Glens Falls, NY — Cinderella’s carriage turned into a pumpkin at midnight, but the Maple Hill boys’ basketball team saw their means of offensive production turn into a vegetative* state early in the second quarter of Thursday’s Sectional semifinal matchup with Stillwater, at historic Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Wildcats came into the showdown with the No.2 seeded Warriors as massive underdogs, but it was a position they had been in before upsetting No.3 Grenville and No.11 Mechanicville to get to NY’s Capital of high school basketball. Unfortunately, the slipper didn’t fit, and this Cinderella story didn’t end with everyone living happily ever after.
After jumping out to an early five-point lead, Maple Hill held on to a slim one-point lead, 10-9, after the first quarter of play. It would be their last advantage of the evening.
“We knew they were gonna be tough. They won Sectionals in soccer, so we knew it was gonna be a rat race and we tried to slow the pace down, so we didn’t get into that,” Stillwater guard Jared D’Aloia said post-game. The 5’10” senior admits his team will have to come out stronger from the start in their next outing. “They aren’t gonna let us get out to a big deficit and come back.”
After going on an 11-0 run to end the first half of play, the Warriors headed to the locker room up 10, 23-13. A lead D’Aloia credits to his team’s defense which held the Wildcats to a season-low four points in the second eight minutes of play.
“Offensively we just couldn’t get anything going,” Maple Hill coach Scott Hanrahan said. “That’s a testament to the defense Stillwater played. It was tough.”
If the second quarter was ugly for Maple Hill, the second half of the contest would fall under the category of hard to watch. The start of the fourth quarter brought with it a crushing, yet salvageable 16 point deficit.
Despite a pair of late triples from senior guard Austin Decker, the unbelievable story that was the Wildcats rise to the top closed with Stillwater punching their ticket into the Sectional Championship game.
“Working in the school, living in the district, you know these guys from when they’re little kids,” said Hanrahan of his seniors. “They’re great kids to work with, and they came together at the end of the season and put together a run that nobody was expecting anyways.”
Stillwater advances to face No.4 Lake George in the Class C Championship game on Saturday, at 2:00 p.m. The game is being held at Glens Falls Civic Center. Admission is $6.00 or $10.00, depending on who you ask.
- Turns out a pumpkin is not a vegetable, but rather a fruit.