CLINTONVILLE - A late comeback attempt was not enough to overcome an early deficit Jan. 29 as the Patriots fell to Saranac Lake 54-52 in CVAC boys basketball.
Senior standout Connor Gach returned from injury just in time to lead the Red Storm with a 20-point, nine rebound performance against AuSable Valley.
Saranac Lake got things going early with a 8-2 run behind a tough zone defense that stymied the Patriots. They went on to lead 26-15 at the half, including 10 first-half points by C.J. Stewart, who finished with 14.
"We just never got into a rythym in the first half," said AuSable Valley head coach Jamie Douglass, noting how his team missed 14 shots and went 4-for-9 from the line before intermission. "We came out and dug ourselves a hole."
The Patriots came out strong in the second half, however, starting with a 10-2 run of their own. Brody Douglas scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half.
Seven points in the last seven minutes from Austin Case, along with a 3-pointer from Jordan Coolidge helped AuSable Valley cut the lead to three with 26 seconds to play, but Saranac Lake held off the Patriots for the win.
Coolidge and Joe Lincoln each chipped in 10 for the Patriots, with Lincoln and Douglass each grabbing seven rebounds. Zach Buckley brought down nine rebounds for Saranac Lake.
Saranac Lake 54, AuSable Valley 52
1 2 3 4 - F
Saranac Lake 17 9 12 16 - 54
AuSable Valley 8 7 17 20 - 52
3-point goals: SL (6) Brewer, Stewart, Gach 4. AVC (5) Coolidge 2, Case, Burl, Douglass.