---- — CANANDAIGUA — The Clinton Community College men’s basketball team didn’t have it offensively Sunday, but its defense nearly made up for it.
However, the Cougars dropped a tough 53-52 decision at Finger Lakes Community College.
“The guys played extremely hard,” Clinton coach Kevin Daugherty said. “Finger Lakes is a good team. Still, it was a game we felt we should have won.
“It wasn’t a pretty shooting game by either team. It turned into a defensive battle.”
The Cougars fell behind, 32-25, at the half.
“It was a back-and-forth first half,” Daugherty said. “We dug a hole for ourselves just before the half ended. We turned the ball over a couple of times and found ourselves down by seven.”
Clinton fought hard to the end, though.
“In the second half, we took care of the basketball a little better,” Daugherty said. “In the last minute of the game, we got two defensive stops and were down by one point. Then we got another stop and got possession of the ball in the half-court area with five seconds remaining.
“(Jamie) Davison was able to get a runner off in the lane, but the shot didn’t fall. It was a good shot.”
Richard De La Cruz was the lone Raider in double figures with a game-high 21 points.
Mykell Crecko finished with 14 points and eight blocked shots for the Cougars (9-7, 6-6). Davison was also a factor with 13 points and six steals.
“We were able to get some good play, especially on defense, from Kyle LaPoint, Jordan Coolidge and Jordan Knight off the bench,” Daugherty said.
Next up for the Cougars will be a home game at 7 p.m. Thursday against Schenectady Community College.
Finger Lakes 53, Clinton 52
Crecko 5-4-14, Radan 0-0-0, Miller 1-0-2, Hull 3-0-6, Davison 5-0-13, LaPoint 3-0-7, Spencer 0-0-0, Coolidge 1-0-3, Knight 2-1-7. Totals: 20-5-52.
Finger Lakes (53)
Edwards 1-0-2, De La Cruz 7-4-21, Carbonell 3-0-6, Arberry 3-0-7, Higgins 0-3-3, Wilburn 3-0-8, Munoz 0-0-0, Young 1-0-2, Barnes 0-0-0, Miller 1-2-4. Totals: 19-9-53.
3-point goals: Clinton (7): Davison 3; Knight 2; LaPoint; Coolidge. Fulton-Montgomery (6); De La Cruz 3; Wilburn 2; Arberry.
Halftime: Finger Lakes, 32-25.
North Country 80
SARANAC LAKE — It was a tough weekend for the Saints (13-7, 9-7), who dropped an 84-82 double-overtime game to SUNY Delhi the day before.
Aaron Morton poured in 33 points and Khaleeq Baum added 15 for the visitors, who held a 43-42 halftime lead.
Steve Carder led North Country with 24 points and 13 rebounds, while Steven Poulter added 20 points and seven rebounds, and Jared Heden, 18 points and seven boards. Poulter hit six three-pointers, and Ian Henderson four while finishing with 14 points.
Michael Boyea dished out six assists.
“It was a one-point game at the half,” North Country coach Chad LaDue said. “But at the 14-minute mark of the second half, we were down by 10. It really came down to having a double-overtime game yesterday. Our guys were just emotionally and physically spent, very fatigued. And Fulton-Montgomery took advantage of that.
“They built a little bit of a lead, and we got it back to a four-point game with 1:50 left. But then they scored and we didn’t.”
The Saints tried to keep pace by hitting 12 three-pointers.
“Nine of our 12 threes came in the first half,” LaDue said. “The other three were pretty early in the second half. I think we shot it decent early. Late, it was a little more of a struggle for us.”
North Country returns to the court on Tuesday with a 5 p.m. game against Word of Life.
North Country 80
Williams 2-0-4, Mann 0-3-3, Gist 1-0-2, Jack 2-0-4, Dinkins 2-0-6, Baum 6-3-15, Barr 2-0-6, Morton 14-3-33. Totals: 33-15-87.
North Country (80)
Boyea 1-2-4, Henderson 4-2-14, Poulter 6-2-20, Heden 7-2-18, Carder 8-8-24, Brock 0-0-0, Stone 0-0-0, Grcic 0-0-0, Patraw 0-0-0. Totals: 26-16-80.
3-point goals: Fulton-Montgomery (6): Dinkins 2; Barr 2; Morton 2. North Country (12): Poulter 6; Henderson 4; Heden 2.
Halftime: Fulton-Montgomery, 43-42.
Vermont Tech 79,
Paul Smith’s 60
PAUL SMITHS — Vermont Tech jumped out to a 14-point lead at the half and went on to defeat the Bobcats.
Brandon Matano led the visitors with 26 points, including four three-pointers, while Alex Tyrrell added 18 points and Kyle Kissenberth, 11.
Alex Medina paced Paul Smith’s (3-15, 3-10 Yankee Conference) with 34 points. Connor McCuin chipped in with 10 and Pat Odell, nine.
The Bobcats didn’t play well in falling behind, 41-27, at the half.
“In the first half, we fell behind because of turnovers and poor transition defense,” Paul Smith’s coach Joe Akey said. “We were never able to climb out of that hole. We cut the lead to eight points on a couple different occasions, then Vermont Tech would go on a 6-0 run to push the lead back to the original deficit.
“The team was flat all day and regardless of the adjustments we made to try and get some momentum, we could not recover from that poor start.”
Vermont Tech 79,
Paul Smith’s 60
Vermont Tech (79)
Sauns 1-1-3, Follensbee 0-0-0, Marler 2-3-7, Tyrrell 8-2-18, Matano 11-0-26, Tyson 0-0-0, Mao 0-0-0, Kissenberth 5-0-11, Bannerman 0-0-0, Scott 2-0-4, Lindsey 5-0-10. Totals: 34-6-79.
Paul Smith’s (60)
Medina 11-1-24, Wightman 1-2-4, Hapgood 0-0-0, Odell 4-1-9, Senthil 2-0-4, Klock, 2-2-7, McCuin 5-0-10. Totals: 25-8-60.
3-point goals: Vermont Tech (5): Matano 4; Kissenberth. Paul Smith’s (2): Medina; Klock.
Halftime: Vermont Tech 41, Paul Smith’s 27.
Finger Lakes 56,
Clinton C.C. 54
CANANDAIGUA — Casi Strait’s two-pointer with seven seconds left gave Finger Lakes Community College a hard-earned win over the Cougars.
Clinton (6-6) trailed, 33-22, at the half and was still down, 43-34, at the nine-minute mark.
“We started the game flat,” Clinton coach Donna Dixon said. “The last five minutes of the second half, we went on a 13-6 run. It was a 53-50 game with three minutes left. We were down, 54-52, with a minute left, had possession of the ball and got three offensive rebounds before Katrina Garrand was fouled. She hit both free throws to tie it, 54-all, with 15.6 seconds remaining.
“But Strait hit a floating shot from the top of the key with seven seconds left to put them back in front. We had one last chance, but ended up turning the ball over.”
Strait finished with 15 points, and Casey Dean added 12 for Finger Lakes.
“Strait is a big scorer for them,” Dixon said. “She had 12 points in the first half, and we did a great job defensively on her in the second half. The basket she made in the final seconds was her only two-pointer of the second half.”
Emily Decker led the Cougars with 14 points and 16 rebounds, while Katelyn Gates finished with 11 points and 10 boards.
“They both had double-doubles and played well,” Dixon said.
Alisa Ducatte chipped in with 13 points, and Garrand added eight points, five assists and four steals.
“It was a great game — we had our opportunities,” Dixon said. “When we got behind like we did, we could have packed it in. But we got it done defensively.”
The Cougars host Schenectady Community College at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Finger Lakes 56, Clinton 54
Gates 4-3-11, Ducatte 5-0-13, J. Decker 2-0-4, E. Decker 6-2-14, Garrand 1-6-8, Horton 1-1-4, Barber 0-0-0. Totals: 19-12-54.
Finger Lakes (56)
Smith 2-0-4, Monpere 3-2-9, Pagano 1-0-3, Strait 4-5-15, McCauley 3-1-9, Dean 4-2-12, Broderick 1-0-2, Maiorana 1-0-2. Totals: 19-10-56.
3-point goals: Clinton (4): Ducatte 3; Horton. Finger Lakes (8): Strait 2; McCauley 2; Dean 2; Monpere; Pagano.
Halftime: Finger Lakes, 33-22.
North Country 43
SARANAC LAKE — Powerful Fulton-Montgomery Community College jumped out to a 36-13 halftime lead while improving its record to 12-1.
Kassandra Flowers paced the Raiders with 21 points, including five three-pointers, while Sherice Gayle was next with 16 points.
Stephanie Demarais and Emily Lapage led North Country Community College with 12 points each, with Lapage also grabbing nine rebounds. Haylea Gary was a third Saint in double figures with 10 points.
North Country 43
Jordan 1-0-3, Ward 2-0-4, Chea 1-0-3, Mitchell 0-0-0, Flowers 7-2-21, Ratageinawa 3-0-6, Osbourne 5-1-11, Gayle 7-2-16, Sisti 4-0-8, Whyomerski 3-2-8. Totals: 32-7-78.
North Country (43)
Uras 1-4-6, Kezar 0-0-0, Gausby 1-0-3, Demarais 4-4-12, Lapage 3-6-12, Gary 3-3-10, Branton 0-0-0. Totals: 12-17-43.
3-point goals: Fulton-Montgomery (7): Flowers 5; Jordan; Chea. North Country (2): Gausby; Gary.
Halftime: Fulton-Montgomery, 36-13.