OESJ holds off Fort Edward, 74-63

ST. JOHNSVILLE -After heading into the half tied at 33-33, the St. Johnsville/Oppenheim-Ephratah boys basketball team outscored Fort Edward 41-30 in the second half to post a 74-63 win in the first round of the Section II Class D Tournament on Tuesday.

“That was a battle of two young teams right there,” Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville coach Jason Brundage said.

Chris Boucher and Ryan Collier scored 30 of their combined 41 points in the first half for the 11th-seeded Flying Forts, forcing Brundage to switch his defensive strategy at the half.

After the break, Brundage played a triangle-and-two defense with Andrew Hart and Brad Smith drawing the defensive duties on Boucher and Collier.

“Andrew [Hart] and Brad [Smith] guarding those two kids in the second half was a big key for us tonight. They only scored 11 points between them in the second half and eight of those were on run outs in the fourth quarter,” Brundage said. “They played well defensively.”

While the Wolfpack kept the Flying Forts in check in the second half, Fort edward had no answer for Dylan Klock.

Klock, a sophomore, connected on three 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 26-points for Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville.

Klock also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out eight assists for the Wolfpack.

“Dylan played a great game for us tonight,” Brundage said. “He got hot and we kept going to him.”

Junior guard Johnny Vicciarelli finished with 15 points for Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville, while Payten Johnson and Andrew Hart each scored 11 points. A.J. Hayes added eight points for the Wolfpack.

Collier finished with 21 points to lead Fort Edward, while Boucher had 20 points, including four 3-pointers, for the Flying Forts. Jayvon Cuyler added nine points for Fort Edward.

“[Fort Edward] played hard,” Brundage said. “They’re a good, young team.”

Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville (10-9 overall) will face No. 3 Hartford on Saturday in the quarterfinals at Stillwater High School at 2:30 p.m.

“We’ll go play and see what happens,” Brundage said. “I’d like to win a couple more games and keep playing.”

Fort Edward ends it season with a 5-14 overall record.

Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville 74, Fort Edward 63

Fort Edward13 20 10 20 – 63

Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville13 20 22 19 – 74

Fort Edward

Heroux 2-2-6, Boucher 7-2-20, Herring 1-0-2, Collier 8-5-21, Young 2-0-5, Cuyler 4-0-9. Totals 24-9-63.

Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville

Vicciarelli 4-7-15, Klock 10-3-26, Johnson 4-3-11, Hart 4-3-11, Smith 1-1-3, Hayes 4-0-8. Totals 27-17-74.

3-point goals: Fort Edward (Boucher 4, Young, Cuyler); Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville (Klock 3).