SARANAC LAKE - The AuSable Valley boys basketball team got on an early roll and held on late to claim a 55-51 victory over Saranac Lake Friday in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference action.
The visiting Patriots surged out to a 6-0 lead and held double-digit advantages in both halves, but they had to fight off a Red Storm rally in the closing minutes of the game.
With the win, AuSable Valley improved to 8-3 in the CVAC and 9-4 overall, while Saranac Lake fell to 3-7.
Saranac Lake’s Tom Lester attempts a layup during the first half of Friday’s game against AuSable Valley.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Four players scored in double figures for AuSable Valley. Shane Douglas led the way with 17 points, Austin Depo finished with 15, John Goodnough added 11 points and Zack Cosgrove netted 10.
Saranac Lake's offense was again paced by its three seniors with Teddy Yanchitis scoring a game-high 20 points, Kevin Morgan adding 17 and Kellen Munn with 12 points.
"Heading into the game, we knew their guards were better than ours, and our forwards were better than theirs," Saranac Lake head coach Dermott Morgan said. "The key for us was getting the ball inside, and they did a good job preventing us from that in the first half. I think they started to tire out a bit in the second half, and that's when we were finding success inside, but we just kept trading baskets.
"We needed a few more shots to fall and we needed a few more stops," Morgan added. "The nice thing to see was our kids never quit. We gave AuSable a good run for their money in the end. They are a good team."
The Patriots never trailed in the game. They owned 13-point leads at the end of the first half, and also at the end of the third quarter when the score was 41-28.
Facing a 49-35 deficit with just over three minutes left in the game, Saranac Lake mounted a furious rally that started when Morgan knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in span of just 17 seconds. Morgan then hit a layup with 1:53 to go, which cut the Patriots' lead to 49-43. The Patriots, however, were able to push their edge back to nine points when Goodnough hit a short shot with a minute remaining, and the lead proved to be enough to clinch the win. Trailing 55-48, Saranac Lake got the last bucket of the game when Munn drained a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left on the clock.
"This was a great win for us," AuSable Valley head coach Jamie Douglas said. "This is a tough place to play, and any team that comes to Saranac Lake has to be ready from the start. I think we did a great job in the first half defending against their three big scorers. We got in some foul trouble late and went to a zone, and that's when they started to get inside on us.
"The nice thing about our team is we are six or seven deep," Douglas added. "We don't have a lot of height and we rely on our defense for our offense. We did a nice job sharing the ball today."
The Patriots next play Friday against Seton Catholic. Saranac Lake's next game will be at home Wednesday against Peru.
AuSable Valley 55, Saranac Lake 51
AuSable Valley (55)
Cosgrove 4-1-10, Casey 0-0-0, Kennedy 0-0-0, Goodnough 5-1-11, Facteau 1-0-2, Depo 7-0-15, Douglas 7-1-17, Coolidge 0-0-0, McDonald 0-0-0. Totals: 20-11-55.
Saranac Lake (51)
Lester 0-0-0, Bevilacqua 1-0-2, Fischer 0-0-0, Morgan 7-1-17, Cowan 0-0-0, Munn 4-3-12, Yanchitis 7-5-20. Totals: 19-9-51.
3-point goals: AuSable Valley (4), Cosgrove, Depo, Douglas 2. Saranac Lake (4), Morgan 2, Munn, Yanchitis.