Heuvelton, TL carry on despite deficits in Class C regional games

Mar. 6—POTSDAM — Section 10's Class C Champions, the Heuvelton Lady Bulldogs and the Tupper Lake Lumberjacks, both rendered unrelenting efforts in the face of sizeable deficits in Tuesday nights regional semi-final action with Section 2 opponents at SUNY Potsdam.

In the Girls Game Duanesburg, led by its two division recruits in Alex Moses (Sienna College) and Allison O'Hanlon (Canisius), played a near perfect first half opening a 47-20 lead. But led by point guard Katie Cunningham, who scored 21 of her 24 points in the second half, the Bulldogs gained a 30-22 advantage in the contest which finished at 69-50.

In the Boys Game Tupper Lake stayed in contention until the final 90 seconds in a 57-45 loss to Maple Hill which maintained control of the boards from start to finish.

Number three state-ranked Duanesburg and number four Maple Hill will be travel partners again on Saturday advancing to Clinton Community College to play two Section 7 Champion Moriah clubs looking to extend their journey to their respective New York State Final Fours.


Duanesburg 69 — HCS 50: Allison Hanlon buried her first three 3-point attempts in the first quarter where the Eagles extended their over-playing man-to-man defense to the logo to secure steals which led to layups and completely disrupted the Bulldogs' offensive flow. Hanlon scored 25 of her 28 points in the first half before suffering ankle sprain which severely limited her time in the second half.

Alex Moses scored 10 of her 14 points in the first half for the Eagles (18-6) who went 16-for-18 from the foul line.

In the second half the 18th ranked Bulldogs went to a 3-2 zone defense, to better contest the Eagles' 3-point attempts. Hannah Mulhorn, who went 6-6 from the foul line, proved to be an excellent counter piece in the chess game between the two teams scoring 12 of her 15 points with drives and pull-up jumpers from the foul line.

The three senior scoring leaders also played lead roles in the defensive pressure and rebounding on both ends of the floor.

"I couldn't be more prouder of my team tonight. We played one of the best teams I have seen in the past 20 years and we were able to weather the storm and then battle back in the second half," said Heuvelton Coach Rob Powers.

"Their coach (Chris Herron) had his team prepared very well. He did one heck of a job. We couldn't get many good looks in the first half but Rylin McAllister did hit three 3-pointers under heavy defensive pressure. Katie Cunningham just kept bringing us back in the second half."

Cunningham used her ability to knock down on-the-run floaters and strong drives, which will serve her well as a collegiate player at SUNY Plattsburgh next season, to tally 24 points. McAllister finished with nine points showing the quick release which should make her a 3-point threat at the next level at SUNY Canton. Three other senior members of the team: Ashley Weston, Raya McGaw and Lakan Martin tallied six, five and two points . The team's sixth senior Mikayla Ritchie, provided solid two-way play off the bench in both halves.

Cassidy Pray and Miah Scott added two points apiece to round out the scoring for the Bulldogs who used the degree of difficulty in their NAC West season as a major asset in posting two one-sided wins to secure the Section 10 Class C title.


Maple Hill 57 — TL 45: Tupper Lake's senior guard Tom Peterson scored 26 points but his impact went well beyond scoring as he led the effort to keep the Lumberjacks in contention with Section 2 Champion Maple Hill (21-4). Peterson buried two 3's scoring 12 points in the first quarter and swished a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to tie the score at 14-14.

The Tigers of Section 2 used the athleticism of their front line to trigger and convert fast breaks and score off post ups and putbacks to gain a 20-11 advantage in the second quarter and a 34-25 halftime lead.

With freshman Garrett Pelkey providing five points and Peterson going to defensive boards and penetrating the lane effectively the 18th ranked Lumberjacks reversed the flow on the court in the third quarter and the cut difference to 42-38 heading into the fourth quarter.

Maple Hill went to its strength to answer as 6-4 Brady Cole converted a putback and a 3-pointer to create a 49-38 margin but the Lumberjacks made one final push when a Peterson 3 cut the difference to 52-45 with 1:12 to play. The Tigers answered with another another strength to lock up the game from free throw line where they went 14-for-15 on the night. Cole, who finished with a team-high 22 points, dropped in a pair of free throws to finish at 9-9 night and guard Nicholas Novak, who scored seven of his 10 points in the first quarter, dropped in a pair foul shots to seal the issue.

Austin Priest, another 6-4 frontcourtman, tallied 13 points and 6-2 Dean Chevier finished with eight. Jacob Fish rounded out the scoring with four points.

Peterson, who was honored as NAC East Division MVP and the recipient of the 2024 Joe Jukoski Memorial Award, anchored his 26-point effort with four 3-pointers and also went 4-4 from the foul line on a night when the Tigers consistently jammed up the Jacks' efforts to score inside.

Garritt Pelkey netted two 3's in a 12-point effort but Mikey Corneau was unable to get good looks off picks to exploit his 3-point artistry scoring only two points. Ashton Clark tallied four points and Tyler LaPlante added one for the Lumberjacks who finished a double championship season (NAC East Division, Section 10 Class C) at 19-4.

NOTE: Section 10 Class D Champion and defending New York State Champion Hammond (20-3) has moved into the number one state ranking heading into Saturday's regional finals game against number five LaFargeville at Jefferson Community College. Hermon-DeKalb stood eighth Chateaugay 14th and Edwards-Knox 20th.