WELLS - The Wells boys basketball team jumped out to an early lead over visiting Ticonderoga, but the depth of the Sentinels' bench proved to be too much for the Indians.
Using a high-pressure press to wear down the Indians and fuel its transition game, Ticonderoga turned turnovers into points en route to a 65-30 Northern Basketball League contest Monday night at Wells High School.
"I thought we did well in the first quarter and stayed with them but then we didn't handle their pressure in the second quarter," Wells coach J.C. Parslow said. "The second quarter we threw the ball away too much and their defense caused a lot of that. We actually ran through our offense more in the third and fourth quarters, which helped us see the court a little bit better and develop shots."
Wells’ Kenny Chicoski, left, puts up a fade-away shot from the corner over Ticonderoga’s Eric Nielson (33) as Ticonderoga’s Matt Cook (11) and Ben Brenan (25) await the outcome during Monday’s Northern Basketball League game at Wells High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
After Garrison Hughes opened the scoring for the Sentinels, who received honorable mention in the state rankings for Class C schools, Kenny Chicoski and Ben Brenan answered for Wells.
Chicoski drained a 3-pointer and Brenan powered up for a lay up in the low post for a quick 5-2 advantage.
Ticonderoga picked up its game, pressuring the Indians into quick shots, and feeding a fast break off the defensive rebounds to close out the opening period on a 20-3 run.
The Sentinels kept the pressure on in the second quarter, keeping Wells scoreless in the quarter until Brenan hit a free throw with 3:26 left in the half. Brenan later hit a put back on the offensive board to account for the Indians' second-quarter points as Ticonderoga carried a substantial 44-11 lead into the locker room at the break.
The Indians turned in their strongest effort in the third quarter with Chicoski hitting a pair of 3-pointers, Brenan scoring in the paint and Matt Michienzi hitting from the outside to win the third-quarter scoring.
However, the game-long pressure by the Sentinels showed in the final eight minutes as they were able to keep fresh legs on the floor to close out the 65-30 victory.
Brenan led the Indians (4-8 overall, 4-8 NBL) with 14 points, while Chicoski finished with 12, including three 3-pointers. Michienzi and Seth Weaver closed out the Wells scoring with two points apiece.
Ticonderoga received scoring from 11 players with Anthony DuShane leading the way with 10 points.
The Indians have two games remaining on their schedule as they have opted not to participate in the Section VII Class D postseason tournament.
"I told the kids that we need to be .500 and we are now 4-8 so there is no chance of that," Parslow said. "Hopefully, we get the last two wins and reach the individual milestones we set at the start of the season."
Ticonderoga 65, Wells 30
Ticonderoga22 22 13 8 - 65
Wells8 3 15 4 - 30
Austin 2-0-4, Hughes 4-1-9, DuShane 5-0-10, Wiktorko 2-0-4, Cook 3-0-6, Denno 4-0-9, Donohue 2-2-6, Graney 2-0-5, Nielsen 3-2-8, Afzal 1-0-2, Bevins 1-0-2. Totals: 29-5-65.
Chicoski 3-3-12, Brenan 6-2-14, Weaver 0-2-2, Michienzi 1-0-2. Totals: 10-7-30.
3-point goals: Ticonderoga 2 (Denno, Graney); Wells 3 (Chicoski 3).