CLIFTON PARK — It did not take long for Mekeel Christian to show that they were the better team on the court Friday dominating the entire way as they beat Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons on Friday in the Class B quarterfinals at Shenendehowa High School by a blowout final score of 98-52.
Mekeel began the game on a 15-2 run that included three makes from three-point range that gave them a commanding lead within the first few minutes of the contest. The lead ballooned to as much as 28-7 during the first quarter, and ended it leading 28-9. They hit five threes in the first quarter, and Bishop Gibbons had no answer for their offensive attack.
“Any time you can get out to an early lead like that, and for us, I thought the key was really the fact that we were sharing the ball early. We were giving up good shots for great shots,” Mekeel head coach Chad Bowman said.
The rest of the first half brought more of the same for the Lions as they scored at will and owned a 29-point lead at the break after Carter Stewart beat the buzzer on a three. Stewart had 17 points and hit four threes on the night. He was one of four in double figures for his team. Deonte Holder led them all with 21 while Jordan Jackson had 18 points and Alex Barnhill had 13. Every single player on Mekeel’s nine-player roster scored Friday.
Bowman addressed what having so many scorers does for his team. “It maybe takes some pressure off. Certainly, we don’t know where it’s going to come from each night, but it is nice to have multiple options, and it presents issues. When you look to a defensive game plan for other teams, the more options they have, the greater challenge it is,” he said.
Nacier Hundley led Bishop Gibbons on offense, scoring 27 points.
The Lions also hit their mark from behind the three-point line, making 15 of those throughout the game. Jackson, Holder and Stewart had four threes each.
They held a 37-point lead heading into the final quarter, and this allowed them go to on cruise control the rest of the way but still kept a balanced scoring attack going as they did not have many reserves to put into the game. Their lead at the end, 46, was their largest lead of the game.
After the win, Mekeel has a very tough road ahead of them, even as the top seed and the favorite to win a loaded Class B that features them, Glens Falls (#2 seed), Schalmont (#3 seed) and Watervliet (#4 seed) as the final four teams alive.
“I think Class B is just a gauntlet of power teams,” Bowman said. “If anything, if it ends up chalk especially, those are four teams that have a lot of good players.”
Mekeel will play their semifinal game on Monday night against Watervliet at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls. Tip-off for that game is set for 8 p.m.