'Burgh survives to reach semis

CaptionCloseTroyAs the double-team flashed his way, Jahidi Wallace sprang into action. A 6-foot-4 senior forward from Lansingburgh, Wallace eluded danger, dribbled down the lane and kicked the ball out to teammate Tyler Rhoden.Wallace's work furnished Rhoden...

'Burgh survives to reach semis

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As the double-team flashed his way, Jahidi Wallace sprang into action. A 6-foot-4 senior forward from Lansingburgh, Wallace eluded danger, dribbled down the lane and kicked the ball out to teammate Tyler Rhoden.

Wallace's work furnished Rhoden with a wide-open look at a 3-pointer and the senior guard drained the shot in the final minute Sunday night to help the Knights escape the clutches of upset-minded Burnt Hills.

Lansingburgh, the No. 1 seed in the Section II Class A boys' basketball playoffs, posted a 67-54 victory over the Spartans in the last of four quarterfinal contests held at Hudson Valley Community College.

The Knights, ranked No. 9 in the state, will next take on No. 5 seed Mohonasen Wednesday in the semifinals at Glens Falls Civic Center. The Mighty Warriors advanced with a 73-55 triumph over Amsterdam.

Burnt Hills (3-18) twice cut their deficit to four points in the fourth quarter and was down 60-54 until Rhoden's third 3-pointer of the game secured separation.

"It was a first-round scare, but we got the win. That's all I care about," Lansingburgh senior point guard Davonte Jones said. "I don't care if we won by one or 100."

Naturally, considering Lansingburgh is the No. 1 seed and a program that reached the title game in 2016, most would have expected the Knights to have an easy time of it against the ninth-seeded Spartans. It proved to be anything but that.

Josh Craig, a 5-6 senior guard, confounded the Knights as he went 6-for-7 from 3-point range. Ben Keppler, a 5-9 senior guard, showed off his ability to finish with his left hand and also scored 18 points.

"They played great. We knew (Burnt Hills) would be great competition for us," said Wallace, who finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. "They played with confidence and they were scrappy. They played a Class AA schedule. I think they played a really good game against us."

"We battled to the end," Burnt Hills coach Shawn Kline said. "The last month, we played pretty well — with the exception of the Averill Park game."

Led by the work from guards Duncan Tallman and Brandon Kruzinski, Mohonasen (8-13) took command in the second quarter and never relinquished it against the Rams (12-9).

It took the Mighty Warriors nearly five minutes to score their first points, but they methodically diced up Amsterdam over the last 27 minutes.

"I feel like our defense won us the game," said Kruzinski, a senior point guard who delivered 19 points and nine assists. "We were all locked in. We weren't looking at the scoreboard. We were just calm. We know they like to run up and down the court. We tried to slow them down and played our game."

"We wanted to slow their running game down and not get caught up in their speed," Tallman said. "We played our game: we slowed it down."

"We've tried to pride ourselves on our defensive identity," Mohonasen coach Josh Peck said.

Anthony Aponte led Amsterdam with 20 points and Louis Fedullo added 14. The Rams struggled in their half-court offense, an aspect Mohonasen flourished in.

The Mighty Warriors lost in the opening round of their Kirvin Cup Tournament in December against Schalmont. Since that loss, the team — one of three Class A teams in the 16-school Suburban Council — is 7-7.

"That was the turning point," said Tallman, who tallied 19 points Sunday. "We talked goals. We wanted to get back to Glens Falls. That's where we're going."

jallen@timesunion.com • 518-454-5062 • @TUSidelines

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