They played 52 games over the summer and their hard work is paying off.
Also for the Saints (18-1), who came into sectionals as the top seed, Louis Goodrow pulled down nine rebounds.
Harrisville (16-5) came in as the fourth seed and was paced by Tim Fowler with 16 points, Nathan Weaver with nine points and eight rebounds and Joe Butts with six points.
Saturdays Class D final will see two Canton Central graduates coaching the respective teams, Todd and Madrid-Waddingtons Aaron Jones. The Saints defeated the Yellowjackets 56-42 during the regular season. Saturdays game is slated for 2:45 p.m. at SUNY Potsdam.