POTSDAM - The Massena Central varsity boys basketball team turned an eight-point halftime lead into a 48-41 NAC Central Division win on the road over Potsdam Central on Monday.
The host Sandstoners made more field goals on the night but a 16-2 advantage from the foul line helped carry the Raiders to their fourth win in as many games this season.
Xavier Viskovich anchored a balanced Massena offense with 14 points, inlcuding a 9-12 effort from the charity stripe. Danta Viskovich chipped in nine points as the Raiders worked their way to a 16-9 lead by the end of the first quarter and were ahead 25-17 at the half before the teams traded short runs through the second half. Tyler Haas added seven points toward the winning cause. Zevon Viskovich and Rhoades Tarbell finished with six points each followed by Logan Deshane with four and Bailey LaBarge with three.
Dequan Pitts led the Sandstoners (3-1) with 10 points. Jake Mitchell tossed through another eight followed by Ethan VanBlommestein and Nick Vaccaro with seven apiece, Brian Cole with six and Connor Prosper with three.
Massena has a big team. They really pounded the ball inside and we had trouble defending in the paint, noted coach Brooks Bigwarfe after his team suffered its first loss of the season.
We were down by 13 early in the fourth quarter and cut it down to three so our kids showed a lot of character. The kids are definitely working to get better, he added.
Both teams return to action on Thursday with Massena traveling to St. Lawrence Central and Potsdam playing host to Franklin Academy.
In the other NAC Central matchups on Monday; Gouverneur outlasted SLC 53-52, OFA beat Salmon River 95-52 and FA dropped Canton 77-48.
Gouverneur 53, SLC 52: In Gouverneur, the Wildcats worked their way to a 41-33 lead through three quarters before holding off the Larries for the win.
Josh White led all scorers with 21 points in the losing effort. Brady Francis tossed through three three-pointers in a 13-point outing. Shane Fuentes added nine points followed by Brody Simonds with five, Jayce Lanning with three and Nathan Arquette with two.
Troy Gates paced the Gouverneur win with 17 points followed by Curt LaPlante with 16.
OFA 95, Salmon River 52: At Fort Covington, Kason Tarbell and Antoine Domino tossed through 16 points apiece in the losing cause as the Shamrocks fell behind 32-12 by the end of the first quarter. Zach Smith added six points. Josh Hynes and Oakes both netted four while Justin Bigness, Tyler Brooks and Jordan Wood all scored two.
For OFA, Kinnon LaRose had three three-pointers in a 27-point night. Matt Piercey chipped in 13 followed by Tristan Moore with 10.
In NAC West Division boys basketball games on Monday, Edwards-Knox outscored Heuvelton 55-37, Harrisville downed Clifton-Fine 63-38 and Lisbon stopped Morristown 51-42. Hermon-DeKalb at Hammond was postponed to this evening.