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OFA repeats overall title

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POTSDAM - As the OFA basketball team races on the court for warmups a song blares on the loud speaker which ends to the lyrics “I’ll be the one you won’t forget.”

As afternoon turned into evening, on Saturday at SUNY Potsdam, the Blue Devils continued an unforgettable season and capped a dominant run through the NACCentral season and the Section 10 Tournament by securing a second straight Overall (Class A-B-C-D) Championship in an 86-49 victory over Massena.

A run which climaxed with a shooting display which Section 10 basketball fans will long remember. The 21-1 Devils buried 17 three-pointers in their third win of the season over 16-5 Massena which has received Honorable Mention in the Class A state rankings all season.

Coach Mark Henry’s number two state-ranked Class B champions reeled off their 21st straight win after a season-opening loss at Albany Academy, repeated as Section 10 Champions, recorded their program’s 10th title and seventh in the past 11 years.

On the season, the Devils average 83 points while shooting 53 percent from the field, 21 assists, 14 steals and five blocked shots per game. OFA enters state tournament play on Tuesday at 6 p.m. meeting Section 2 Champion Voorhesville at Saratoga High School while Massena meets Bishop Ludden on Wednesday night at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

Voorhesville downed Broadalbin-Perth 51-38 and top-ranked and undefeated Westhill trimmed Utica Notre Dame 63-60 for the Section 3 crown.

“This was just another outstanding team effort and what this team has done is really amazing while playing 14 players a game,” said Coach Henry.

“We had a great crowd tonight and I hope they all come down to Saratoga on Tuesday. The parents of this group deserve a lot of credit. They have taken these players all over to play basketball in the summer over the years.”

In Saturday’s game, the bench provided a major spark as the Devils bolted away from a 7-5 deficit and fashioned a 23-11 first quarter lead despite foul trouble to center Jack Manke and forward Kinnon LaRose.

Sixth man Conor Hannan buried two threes, snatched a steal and provided an assist for a fastbreak layup by LaRose as quick string of 11 straight points erased Massnea’s final lead of the game. Tristan Moore (6 points) entered the game in the second quarter and netted two threes to help spark a 30-12 gallop to 53-23 halftime margin

Hannan went on to net four threes in a 14-point effort which was part of a trademark balanced offense led by Colin Ross who scored 20 points. LaRose finished with 18 points, six rebounds, five steals and five assists and Matt Piercey passed out five assists while scoring 12 points with three threes.

“It isn’t just the starters on this team, its everybody. Our bench has played very well all season,” said Ross.

“Winning the overall title again is great because we have worked so hard. It is hard to explain how it feels when everyone is just hitting their shots. Its just great to be a Blue Devil.”

Seth Pinkerton delivered a high altitude seven-point, eight rebound performance with a gorgeous left-handed tip-in and Jack Manke added four points and five rebounds. DaKota Brady swished a three-pointer and Justin Ross chipped in two points.

Zavier and Dante Viskovich delivered strong interior efforts for Massena scoring 12 and 10 points and Zevon Viskovich tallied six along with Nick McKeel. Logan Deshane and Jacob Goyco each tallied three-pointers, Tyler Haas added a field goal and Xavier Goyco added a free throw.


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