BROADALBIN - Momentum has swung in favor of the Broadalbin-Perth boys basketball team.
With an eye on their return to the Section II Class B postseason tournament, the Patriots posted their third straight win, closing out the regular season with a 57-32 win over Hudson Falls.
"This is where we want to be," Broadalbin-Perth coach Tucker Gifford said. "You need to pick up momentum this time of year. February is our month. We are ready."
Broadalbin-Perth’s Ryan Newfrock (44) powers his way up between Hudson Falls’ Matt Connolly (30) and Wyatt Gorham (24) to draw a foul during Monday’s Foothills Council game at Broadalbin-Perth High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Monday, the Broadalbin-Perth pressed the Tigers into multiple turnovers, which it converted into points.
Mark Sylvia picked up a pair of steals off in-bound plays by the Tigers that he finished off with uncontested lay-ups. However, Preston Taylor hit a pair of 3-pointers and Robbie VanBrocklin added a third try late in the opening period to establish an 18-8 advantage.
"We need easy points and turnovers provide that for us," Gifford said. "Our half-court was a little off but our presses were working fine tonight and we were getting good looks from them."
Hudson Falls battled back into contention late in the second quarter.
The Patriots (8-10 overall) held their double-digit advantage until the final 90 seconds, when they sent the Tigers to the free-throw line three times.
Hudson Falls missed four of the seven attempts, but closed the gap to seven, 28-21, at the break.
"I thought early in the game we had good momentum and were in control," Gifford said. "Then we kind of went back to our old ways and started fouling again and put ourselves in a bad situation. Instead of having a 10 point lead it was only six or seven."
Andre Taylor helped the Patriots build their lead back to double-digits with a free throw and a three-point play in the opening minute of the third quarter.
Despite a strong eight-point third-quarter performance from the Tigers' 6-foot-5 center Brandon Winchell, Broadalbin-Perth took control of the game, building its lead to 44-31 heading into the final fame.
"The first three minutes of the third quarter was huge for us to come out, reestablish that momentum that we had in the first quarter and distance ourselves a little bit," Gifford said.
The Patriots built on its lead early with a Preston Taylor 3-pointer and a low-post basket from Chris Natoli.
The Broadalbin-Perth ball handlers worked on clock management in the final eight minutes, remaining in control and closing out the 57-42 Foothills Council victory.
Preston Taylor led the Patriots scoring with 20 points, including three baskets from behind the 3-point arc. Ben Bellandi added 10 points as the Patriots received scoring from nine players.
Winchell paced the Tigers with his 17-point performance.
After going winless in the 2011-12 season and opting not to participate in the Class B postseason tournament, Hudson Falls will return to postseason play this season.
"We are going," Hudson Falls Coach O.J. Lescault said. "I was back and forth. After the Johnstown win, we had a tough loss and we didn't respond well in practice for two days after. But after that, it was just a glitch on the radar. I let the kids decide. I don't worry about the so-called critics. They want to go on, and I enjoy being around them, so we are going. For the most part, I have not been disappointed with our effort and that is saying a lot for a team that is 3-15. We're going to move forward. I told the guys in the locker room that we are now zero and zero. We may get a home play-in game Friday and we will let the chips fall where they may."
The Section II tournament seeding meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.
Broadalbin-Perth 57, Hudson Falls 42
Hudson Falls8 13 10 11 - 42
Broadalbin-Perth18 10 16 13 - 57
Connolly 2-0-4, Gorham 2-0-4, Henkel 2-3-8, Hogan 1-0-2, Strong 1-3-5, West 1-0-2, Winchell 7-3-17. Totals: 16-9-42.
Bellandi 4-2-10, Bochenek 1-0-3, Magliocca 0-2-2, Natoli 2-3-7, R. Newfrock 0-1-1, Sylvia 3-0-6, A. Taylor 2-2-6, P. Taylor 8-1-20, VanBrocklin 1-0-2. Totals: 21-11-57.
3-point goals: Hudson Falls 1 (Henkel); Broadalbin-Perth 4 (P. Taylor 3, Bochenek).