Moriah wins thriller against B'town, 62-54

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Jan. 13—PORT HENRY — The stands were full. The players came to play. Emotions were high. The game lived up to all expectations.

Moriah would pull away late in its battle with Beekmantown, 62-54, to claim sole possession of the CVAC in boys basketball.

"It was a great high school basketball game, without a doubt," Vikings head coach Brian Cross said. "These are two teams who are very similar. I told my kids before the game that Beekmantown was a lot like us. They have kids with size, who can get up and down the floor and shoot. I knew it was going to be a battle and it certainly was."

It was a back and forth contest throughout the game as, at the ends of the first three quarters, the lead was no greater than two points. Up until six minutes to go in the game, the lead would not get higher than four.

Moriah would close the door on Beekmantown with a 11-0 run that gave them a 56-45 lead, something the Eagles were unable to come back from.

The closest Beekmantown would get was within five points at 57-52 in the final minute where, if the ball had bounced a different way, the outcome could have been different.

"It was a battle between two heavyweights," Eagles head coach Gary Castine said. "A call or bounce here or there could have made a difference. It was well-reffed and fun to be a part of this game. We look forward to the Ali/Frazier rematch in four weeks in Beekmantown."

The refs allowed the boys to play and be physical which led to many plays at the rim, or players going all out to get the ball. For example, when Beekmantown's Nate Sand stood admirably in the path of Moriah's Rowan Swan to draw a charge. Oftentimes, many players dove after a loose ball, trying to wrench it from their opponent to get possession.

"Congrats to Brian and his team," Castine said. "They deserved the win on their court. We lost, but they made us a better team tonight."

Swan led the Vikings with 26 points and numerous rebounds as he often took the ball straight to the rim. Cross lauded the play of Joe Pelkey, who added 12 points, as he was often found open to nail a 3-pointer.

Riley Demarais was a monster on the boards, despite his foul trouble. He was two points shy of a double-double, with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Cross added that Eagle Brady Mannix almost stole the show with his performance of 21 points. Josh Burgin fought hard inside to a tune of 19.

When the final buzzer sounded, you could see the respect and friendship the teams had for each other. Players joked and hugged in the aftermath of a game where both teams put their all into it and left it on the court.

"They just kept after it. I'm extremely proud of the way our kids played. [Beekmantown is] a tough team, no doubt about it," Cross said.

Both teams have multiple games to play before the rematch happens in Beekmantown on Feb 7. Based on the play today, it could be as good if not better in the sequel.

"This was a great high school basketball game, both teams played extremely hard and the atmosphere was tremendous," Cross said. "We play them again in February and I would expect the same type of game in Beekmantown."

Moriah 62, Beekmantown 54

BCS (54)

Mosley 0-1-1, LaBorde 0-0-0, J. Sand 2-0-4, Mannix 6-0-21, Dixon 0-2-2, Parliament 3-0-7, Burgin 8-3-19, N. Sand 0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-6-54

MCS (62)

B. Olcott 4-0-8, Swan 10-6-26, Pelkey 4-0-12, Allen 2-0-5, Gilbo 0-1-1, Demarais 4-0-8, D. Olcott 1-0-2. TOTALS: 25-7-62

Halftime- Beekmantown, 26-25

3 point goals- MCS 5, BCS 5