Feb. 5—PORT HENRY — Here's the scenario: Your team is trailing by one with seconds remaining in the game, and you're at the free throw line. What do you do?
For Moriah's Joe Pelkey, it was simple, just make the bucket.
"I wasn't really thinking about the time," he said. "I try not to think about the situation too much. I'm just focused on the rim shooting free throws."
Pelkey made both of his free throws to give the Vikings a 70-69 lead with six seconds remaining. It gave Plattsburgh enough time to make an attempt at a game winner.
The ball left Max Filosca's hand with less than a second, with Moriah's Cooper Allen and Chase McGinnes guarding the shot. The ball bounced off multiple times on the rim, before falling off.
The Vikings would win the game, amongst the last two unbeaten CVAC members, and breathe a sigh of relief.
"Great basketball game, great high school basketball game," Moriah's Brian Cross said. "Two good teams that battled it right to the end.
"It could have gone either way. You know Plattsburgh had their chances and we were lucky enough today to win."
The game lived up to the hype surrounding it. Both teams were the top two of the conference and had seen the game delayed multiple times due to weather. In two weeks, Feb 20, the teams will have a rematch. It will be in the last games of the regular seasons for both teams.
"Plattsburgh's a very good team," Pelkey said. "I'm sure they're going to do good in sectionals and states, however far they make it."
This is a game that could have gone either way. In the waning seconds of both regulation and overtime the teams played a frantic pace trying to score and stymie the other. It was easy to track in the chaos.
"I was happy with the ending as long as we were ahead," he said. I kind of screwed up at the end of the game. I thought we were ahead by one and some other people thought the same thing.
"But it wasn't, we were tied. So at least we at least came out with the victory."
The Vikings were led by four players who reached double digits, led by Cooper Allen's game high 24 points.
"It felt like the playoffs," Allen said. "It was great. Great energy and a great atmosphere. Everybody came together and I think it was a great team win."
McGinness was second on the team with 17 points. Logan Gilbo added 14 with Pelkey putting in 11.
"(Plattsburgh was) pretty tight on me," Allen said. "I mean, we just had to have our four go against their four for a little while. I feel like our four can take any four in the whole state.
"I think we really came together as a team."
Logan Rodriguez led the Hornets with a team high 22 points, with a majority coming in the second half. Routinely he caught the ball in the paint and put it in for the easy bucket.
The Hornets used this to their advantage as the final minutes felt as if two boxers were giving it their all as they slugged it out.
And it wasn't just the key players doing the heavy lifting. It was the role players with the key bucket to stop another team pulling away. There were examples from both teams such as Bryan Kemokai making a clutch three-pointer at the end of the third quarter to put the Hornets up two. Or the hard work of McGinness on both the offense and defensive ends.
Plattsburgh's Dan Hartmann was second on the Hornets with 18, teammate Cayden Williams added 12.
The game never got out of control as both teams wouldn't let the other pull away.
The biggest lead came early in the third quarter when Moriah held a 34-24 lead after back-to-back threes. Plattsburgh countered with a 14-4 run of its own to take a 40-38 lead. No team held a bigger lead as they exchanged blows down the stretch.
Both the Hornets and Vikings have little time to recover as both host rivals today.
Plattsburgh hosts Beekmantown while Moriah welcomes rival Ticonderoga to the friendly confines.
"I'm really proud of how our kids finished at the end of the game," Cross said. "Our kids got a stop when it mattered most.
"It was an incredible high school basketball game where both teams competed hard."
Moriah 70, Plattsburgh 69
Ladue 1-2-4, Kemokai 4-0-9, Filosca 3-0-6, Griffiths 0-0-0, Hartmann 8-2-18, Slominski 0-0-0, O'Neal 0-0-0, Whalen 0-0-0, Williams 5-0-12, Rodriguez 10-2-22. TOTALS: 31-4-69
Oulette 0-0-0, Allen 7-7-24, Whitman 1-0-2, Pelkey 4-2-11, Gilbo 5-4-14, McGinness 6-3-17, Olcott 0-2-2. Sherman 0-0-0, Mascarenas 0-0-0, Valentine 0-0-0, Callahan 0-0-0, Scoresome 0-0-0. TOTALS: 23-18-70
Halftime- Moriah, 28-24
3 point goals- Moriah 4, PHS 3.