Hammond, Lisbon Girls Gain Wins; Bulldog Boys Go 10-0
BY DAVE SHEA
On Monday Heuvelton hosted Hammond and Morristown hosted Lisbon in matches between NAC West Girls Basketball teams at opposite ends of won-loss spectrum.
Hammond (9-1) visited Heuvelton (6-4) in a match of two programs who have met several times in the finals or semi-finals of the Section 10 Class D Tournament. In the tenure of Coach Shawn Dack Hammond won back to back state titles and under Rob Powers direction Lady Bulldog teams put together a string of three straight state titles.
Lisbon visited Morristown in a match of teams hungry for their first wins of the current COVID-19 comprised season.
The four teams were linked by the intensity of their efforts where Hammond turned back Heuvelton 34-29 and Lisbon weathered a strong Morristown finish to gain a 43-38 win.
While the Hammond and Heuvelton Girls extended the historic quality of their rivalry, the Heuvelton Boys made some school history with a 10-0 season in a 68-49 win over Hammond.
The girls, boys doubleheader showcased the final games for a seniors Matt Basford, Josh Wrobel, Braeden Free and Hayden Knauf and Trista Ashley, Emma LaFaver, Amber Cunningham, Molly Williams, DaKota West and Lara Martin.
HAMMOND WINS "DEFENSIVE BATTLE" OVER HEUVELTON
"This wasn't a typical Hammond-Heuvelton game. This game was a true defensive battle. Hammond was so active on defense and they controlled the boards," said Heuvelton Coach Rob Powers.
"But we still had our chances. We had some good 3-point looks down the stretch which didn't go. It just wasn't our night."
Operating with only a precious few second chance points the Bulldogs hung tough as nails with their defense and moved into a 26-25 lead after three quarters on a 3-pointer by Dakota Mouthorp.
Hammond prevailed down the stretch sparked by two putbacks by Alyvia Crosby who capped a game-high 10 points by making two free throws with 2.6 seconds to play after a 3 by Molly Williams created a one possession game at 32-29. Avery and Landree Kenyon, who buried a key 3 in the fourth quarter, each scored eight points and Caitlin Cunningham added six for the Red Devils who played without all-star starter Hailey Cunningham and trusted reserve Zoe Cunningham.
"Very tough. As it should have been. Heuvelton and Hammond have battled a lot through the years. One program pushing another. And each pushing others. I’m very proud of these girls. How they played and were committed through the season we had. For one of the smallest schools in our section and state. Hammond has done pretty well over my tenure. And I’m so proud of the kids who bought into what we were pushing for," said Hammond Coach Shawn Dack.
"And that’s the story. The kids. Hammond was and is my life. I love this school and community.
When they ask about next year. Let’s just worry about today. And enjoy what we have done so far. More work is ahead of the kids coming back for sure. But to play today without Hailey Cunningham and Zoey Cunningham was hard to do. But a lot of kids stepped up in their absence and that will prove worthy for next year. Saying goodbye to the seniors is always hard. They have had FANTASTIC CAREERS. !!! Their next steps will be enjoyable to watch:
Avery Kenyon. Hailey Cunningham. Caitlynn Cunningham. Jordan Kloepping."
Molly Williams buried two second half 3s leading Heuvelton with nine points and Dakota Mouthorp finished with eight. Other scoring came from Bella Doyle (12 rebounds, 3 assists) with four, Katie Cunningham (3 assists) with three, Rylin McAllister and Lara Martin with two and Ali Trathen (4 rebounds) with one.
"Any time a season starts, we always check and see when we play Hammond. Coach Dack has set the standard for basketball for many years. His excellence caused all of us to up our game. While tonight's game may not have been one of the awesome battles of the past, it was fitting we got to play Hammond in the final game of the COVID 19 season," said Coach Powers.
HEUVELTON BOYS CAP PERFECT 10-0 SEASON
Heuvelton completed a 10-0 season with the Bulldogs' signature combination of relentless defensive pressure on the ball and a dedication to win as a team by sharing the ball.
Nate Mashaw and Matt Basford both buried three 3-pointers combining for 16 and 11 points for Heuvelton which answered a stern challenge by Hammond which jumped to a 16-12 first quarter lead spared by seven points by Lukas McQueer.
The Bulldogs took control with a 22-2 second quarter reversal where Mashaw scored seven points and then followed with three 3-pointers in the third quarter. A balanced Bulldog offense also featured nine points by Braeden Free, eight from Tristan Lovely and Jed Crayford, six from Cole Rickett and Josh Wrobel and two from Chris Ashlaw and Hayden Knauf.
Lukas McQueer scored a game-high 17 points for Hammond which will visit Morristown tonight. Brandon LaRock and Logan Jones followed with nine points and Kennan Gardner netted six. Other scoring came from: Logan Tate (1), Matt Hodgdon (2), Dominic Perretta (3), Tanner Rosenbarker (2).
LISBON GIRLS TURN BACK MORRISTOWN COMEBACK
Emilie O'Donnell scored six of her game-high 14 points in the third quarter where the Green Rockets matched Lisbon's 17 points and MCS gained an 11-4 advantage in the fourth quarter and used an 8-0 run to pull within two points before the Golden Knights secured the victory.
"We made an 8-0 run and had a chance to tie on two trips down the court and we had a nice second half. We didn't win but it was great for the kids to finish their season with a run like that and have a chance to win. This was a good competitive game for both teams and congrats to Coach Dicky Marcellus and his team. Emilie O'Donnell had her best game of the season and made some big shots" said Morristown Coach Stan Piercey.
"I couldn't be prouder of this group. We played a tough schedule but the girls didn't throw in the towel, they came out tonight and competed right to the end. And so did Lisbon. Their JV players who moved up played well and really helped them."
Mikaela Buckley led a balanced Lisbon offense with 13 points and Gabby Taylor finished with six. Other scoring came from Rylie Beldock, Grace Smith, Rachel LaRock and Ava Bouchey with four and two from Jaylin Massia, Marissa Robinson, Erika Snyder and Leah Warren.
Following O'Donnell's 14 points, Carly Piercey and Laurel Vinch combined for 13 and nine points for Morristown. Jesse Hoffman added two points.