CANAJOHARIE - The Northville Falcons played big and used timely runs to push past the Canajoharie Cougars 55-52 in overtime Wednesday in a Western Athletic Conference boys basketball contest at Canajoharie High School.
The Cougars (0-1), playing their first game since a Class C semifinals loss to Hoosic Valley in February, were out-hustled by an undersized Northville (2-0) team. Despite a 16-point run for the Cougars spanning two quarters, Northville was able to limit the effectiveness of Canajoharie's big men and crawl back to take the lead by the time the fourth quarter began.
Nick Jonas was hot all night for Northville. He set the tone with two three-pointers in the first quarter. Freshman Danny Reidell also added a three-pointer in the quarter and scored the first four points for the Falcons.
Northville’s Danny Reidell, right, looks to shoot as Canajoharie’s Colin Davis (4) and Josh Gonzalez (44) defend during Wednesday’s Western Athletic Conference game at Canajoharie High School. (The Leader-Herald/Shaun Anich)
Colin Davis scored seven in the quarter for Canajoharie. Davis connected from downtown in response to Reidell's three and scored two more as part of a 6-0 Canajoharie run.
Leading 16-14 entering the second quarter, Northville went on a 7-0 run and didn't allow a basket until Dillan Veeder made a wide open corner three with 2:52 remaining in the half. In that time, Davis, Jordan Brownell, and Veeder connected for three more three-pointers as part of a 14-0 Canajoharie run to end the half. Morgan Chapman laid the ball up and in at the buzzer to give the Cougars a 28-23 lead entering halftime.
"I think we dodged some bullets early on that gave us a lead in the first half and they came back," said Northville head coach John Karbowski. "Give them credit."
Brownell scored the first two points of the third quarter for Canajoharie to push their run to 16-0, but Jonas once again took over for Northville. Jonas made two foul shots before draining his third three-pointer of the game on Northville's next possession to begin a 7-0 Northville run. Reidell made an off-balance jumper at the buzzer to give Northville a 38-37 lead. Northville outscored Canajoharie 15-9 in the quarter.
The teams traded baskets in the fourth. Five Northville players combined for nine points in the frame.
With 2:49 remaining and Northville holding a 47-45 lead, Canajoharie's Zach Ouderkirk used his size to convert an easy second-chance layup and tie the game at 47 apiece. Jonas had a chance to put Northville ahead but missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity.
After suffering an ankle injury earlier in the game, Northville's Kalob Russell provided the spark in overtime. Russell made a three-pointer to give Northville a four-point lead with 1:30 remaining and extended their lead for a final time with a basket following a steal by Reidell.
"They were the projected team to win but we came out hard, we played hard, and we came away with the W," said Russell.
Russell finished with 13 points in the contest, seven of which came in the overtime period. Jonas led the way for Northville with 16 points.
"It's a great win and our kids played hard from start to finish," said Karbowski. "They have heart and we've been saying that from day one."
The loss raises concerns for the Cougars who finished with a 16-4 overall record a year ago and are the team to beat this winter.
"I think our egos needed a wake-up call," said Canajoharie head coach Phil Schoff. "We had such a great season last year, I think some of us believed that it was just going to carry over to this season but it doesn't happen like that."
Veeder made three three-pointers for the Cougars and scored 15 points. The senior guard is confident his team can rebound from the season-opening loss.
"This is really just a wake up call," said Veeder. "We'll come back stronger from this. That's just how we are."
The win runs Northville's record to 2-0 on the season. Karbowski attributed the wild win, in part, to senior leadership.
"I've got a great group of seniors," said Karbowski. "I've got eight seniors that came back and a couple of underclassmen but those seniors are leaders and you see it at all times. We have five leaders on the floor and we have five or six on the bench and that goes a long way."
The Falcons will look to continue streaking at home against Saratoga Catholic on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Cougars will be on the road in Mayfield taking on the Panthers.
Northville 55, Canajoharie 52
Northville16 7 15 9 8 - 55
Canajoharie14 14 9 10 5 - 52
Reidell 2-6-11, Holmes 2-0-4, Jonas 5-3-16, Onzo 3-1-7, Russell 5-2-13, Edwards 2-0-4. Totals 19-12-55.
Gonzalez 4-2-10, Davis 4-0-10, Veeder 5-2-15, Folts 2-1-6, Brownell 2-0-5, Chapman 1-0-2, Ouderkirk 2-0-4. Totals 20-5-52.
3-point-goals: Northville 5 (Jonas 3, Reidell, Russell); Canajoharie 7 (Veeder 3, Davis 2, Brownell, Folts)