Mayfield edged in Class C quarterfinals by Maple Hill
TROY — After falling behind by 15 points in the opening quarter, the 14th-seeded Mayfield Panthers battled back to put themselves in position to win Saturday’s Section II Class C quarterfinal game.
The Panthers’ Garrett Delaney hit a 3-pointer from the left side with 1:35 left in regulation to tie the game at 52 apiece.
Maple Hill’s Evan Kulpa answered by converting on a pair of free throws to give the Wildcats a 54-52 edge.
Mayfield’s continued to push the pace against the Wildcats and created opportunities only to have the ball fall off the rim.
With 9.8 seconds remaining, the Panthers had one more shot at advancing to the semifinals for the first time since 1992.
With the full court in front of them, Delaney inbound the ball to Tommy Gates who was immediately pressured by the Maple Hill defense and returned the pass to Delaney who got the ball into the forecourt before putting the ball in the hands of Trevon Gifford for the final shot. With the clock winding down, Gifford drove to the hoop only to have hit shot bounce off the rim as time expired giving the sixth-seeded Wildcats their second-straight trip to the Class C Final Four.
“They were just more physical against us when we were in our man defense,” Mayfield coach Jon Goodemote said. “We switched to zone and that worked much better. I am happy with the way the kids came back and gave themselves a chance to win it. We just got down too far.”
Mayfield grabbed an early lead in the quarterfinal game with Evan Lehr and Gifford sandwiching baskets around a score off an offensive rebound by the Wildcats’ Nate Mannion for a 4-2 lead.
Maple Hill then ran off 17 unanswered points to build a 19-4 advantage before Delaney connected for a 3-pointer that was answered by Maple Hill’s Nick Butler to put the score at 22-7 and the end of the opening period.
The Panthers switched off their man-to-man defense in the second quarter and began working back into the game.
Delaney connected for a pair of second-quarter 3-pointers while Gifford began driving the lane and drawing fouls as the Panthers cut the 15-point lead down to six, 29-23 at the half.
“They played man in the beginning of the game and we were pretty successful then they went to their 2-3 zone and it hurt our inside game,” Maple Hill coach Scott Hanrahan said. “They made a great change and got right back in the game. They have to outstanding players in Gifford and Delaney. That was our whole concentration but even with players on them they were able to get off shots.”
Mayfield opened the second half with Gifford hit a pair of lay-ups to cut the lead to a single basket, 29-27. Mannion answered with a 3-pointer for the Wildcats that was answered by a 3-pointer from Delaney.
Maple Hill put together a short run to build their lead to eight, 40-32, before Josh Wasson and Lehr delivered 3-pointers to put the score at 41-39 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Delaney game the Panthers their first lead of the game since the opening minutes with a 3-pointer 25-seconds into the final stance for a 42-41 Mayfield advantage.
Gifford and Lehr pulled down a pair of defensive rebounds before Gifford again hit on a drive to the hoop for a 44-41 edge.
The Wildcats again found a way to score with Mannion and Connor Hall hitting to take the lead back 45-44.
Maple Hill continued its run with Hall hitting a 3-pointer to help take the lead to seven, 52-45, with 3:18 left to play.
The Panthers were not conceding as Lehr hit baskets in the low post on back-to-back trips down the court and Delay hit a three to tie the game at 52 with 1:35 remaining.
Kulpa drew a foul going for an offensive rebound and made both free throws to put the Wildcats up 54-52.
The Panthers created opportunities in the final minute, with Gifford driving hard to the hoop and drawing contact but not enough for a call.
Mannion drew a foul with 11.2 seconds left but missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 and Gifford pulled down the rebound. Goodemote and Hanrahan called back-to-back full time outs to set up the final sequence that ended with Maple Hill holding on for the 54-52 victory.
“I told them not to get beat deep and know where Delaney and Gifford are because they were going to go to one of the two of them and just don’t foul a jump-shooter,” coach Hanrahan said of his instructions in the final huddle.
Mannion finished with a double-double of 20 points and 21 rebounds, four blocks and three assists for Maple Hill, while Butler finished with 13 points three steals and two assists and hall added 11 points for the Wildcats.
Gifford led Mayfield with 19 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots, while Delaney had six 3-pointers in his 18-points two rebound, two assist and two steal effort and Lehr added 10 points and three rebounds.
“It has been a good ride. I am proud of the team,” Goodemote said. “We had our ups and downs to overcome but these kids had a good showing. Lots of teams would have folded being down that far. They didn’t and battled back to have a shot at winning the game.”
In other Class C quarterfinal action, Saturday No. 2 Hoosick Falls defeated No. 10 Greenville 70-51, while top-seeded lake George defeated No. 9 Stillwater 69-37 and No. 5 Saratoga Catholic Central defeated No. 4 Granville 44-42 on Friday.
Mayfield closed out its season with a 12-11 overall record.
Maple Hill 54, Mayfield 52
Maple Hill 22 7 12 13 — 54
Mayfield 7 16 16 13 — 52
Julia 1-4-6, Jewett 1-0-2, Butler 4-2-13, Hall 4-1-11, Hanrahan 1-0-2, Mannion 8-3-20. Totals: 19-10-54.
Delaney 6-0-18, Lehr 4-1-10, Leach 1-0-2, Wasson 1-0-3, Gifford 6-7-19. Totals: 18-8-52.
3-point goals: Maple Hill 6 (Nick Butler 3, Connor Hall 2, Nate Mannion); Mayfield 8 (Garrett Delaney 6, Evan Lehr, Josh Wasson).