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Fonda-Fultonville tops Bishop Gibbons

Fonda-Fultonville's John Mancini (15) works the ball against Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons' Nelon Priest during Western Athletic Conference action Friday at Fonda-Fultonville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

FONDA — The Fonda-Fultonville Braves locked up a share of the Western Athletic Conference Hudson Division title Friday night.

With their perfect league record on the line, the Braves used a strong third-quarter performance to help defeat Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 59-46 to improve to 9-0 in the league and 12-2 overall with their fifth straight victory.

“This gives us at least a tie,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Eric Wilson said. “We are up two games on Mayfield with two games left against Berne-Knox-Westerlo and Galway. I told the guys if we can take care of business and play the way we are capable of playing, the worse case scenario is we are co-champs and it has been a while. I am as proud of this team as I have been of any with the way we have worked and the stuff we have done this year.”

The Braves came out strong at the start of the game, putting up six points, four of which came off Bishop Gibbons turnovers in the opening minute.

The Golden Knights battled back with Noah Foster leading the way to take an 11-9 lead but could not hold it as Fonda-Fultonville finished strong to put the score at 13 apiece as the end of the opening quarter.

Fonda-Fultonville's Tyler Blowers (2) puts up a shot over Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons' Ja-Del Whitfield (0) during Western Athletic Conference action Friday night at Fonda-Fultonville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

The Braves built a cushion in the second quarter as Jackson Atty and John Mancini connected from behind the arc and Andrew Georgia came in to take control under the basket grabbing rebounds and connecting for six points to help the Braves take a 26-20 halftime lead.

The Golden Knights’ Rodney Parker and Todd Williamson stepped up their games in the third quarter with Parker hitting for seven points and Williamson five to account for Bishop Gibbons’ 12 points in the quarter.

Meanwhile, the Braves spread the scoring around with six players — Georgia, Atty, Mitch Araya, Dylan Hamlen, Tyler Blowers and Angelo Canale — combining for 20 points to build a 46-32 advantage heading in the final eight minutes of play.

Noah Foster finished the game strong for Bishop Gibbons, scoring seven fourth-quarter points, but could not rally his team as the again spread the scoring around to maintain their advantage and close out the 59-46 victory.

“They [Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons] are so quick and athletic, I didn’t know how long we could stay in man [defense] tonight,” Wilson said. “When Andrew [Georgia] got in there he is not that kind of athlete, so we went zone; something we have done very little this year. I was proud of how we defended and communicated and moved in that zone.”

Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons' Cole Nelson (23) and Fonda-Fultonville's Andrew Georgia (33) scramble for a loose ball during Western Athletic Conference action Friday night at Fonda-Fultonville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons got its scoring from four players. Williamson led the way with 15 points, while Foster had 14 and Parker finished with 13. Nelon Priest rounded out the Golden Knights scoring with four points.

George led the Braves with his game-high 16 points, while John Mancini finished with 11 and Canale added nine points.

Fonda-Fultonville returns to action at 11:30 a.m. today at Fulton-Montgomery Community College against Adirondack in the second half of the Section II-Section III Challenge. The Braves won the opening game of the challenge 55-39.

Fonda-Fultonville 59, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 46

Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 13 7 12 14 — 46

Fonda-Fultonville 13 13 20 13 — 59

Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons

Foster 6-1-14, Priest 1-1-4, Williamson 4-7-15, Parker 4-4-13. Totals: 15-13-46.

Fonda-Fultonville

Canale 4-1-9, Blowers 1-0-2, Atty 3-0-7, Araya 3-0-6, Mancini 3-3-11, Hamlen 4-0-8, Georgia 8-0-16. Totals: 26-4-59.

3-point goals: NDBG 3 (Noah Foster, Nelon Priest, Rodney Parker); FFCS 3 (John Mancini 2, Jackson Atty).

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