February 19, 2009
Indians unable to slow down Senecas in semis
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Groton’s Peter Jackson (13) loses control of the ball in the first quarter while being defended by Watkins Glen’s Nick Pheonix (22) in IAC semifinal play last night at TC3. Groton tumbled, 75-47.
DRYDEN — It was simply a very bad night for Groton Central boys at the Interscholastic Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament semifinals Wednesday night.
Unable to hit the outside shots, the inability to get rebounds or to stop the Watkins Glen offensive surge enabled the Senecas to roll to a 75-47 victory over the Indians in the second game of the playoff doubleheader at Tompkins Cortland Community College.
In the first semifinal game, Moravia took control early as the Blue Devils posted a solid 55-43 victory over Waverly.
The IAC boys’ championship game will take place around 6:45 p.m Saturday at TC3, following the Lansing vs. Odessa-Montour girls’ title game. The girls’ tip-off at 5 p.m.
Four of five Watkins Glen starters hit double figures, led by 18 points from 6-foot-6 senior center Justin DeDominick, in turning back Division III regular season champion Groton — ranked 10th in this week’s Class C state poll.
“It was a good game,” said Watkins Glen coach John Fazzary, whose team is an honorable mention Class B selection in the same state poll. “We all know Groton was short-handed. It was tough for them. They were not at full strength.”
Groton played the semifinal without two suspended starters.
“We certainly did control the boards,” Fazzary continued. “We played well offensively. We made some good looks against their pressure defense. We were able to get some nice dribble-drives that allowed us to shoot or pass. We did get some easy baskets that way.”
“I liked the way we started the game,” said Groton coach John Filzen. “We had good energy, but we were turning the ball over. We gave Watkins Glen opportunities. We did not take advantage of any opportunity we had to get control of the game early. We had the good energy, but not the good intellect.
“We gave up too many lay-ups,” Filzen added. “We got too far behind to be able to switch to zone defense. We had a chance to cut the lead to 13 by halftime which was a manageable distance, but we miss a stupid shot and they make a shot to go up by 17.”
Groton (16-3 overall) did take a 2-0 lead on a steal and lay-up by Nick Conway with 6:41 left in the first quarter, but it was all Watkins Glen after that. The Senecas (17-3) scored the next 10 points to assume control of the contest.
DeDominick started inside and Mark Fraboni (12 points) followed to put the Senecas in the lead for good with 4:44 left in the quarter, Less than a minute later, Groton senior captain Peter Jackson collected his second personal foul and sat for the rest of the quarter to early part of the second quarter.
Ivan Malina netted his two of 10 points before two more inside buckets by DeDominick completed to opening run.
Conway stopped the Watkins Glen run with his second bucket of the game, but the Senecas closed out the quarter with a 7-0 run and enjoyed a 17-4 lead by the completion of the first quarter.
Working the paint effectively, Watkins Glen used a 12-3 run to increased its advantage to 29-7. Fraboni scored six points during this spurt to aid the Senecas.
With Jackson back in the line-up, Groton tried to rally in the final three minutes of the half. The captain hit a two 3-pointers during a mini-run that saw the Indians close to within 35-20 with 33 seconds left in the half. Groton would get one more chance to close the gap, but a shot was off the mark. Watkins Glen got the rebound, hurried upcourt and Malina banked home a desperation toss near the foul line with 0.1 remaining to send the Senecas into the locker room with a 37-20 lead.
The second half was a mirror of the first half. Little Groton runs were easily countered Watkins Glen. The Senecas led 56-32 after three quarters before posting the final 28-point margin.
Kris Larson came off the bench to score 11 points with Watkins Glen while Stuart Cook was the fourth starter to reach double figures with 10 points. Larson was another key to the Watkins Glen victory.
“We saw Watkins Glen play before and Fraboni was the only one who could really handle the ball,” said Filzen. “We thought if we could pressure him we could force a lot of turnovers. Larson really surprised us with his ability to dribble and control the ball. We haven’t seen that and I think was was a key factor in Watkins Glen controlling the game.”
Conway finished with game-high 22 points for Groton with Jackson adding 14 points. The Indians got nothing from the inside game as DeDominick recorded five blocked shots against the Groton big men.
Filzen said the team would have a day off Thursday before getting back to work for Section 4 Tournament play.
The Indians are the top-seed in Class C, but we still be without Ethan Tilebein and Kyle Reed, who have one game remaining in their school-issued suspensions. With no IAC title game or first-round sectional game, Groton will need to win its Feb. 28 quarterfinal match against either nine-seed Greene (12-7) or eight-seed Sidney (12-7) before the suspended players can return to action.
Moravia 55, Waverly 43: Pat Mott scored 11 on his game-high 21 points during second-quarter play as Moravia (15-5) built a 12-5 first-quarter lead into a 26-15 halftime advantage. The Indians continued to pull away in the third quarter leading 40-24 by the end of three quarters.
Jeremy Stewart aided the Blue Devil offense by scoring 11 of his 16 points in second half action. Moravia led 54-33 with 3:21 remaining before coach Todd Mulvaney emptied his bench,
Kevin Gorman scored 16 points to lead Waverly (13-6).
Watkins Glen 75, Groton 47
Groton (16-3) 47: Conway 8 3-4 22, Gallow 0 1-2 1, Jackson 4 5-7 14, Peckham 0 1-2 1, Pratt 0 2-2 2, Senter 2 1-2 6, Tompkins 0 1-2 1, Murray 0 0-0 0, Wannall 0 0-0 0, Carey 0 0-0 0. Team totals 14 14-21 47
Watkins Glen (17-3) 75: Malina 6 0-0 12, Mangus 1 0-0 2, Stansfield 1 0-0 2, Fraboni 6 0-0 12, DeDominick 9 0-2 18, Phoenix 2 0-0 4, Larson 5 0-0 11, T. Cook 1 0-0 2, Moore 1 0-0 2, S. Cook 4 0-0 10. Team totals 36 0-3 75
Groton 4 16 12 15 — 47
Watkins Glen 17 20 19 19 — 75
3-pt. goals: Groton (5)- Conway 3, Jackson, Senter. Watkins Glen (3)- S. Cook 2, Larson.
Moravia 55, Waverly 43
Moravia (15-5) 55: D. Langtry 2 0-0 4, Pasho 3 0-0 8, T.J. Powers 1 0-0 2, Wells 0 0-0 0, Dwyer 1 0-0 2, Mott 7 5-5 21, Stewart 6 2-4 16, Wakefield 1 0-0 2, D. Powers 0 0-0 0, Nesbit 0 0-0 0. Team totals 21 7-9 55
Waverly (13-6) 43: Terwilliger 1 0-0 3, Park 0 2-2 2, Tracy 2 1-4 6, Myers 4 0-0 8, Haxton 1 0-0 3, Harrower 0 0-0 0, Bailey 1 0-0 2, Hugg 0 0-0 0, Gorman 5 6-7 16, Wilkinson 1 0-0 3, Rote 0 0-0 0. Team totals 15 9-13 43
Moravia 12 14 14 15 — 55
Waverly 5 10 9 19 — 43
3-pt. goals: Moravia (6)- Pasho 2, Mott 2, Stewart 2. Waverly (4)- Terwilliger, Tracy, Haxton, Wilkinson.
To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe