FONDA - It was a game that favored the deep.
There were more than 40 fouls between the Fonda-Fultonville Braves and the Broadalbin-Perth Patriots during Saturday night's second game of the Colonial-Foothills Challenge at Fonda-Fultonville High School, and six players - four Patriots and two Braves - fouled out by the end.
And at the end of the night, the Braves were left standing with a 44-37 victory.
Broadalbin-Perth’s Chris Natoli goes up for a shot as Fonda-Fultonville’s Will Turner, left, and another play defend during Saturday’s non-league boys basketball game at Fonda-Fultonville High School in Fonda. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
Johnstown’s Ryan Auty dribbles past Cobleskill-Richmondville’s Kevin Van Valkenburg duing Saturday’s boys basketball game at Fonda-Fultonville High School in Fonda. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
Coupled with their win Friday night over the Johnstown Sir Bills, the Braves were the only team to win both games during the event.
"It was an amazing atmosphere," Fonda-Fultonville guard Ryan Derby said. "The past two days, it was amazing. The crowd was into it. I give them a lot of credit coming both nights. They made it an amazing game, getting all rowdy like that."
The Patriots finished with a 1-1 record and the Johnstown Sir Bills also split their two games after they beat Cobleskill-Richmondville, 63-39, in the first game Saturday. The Bulldogs dropped to 0-2.
Like they did the night before, the Braves took the lead for good when Zach Valachovic hit a layup with 2:43 left in the quarter to give the Braves a 15-14 lead. The Patriots had gone up 14-11, but the offense had gone silent for nearly five minutes. During that stretch the Braves scored seven straight points to take an 18-14 lead.
The Patriots closed it to two on a basket by Andre Taylor, who finished with 11 points, but Derby's 3-point jumper gave the Braves a five-point lead.
"In a game like that, you get a five-point lead, that's a big lead in this series," Fonda-Fultonville coach Eric Wilson said. "I can't say enough about the guys. I'm so proud of the guys. Every one of them. The way they came together as a team tonight."
The Braves got the jump on the Patriots early in the third quarter as baskets by Zac Nowak and Will Turner gave them a 10-point lead just 1:08 into the period.
"It was a little nerve-wracking," Derby said. "It was going back-and-forth the whole time. You didn't know what was going to happen. We just came together at the end and made it happen."
As the game would toward the final buzzer and the fouls continued to pile up, preventing each team from generating any kind of momentum, key players from both teams started disappearing. Turner picked up his fourth foul in the third and fouled out in the fourth late in the fourth.
He wasn't the first to go as Broadalbin-Perth's Taylor picked up his fifth with 7:20 remaining in the game. The Patriots' Ben Bellandi, Mark Sylvia and Luigi Magliocca also fouled out.
"I think they called it tighter than coach Wilson and I would have expected for a game with Fonda and Broadalbin," Broadalbin-Perth coach Tucker Gifford said. "You've got to expect that it's going to be physical. It was, but unfortunately it was called real tight."
Shortly before Magliocca fouled out, the Braves' Jake Sammons picked up his fifth personal.
"It was tough," Wilson said. "When guys get in foul trouble this time of year, we need guys to step up. I thought our inexperienced guys did a great job. To step into that game as a sophomore, I thought Cam Ives played great. Calkins made some great plays at the end. We made the plays at the end when we needed to make them."
And the Patriots didn't.
"We have to take advantage of our opportunities," Gifford said. "I think we missed too many chippies and foul shots weren't very good. We've got to take advantage of those opportunities."
Johnstown 63, Cobleskill 39
The Cobleskill-Richmondville managed to keep the Sir Bills close in the first quarter, but Johnstown eventually ran away to run away to a 24-point victory to pick up their first win of the season.
"I thought we played well as a team," Johnstown coach Scott Hale said. "The key was trying to match our intensity we had last night. If we did that, we'd be OK. It was pretty close."
The Sir Bills definitely matched the previous night's intensity as they dialed up the pressure, forcing the Bulldogs to turn the ball over. But even though the game was close in the first eight minutes, the Sir Bills never trailed as a basket by Cobleskill-Richmondville's Greg Phelan was sandwiched by a pair of 3-pointers from Jerry Groom as the Sir Bills built an early 6-2 lead.
Groom finished with 14 points.
"That was key," Johnstown coach Scott Hale said. "We hit those early shots and it breaks the ice and it's a little easier to score as a team when you score early. It's a mentality thing. Jerry shoots the ball well. He can play underneath and step out and shoot the ball, too."
The Sir Bills widened the lead to 10-2 on jumpers by freshman Jamal Vazquez and senior Michael Everest.
"We've got good senior leadership, good seniors that work hard," Hale said. "They've got good attitudes. The younger guys play hard as well. That's going to be key to our success: five guys on the floor playing at 100 miles an hour."
During their 7-0 run, the Sir Bills forced the Bulldogs into committing five turnovers.
"I think our press worked pretty well," Hale said. "We forced some turnovers to make some easier baskets for us. We started out and shot well. That kind of broke the ice and allowed us to score."
Johnstown built a 13-7 lead at the end of the third quarter and translated that into a 14-point lead at the break. During the second half, Hale emptied his bench giving the reserves most of the fourth quarter.
Ricky Mitchell scored a game high 16 points and Everest finished with 11. Phelan led the Bulldogs with 11 points.
"I'm happy with our progress and I'm happy with what this team might be able to do when we get into February," Hale said. "We're young and inexperienced. There's not a ton of experience on this team going back to last year because they didn't get a lot of minutes. We're going to see growth from these guys throughout the year."
Johnstown 63, Cobleskill-Richmondville 39
Cobleskill-Richmondville7 13 5 14 - 39
Johnstown13 21 16 13 - 63
Phelan 4-1-10, Berar 3-0-9, Koeberle 1-4-6, Romain 3-2-9, Himme 1-1-4, Boulet 0-1-1. Totals: 12-9-39.
Groom 6-0-14, Vazquez 2-0-4, Everest 5-0-11, Mitchell 6-1-16, Heroth 1-0-2, Szurek 1-0-2, Auty 0-4-4, Hill 1-4-6, Bien-Aime 1-0-2, Caputo 1-0-2. Totals: 24-9-63.
3-point goals: Cobleskill-Richmondville 6 (Berar 3, Himme, Romain, Phelan); Johnstown 6 (Groom 2, Everest, Mitchell 3).
Fonda-Fultonville 44, Broadalbin-Perth 37
Broadalbin-Perth8 9 10 10 - 37
Fonda-Fultonville8 15 12 9 - 44
A. Taylor 5-1-11, Bellandi 3-4-10, Bochenek 2-0-4, Natoli 1-1-3, P. Taylor 1-3-5, Visco 1-0-2, Magliocca 1-0-2. Totals: 14-9-37.
Turner 5-1-13, Derby 3-4-11, Nowak 3-3-9, Madore 1-1-3, Sammons 0-2-2, Valachovic 1-0-2, Calkins 0-3-3, Ives 0-1-1. Totals: 13-15-44.
3-point goals: Fonda-Fultonville 3 (Turner 2, Derby).