— The Moriah boys’ basketball team had a short break before it heads into Class D regional play tonight against Section X champion Madrid-Waddington at 7:45 p.m. at SUNY Potsdam.
The Vikings are coming off a solid 49-44 victory Saturday over Schroon Lake to capture the Section VII Class D crown. Coach Brian Cross is taking Saturday’s victory and putting it towards improving his squad, as they head into their next game.
High School Sports Magazine
“I think the positive (from Saturday’s game) is that we played very well, we bent but we didn’t break,” Cross said. “Looking back, I think maybe if we slowed down the tempo while we were ahead, I think it would have benefited us; it wouldn’t have made us nervous at the end.”
Cross, only having one day of practice to prepare for a Madrid-Waddington team he admitted he “doesn’t know much about”, but believes will not be an easy matchup to handle. Even though Madrid-Waddington (16-7), entered their Section X tournament with the six seed, it was able to get hot at the right time and defeat the number one and three seeds on its way to a Class D title.
“I don’t know what they have for size, but I know they are very athletic,” Cross said. “They have a lot of the same guys back who made it to the final four last year, and I think they are feeding off that right now.”
Madrid-Waddington is led by senior point guard Colin O’Bryan, who averages just less than 14 points per game.
“Madrid has a very good point guard in O’Bryan; we are going to have a very difficult time trying to contain him. We’re probably going to try to do that with more than one person,” Cross said.
As for the Vikings, their leading scorer is 6-foot, 4-inch, freshman Adam Jaquish, who averages 12.9 points per game, and also is Moriah’s top rebounder.
Statistics don’t do Cross’s team justice, as they constantly get contributions from different players each game.
In Saturday’s Section VII Class D finals game, the Vikings had balanced scoring from nearly all of their players on the floor, and were led by point guard Tyler Pratt’s 10 points.
Cross knows he needs that same type of production if he expects Moriah to move on to the next round.
“For us to win (tonight) it has got to be another team effort,” he said. “Adam’s done a good job all year scoring and rebounding, (Derek) Brassard has done a good job and so has (Mike) Mero. But as far as scoring we’ve had other people step up, and we need that to continue.”
One of the things Cross emphasized was improvement in his team’s rebounding. The Vikings were killed on the boards against Schroon Lake Saturday, constantly giving up second and third-shot opportunities. Cross knows that can not be the case today.
“We only want to give them one shot each time down the floor that’s for sure,” he said. “We want to rebound better than we did Saturday, and not give up any second-chance opportunities.”
Cross feels as though his team, even on short rest, is prepared to handle another big game and has no questions about the team’s focus or motivation.
“At this point of the year you lose, you go home,” Cross said. “I don’t need to do a lot to motivate them; most of them are football players, so they know what the postseason is about. They’re used to moving on and playing in regionals.”
Cross added that he is “confident” in his team’s abilities. He believes if they continue to “play fairly well” as they have been the past couple games, he knows his team will be “competitive” and be able to take home the victory.
Player GP FG FT P AVG
Jaquish 21 101 55 257 12.9
Brassard 21 60 26 168 8.4
Calkins 18 35 35 112 6.6
Mero 21 44 20 120 6.0
Shpur 21 44 9 97 4.9
Player GP No
Brassard 21 22
Mero 21 12
Player GP FG FT P AVG
O’Bryan 18 92 49 248 13.8
Wright 23 88 55 261 11.3
Thompson 23 89 39 219 9.5
Rease 23 75 24 198 8.6
Crump 23 46 13 105 4.6
Player GP No
Wright 23 30
Rease 23 24
O’Bryan 18 15