Devils Cap 10-0 Season With Stellar Defensive Effort
BY DAVE SHEA
In a normal New York State Public High School Boys Basketball season only the five state champions end their season with victory.
The COVID-19 pandemic took so much away from the athletes of the Empire State but it did create the opportunity for many teams to finish on a winning note.
The OFA Boys were among the many who realized that opportunity and join the few who achieved perfect seasons with a 62-46 victory at Norwood-Norfolk on Tuesday anchored by strong team defense against a Flyer unit with the potential to be explosive.
"It was really nice to have a full bus of laughing players after the last game," said OFA Coach Mark Henry.
"We had no idea what a Covid season would bring. What it did was bring nine players together who worked extremely hard everyday. They got better every day and were so happy for team successes. I am so happy this season was able to take place. A big thank you to Coach Sargent for his endless dedication to this group of student athletes. Also to Coach Morrison-Chevrier for donating so much time to the program."
Senior Trent Sargent continued to be the Devils' leader at both ends of the floor as he scored 20 points and led a defensive effort which limited N-N's talented center Noah Dominy, who had scored over 20 points in the first nine games of the season, to seven points.
Sargent finished a career where he never lost to a Section 10 opponent in three years and led this season's team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.
Eli Bullock and Logan Horton combined for seven and five points as OFA took a 20-10 lead in the first quarter which set the tone for the game.
Bullock buried three 3-pointers and scored 13 points along with Justice McIntyre who continued a relentless attack on the basket coming off the bench. Horton and Dave Vernsey each scored eight points and Aiden LaFlair and Kam Johnson added two and one.
"It was a great season by this resilient bunch of nine players. Trent Sargent continued to have a great season tonight. He easily had another double-double and did a great job defending Noah Dominy tonight. Eli Bullock had the hot hand early scoring 11 points in the first half and he also took four charges tonight. I believe that is 10 charges in the last four games," said Coach Henry.
"David Vernsey played another solid game scoring eight and did a great job protecting the paint. Logan Horton also had eight and rebounded well. JD King played great help defense and was again the best teammate in the gym. A great group of seniors."
Ryan LaShomb tallied his second strong game in back to back matchups with OFA scoring 16 points. Ryan Emlaw joined Dominy with seven points and Cade St. Andrews netted six. Other scoring came from Michael Richards with five, Owen Haas with three and Anthony Larrabee with two.
The OFA JVs won their final game 62-21 led by the open court scoring of Shea Polniak and Andrew Loffler who combined for 18 and 14 points. Will Graveline, Brady Bullock and Andrew Mitchell each tallied six points for coaches Dakota Brady and Jon Rogers.
"It was a great way to end the season, The boys progressively got better on both ends of the floor and ended on a high note," said Coach Brady.
"As a coach I'm very proud of their work ethic and the way they communicate and push each other to get better. This group was truly a great group of boys. In tonight's game it was good to see everyone move the ball and attack the basket which led to 10 different guys scoring. We were able to apply more pressure in our man to man defense than I've seen at any point this season."
Other OFA scoring came from: Garret LaRock (1), River McCallus (2), Madden West (2), Ryan Mitchell (3) and Alex Worden (2). Matt Richards and Dominic Fiacco led N-N with seven and six points.