POTSDAM - The Massena Central varsity boys basketball team overcame a strong start then survived a late surge in holding on for a 44-43 NAC Central Division decision over Potsdam Central on Friday.
The two teams will turn right around and face each other next Tuesday in Massena.
In Fridays win, the Raiders, who trailed 13-5 at the end of the first quarter, were led by the inside-outside combination of Zack Rusaw and Joey LaBelle. Rusaw worked the paint for a team-high 19 points and 13 rebounds while LaBelle netted the only two Massena three-pointers of the game in a 12-point outing. Xavier Viskovich chipped in five points, six reb ounds and three assists. Rhoades Tarbell (4 assists, 7 rebounds) and Zevon Viskovich closed out the Raider (8-5, 4-2) scoring with four points each.
Senior Owen Mitchell tossed through four three-pointers and went 9-11 from the foul line to finish with a career-high 27 points in the losing effort. Will Coleman connected for a pair of first-quarter threes to account for his six points followed by Shawn Clark with four while Konnor Bigwarfe and Nick Vaccaro each netted a three-pointer as the Sandstoners battled back from a 38-31 deficit to start the fourth quarter to make it a one-point game before a potential tying free throw with one second left missed the mark.
We just missed a lot of shots tonight, noted coach Brooks Bigwarfe after the Sandstoners (7-4, 3-4) made just eight of their 23 attempts from beyond the arc.
Massena won the junior varsity game 46-35 as Dante Viskovich generated 25 points and 13 rebounds in the winning effort. Jayce Lanning added eight points and eight boards and Nathaniel Curry fashioned six oints and fvie rebounds.
Ethan vanBlomenstein paced Potsdam with 11 points followed by Matt Stone with 10. Brian Cole and Brayden Chambers (8 rebounds) chipped in six points apiece.
In the other Central Division action Friday, Franklin Academy beat Salmon River 85-27 and Gouverneur clipped Canton 57-56.
FA 85, Salmon River 27: Austin LaMay scored 13 points and Harvey Smith, Alex Johnson, and Bruce Monette each scored 10 for the Huskies, who rebounded from Tuesdays setback at OFA.
Josh Hynes scored 15 for Salmon River.
Gouverneur 57, Canton 56: Seth Carrs off-balanced 12-footer at the buzzer fell as the Wildcats surived at home against the Bears. Mark Horne generated 16 points for Gouverneur. Anthony Way added 13 while Carr chipped in eight.
Bryant Wentworth scored 19 points for Canton while Evan LaPoint added 18 and Eddie Bortnick chipped in eight.
The lone NAC North Division game Friday night had Tupper Lake gaining a 49-42 decision over host Madrid-Waddington. The Lumberjacks used an 18-9 fourth quarter surge to come away with the win over the Yellowjackets.
Anson Gagnier, Brock Tarbox, and Keniston ll scored nine points for Tupper Lake. Cody LaPierre added eigtht while Nash Botola added seven.
Richard Wright delivered 16 points and three threes for M-W. Maurice Rease added 13 while Terry Crump tallied five boards, five steals and four points. Dillon Putney chipped in five boards and three points while Greg Thompson chipped in five boards and two points. Jacob Barney and Zach Brock each scored two.
NAC interdivisional matchups on Friday saw OFA down Norwood-Norfolk 87-32, Hammond halt Colton-Pierrepont 35-21 and Chateaugay turn back Brushton-Moira 60-49.
OFA 87, N-N 32: In Ogdensburg, the host Blue Devils ran out to a 36-4 lead by the end of the first quarter as Breton LaRose tossed through 25 points, including three of the nine three-pointers fashioned in the win. Colin Ross added 15 points followed by Matt Piercey with nine.
Cody Rust paced the Flyers with 17 points. Dan Devine contributed seven followed by Kyle Martens with six and Dustin Fisher with the other two.
Hammond 35, C-P 21: The Red Devils reversed an early season loss to the Colts at Hammond as Darin Bresett worked the paint scoring 18 points. Nolan Martin and Ryan Proven each scored six.
Gyle Dominy tallied nine points for the visiting Colts. Scott Boyce added six.
Chateaugay 60, B-M 49: In Chateaugay, the host Bulldogs closed with a 21-11 fourth-quarter run to walk off the court with the win. Noah Bowes led all socrers with 24 points for Chateaugay (9-3). Devon Barnes chipped in 11 points followed by Jordan Martin with nine and Jake English with eight.
Alex Martin anchored the Panthers offense with 16 points followed by Taylor Tallman with 12 and Justin Lavarnway with eight for B-M (6-6).
In the West Division encounters Friday night; Heuvelton handed Edwards-Knox its first loss of the season, 58-54, Harrisville outscored Morristown 60-56 and Hermon-DeKalb dropped Clifton-Fine 54-42.