LAKE PLACID - Two teams that have had more than their share of struggles met on the basketball court Thursday, and host Lake Placid came away with a 41-23 victory over Keene in Mountain and Valley Athletic Conference action.
It was the second triumph of the season for the Blue Bombers, who improved to 2-8, while the Beavers left the gym still looking for their first win of the season. All 10 Blue Bombers who were dressed scored points in the contest.
Cody Porter paced Lake Placid with eight points, Alex Brandes added seven coming off the bench, and Garrett Woodruff had a strong game inside, scoring six points and hauling down 10 rebounds for the Blue Bombers.
Cody Porter leaps above Keene defenders Brandon Dumas (20) and Warren Ashe (32) while putting up a second-half shot for Lake Placid during Thursday’s game.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Lake Placid’s Casey DiNiCola wrestles a rebound away from Keene’s Maxx Sturgess during Thursday’s MVAC matchup on the Blue Bombers court.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
"This is great. This is the best we've played all year," Lake Placid head coach Brendan Gotham said. "We haven't shot well all season, we've struggled offensively, and tonight, we were clicking."
Gabe Warner and Brandon Dumas each scored eight points to lead the Beavers, who have dealt with a slew of injuries while putting a varsity basketball team on the court for the first time in three seasons.
After falling behind 4-0 early, Keene grabbed a 5-4 edge at the end of the first quarter on a pair of baskets that Gabe Warner knocked down. Maxx Sturgess added another field goal for the Beavers early in the second stanza for a 7-4 lead, but the Blue Bombers answered with a seven-point run and held the lead the rest of the way.
Porter scored the last four points of the first half to send Lake Placid into intermission with a 18-10 lead, and he opened the second half by draining a 3-pointer that pushed the Blue Bombers advantage to double-digits at 21-10.
The 11-point deficit was as close as Keene got the rest of the way as Lake Placid gradually extended its lead as the second half progressed.
A goal of the Beavers this year is rebuilding a competitive program during their return to varsity boys basketball. And it's been a very tough road. In their first game of the season, they lost point guard Austin Brown, who is fortunately expected to be back for the team's next game.
Wednesday also marked the return of Dumas and Colton Venner, both starting players who were out injured. The Beavers, however, did suffer another setback with less than a minute left in the game when Warren Ashe injured his arm while crashing into part of a door frame behind the basket.
"We have no varsity experience, this is our first varsity team in three years, and we're doing the best we can," Keene coach Chad Lopez said. "Tonight, Lake Placid got on a little roll at the end of the second half and at the start of the third quarter that put us in a hole.
"To be successful, our guards have to shoot the ball well, because teams are defending us with a 2-3 zone," Lopez added. "If we can do that, it should help us open up some room for our inside guys. We had some good looks, we just needed to hit some more baskets."
The Blue Bombers and the Beavers will both be back in action Wednesday. Keene will travel to face Johnsburg, a team that beat the Beavers by just two points the last time they met. Meanwhile, Lake Placid will host Chazy in another test for a young Blue Bombers squad.
"It will be difficult, but if we play as well as we did tonight, we have a chance," Gotham said.
Lake Placid 41, Keene 23
Lake Placid (43)
Briggs 1-0-2, Cecunjanin 1-1-4, Moore 1-0-2, DiNiCola 2-0-4, Brandes 3-0-7, Ca. Porter 1-0-2, Co. Porter 3-1-8, Kordziel 2-0-4, Woodruff 3-0-6, Pratt 1-0-2. Totals: 18-2-41.
Hoog 0-0-0, Warner 3-0-8, Dumas 4-0-8, Montez 0-0-0, Holmes 0-0-0, Venner 2-0-4, Ashe 0-0-0. Haverlick 0-0-0, Sturgess 1-1-3. Totals: 10-1-23.
3-point goals: Lake Placid (3), Brandes, Cecunjanin, Co. Porter. Keene (2), Warner 2.