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Lafountain hits 1,000 points; NCCS remains undefeated

Jan. 17—CHAMPLAIN — The gym at Northeastern Clinton was packed for the school's game against Saranac Lake. There just happened to be more going on than a simple basketball game.

Bailee Lafountain was two points away from 1,000. It wasn't if, but when it would happen.

In the Cougars, 62-31 victory over the Red Storm, fans anxiously waited for the points to happen.

After Desiree Dubois opened the scoring with a layup, Lafountain stole the ball and made a break for the basket. As she went up for the layup, Lafountain was fouled and sent to the line to shoot two.

Two points. If she made those, she'd cross the threshold.

"It was kind of nice," Lafountain said. "Like having it generally quiet in anticipation. It kind of would have been a little bit less stressful to just make the layup absolutely."

But, she showed no signs of nerves bothering her as she sank both shots, and the crowd erupted with applause and celebration.

Lafountain gathered with her teammates before meeting with her coach and gave her the game ball.

"It was a little nerve wracking when I went to the line," she said. "But I just knew that I had the whole community out here and I had to show up and get those points. It kind of calmed me down a little bit."

After the stoppage in play, the game resumed and the Cougars poured it on. Using a pressure defense they kept Saranac Lake off balance as they routinely turned it over. It was hard for the Red Storm to get good consistent looks on offense as they tried to stay in the game.

With a 30-14 halftime lead, NCCS looked prime to pull away, which they did.

Lafountain and Dubois combined to score 48 of their team's 61 points. Lafountain led all scorers with 27.

Samra Cirikovic led Saranac Lake with 16, with Madison Moody-Durant adding six.

"We had some really good moments and other moments when we were not aggressive enough with rebounding," NCCS head coach Robb Garrand said. "Credit to Saranac Lake as they worked hard until the end and had some good outside shooters."

With the win, Northeastern Clinton improves to 10-0 overall and 6-0 in the CVAC. Saranac Lake falls to 3-6 and 0-4 in the conference. Both teams resume play today as NCCS travels to face Ti and Saranac Lake hosts Saranac. Both games are slated for 7 p.m.

Taking a moment to reflect after the game, Lafountain offered much of the credit to her family in her reaching this accomplishment.

"My family has a big part in this," she said. "They've always been my number one supporters. It's always nice having friends here and cheering you on. It was just awesome seeing the stands full."

After hitting her second accomplishment this year, Lafountain notched her 100th point in soccer last fall, she said now she can just focus on playing basketball.

"It's like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can just go out and play," she said. "I don't have to worry about when it's gonna happen or how many points I need.

"It's nice to just go out and play."

Northeastern Clinton 62, Saranac Lake 31

Saranac Lake (31)

Akey 1-0-3, M. Moody Durant 2-0-6, Meyer 1-1-3, Peer 1-1-3, Dann 0-0-0, Cirikovic 6-0-16, Small 0-1-1. TOTALS: 11-3-32

Northeastern Clinton (62)

Dubois 10-0-21, Lafountain 10-5-27, Laci Roberts 0-0-0, Lexi Roberts 0-0-0, Racine 1-2-4, Hite 2-0-5, Underwood 2-0-4, Francis 0-0-0, Guay 0-0-0. TOTALS: 25-7-61

Halftime- NCCS, 30-14

3 point goals- NCCS 4, Saranac Lake 6