OFA Answers Early SR Challenge In Big Way
BY DAVE SHEA
"Easy, way too easy."
Those were OFA Basketball Coach Mark Henry's thoughts at the beginning of Friday's NAC Central home game with Salmon River.
On its first possession Salmon River center Hawi Francis-Cook scored an uncontested layin off a pick and roll and the Shamrocks used 3-pointers by Kyran Skidders and Logan Lebehn to open an 11-8 lead.
But the degree of difficulty of the Shamrocks scoring quickly elevated as the Devils answered with a signature barrage of 3-pointers and transition scores off their defense and raced out to a 33-17 first quarter lead. OFA followed with a 25-6 second quarter run and a cruise to a 93-50 win and a 9-0 NAC Central record.
Malone stayed one game back in the division race at 8-1 with a 75-59 victory over Gouverneur (1-7), Canton (7-2) shaded St. Lawrence Central (4-4) 48-44 and Massena (4-5) and downed Potsdam (0-9) 58.
In NAC Girls Basketball at Salmon River OFA gained a 68-17 win.
OFA 93 - Salmon River 50: Trent Sargent buried three 3s scoring 12 points in the first quarter where Harry Powers connected on two treys and MeSean Johnson and Jackson Jones combined for nine and six points around the goal.
Powers (3 steals, 3 rebounds, 4 assists) connected for two more treys in second quarter and finished with five in a 15-point scoring effort. Sargent also buried five 3s scoring a season-high 20 points. MeSean Johnson approached a triple double with a team-high 25 points which included 7-7 free throw shooting, 10 rebounds and eight assists and Jackson Jones continued to replicate double-doubles with 22 points, 10 rebounds and three steals. David Vernsey tallied nine points with four rebounds and Brogan LaRose added four points.
"Salmon River came out ready to play and it took us a little bit to get going. We shot it very well, especially in the first half. Trent, Jackson, Harry and MeSean all had great offensive games," said Coach Henry.
"David Vernsey gave great energy off the bench. We now have a week of practice to get better and work on the little things that we need to do to win close games."
Hawi Francis-Cook, a smooth operating sophomore in the post, led Salmon River with a game-high 29 points which included 17 in the third period. Logan Leben finished with six points, Skidders added five and Quinn Carle chipped in with three.
After a week long break for exams OFA will host Lowville in a highly anticipated home game on Saturday, Jan. 25 with the JV action starting at noon and the varsity to follow.
The OFA JV's posted a 72-18 win with several players noting season best scoring efforts led by Brady Bullock who buried four 3s scoring 14 points and Alex Mitchell who netted two 3s scoring 12 points. Shea Polniak, Jake Farley and Alex Worden all scored 10 points and Ryan Mitchell netted six. Justice McIntyre and Conner Graveline added four and two points.
Tehoronhiathe scored 10 points leading Salmon River.
MALONE, CANTON, MASSENA WIN
Malone 75. Gouverneur 59: Keegan Monette with 21 points and Peyton Poirier with 20 led the Huskies while Brock Cox tallied 20 for Gouverneur followed by Garrett LeClair with 14 and Cayden Storie with 11. "We made too many mistakes in the second half to beat a very good Malone team. We are very young but they are learning on the job and getting better. We have some big games coming up in the next few weeks and we will see if we can make the plays down the stretch to beat good teams," said Gouverneur Coach John Free. Canton 48 - SLC 44: Chris Downs went 4-4 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half to lead the Bears to a grind-it-out win over a workmanlike Larrie effort. Ashton Cloce supplied 13 points to the win which also included scoring from: Josh Kennedy (6), Caleb Bentley Hicks (4), Skye Kennedy (2) and Noah Longshore (5).
Steve Horner led SLC with 17 points and 11 rebounds, Ethan LaRock scored 12 points with six rebounds and three steals and Cash Feeley contributed six points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Ansen Weegar chipped in seven points.
Massena 58 - Potsdam 47: The Raiders featured four double figure scorers in outscoring the Stoners who were led by Noah Dominy who netted a game-high 18 points. Zach LaBarge paced Massena with 14 points, Ethan Firnstein went 8-10 at the foul line in a 12-point, six rebound outing, Luke Greco netted three 3 scoring 11 points and Chris McGregor checked in with 10 points.Zach Barney tallied seven.
Franceso Polenta and Aiden Stickles each scored eight points for Potsdam, Carter Newcombe added four and Hamza Hmyene chipped in two.