PLATTSBURGH-A 15-5 opening quarter gave the Ticonderoga Sentinels an edge they would not give up, as they captured the Section VII/Class C title with a 56-39 win over the Seton Knights at the Plattsburgh State Field House.
"It feels good," Nick Mars, who scored 12 points in the win, said after the game. "Our defense was the key. Keeping the big guy (Seton's 6'9" center Carson Hynes) off the board and box out. We were having a bad game to begin with. We were hurrying up our shots to begin with. But we got it going."
Hynes ended with 18 points in the game, but may have had more if it were not for the fourth quarter defense played by junior varsity call-up Riley Chapman.
"They had gotten a couple of looks with Carson," Sentinel head coach Joe Defayette said after the game. "I figured I'd throw some height on him. For not having a lot of time on varsity, I thought Riley did a great job limiting his offensive looks."
Dan Morrison, who scored 13 points in the game to lead the Sentinels, agreed that the Sentinels made their presence known with their defensive effort.
"We came out to send a message that we are not someone to take lightly in the playoffs," Morrison said. "I think we boxed him out really well. I just hope that we can start shooting the ball a little better. As long as we play good defense, we should be alright."
Nate Lenhart added 10 points, while Tanner Purkey scored eight points and Matt Nolan added seven points.
"We usually spread it around offensively," said Defayette. "Usually, we get one or two that stand out over the others, but we really didn't have anyone shooting the ball that well."
Defayette said that the team hit five three's, it was an aggressive interior attack that helped them get the win.
"I think we finally started attacking the basket and stopped settling for the outside shot," he said. "When Seton hangs around, you never know what is going to happen."
As for heading on in the state playoffs, Defayette said that the team will have to strengthen the defensive side of the ball.
"We really do need to focus on our defense because we are so streaking," Defayette said. "I think we are rolling along well. I think tonight might be a little set back, but you are going to have those moments."
For the Knights, Eddie Larow added 11 points, while Keagan Briggs scored eight points and Cody Quantock scored two points.