Cougars lose in quarterfinals
TROY – The Canajoharie Cougars made more field goals, but top-seeded Hoosic Valley made the most of its trips to the free-throw line.
The eighth-seeded Cougars executed their game plan early to jump out to a quick 8-2 early in the Section II Class C quarterfinal game at Hudson Valley Community College on Friday.
The Indians began attacking the rim and drawing fouls along the way, putting several Canajoharie starters in early foul trouble.
Hoosic Valley continued to find a path to the basket as they held off a fourth-quarter charge by the Cougars to pick up the 55-48 victory.
“Early on, we executed very well and got out to an 8-2 run then the foul calls came and they were in the bonus in the first period,” Canajoharie coach Phil Schoff said. “It shook us, obviously. After that it was hard to redeem ourselves.”
Canjo’s Josh Gonzalez won the battle of the big men early, outscoring the Indians’ John Rooney 4-0 in the opening period.
Although the Cougars held the early advantage, Hoosic Valley battled back to finish the period with a 12-0 run for a 14-8 lead.
Mike Pierre and Rooney did the bulk of the scoring for the Indians in the second quarter with Rooney hitting five points and Pierre converting 5 of 6 free throw attempts.
Dillan Veeder and Morgan Chapman found success from behind the 3-point line in the second period as the Cougars stayed within striking distance, but trailing 27-19 at the break.
Canajoharie came off the break and again found a scoring rhythm with its starters on the floor.
Gonzalez hit for a pair of baskets early and Logan Sala added another to cut the Indians’ lead to four, 29-25.
Rooney again found his scoring touch under the basket after Gonzalez drew his third foul of the game with 5:15 left in the third period.
Rooney hit for 11 points in the third period to help Hoosic Valley take a 43-30 lead into the final period.
The Cougars chipped away at the Hoosic Valley lead, getting it down to single digits before closing out the game on a 7-0 run but came up on the short end of the 55-48 final score.
“I normally would not say this but the fact is they shot 27 free throws to our eight,” Schoff said. “They made 17 of those free throws. It got us in foul trouble and I had to take some key guys out and it got us way out of our game plan.”
Veeder finished with a game-high 22 points, while Gonzalez hit for eight and Sala six.
Rooney finished the night with 20 points for Hoosic Valley, while Pierre had 15 and JT Sawyer chipped in with 13.
“They were the number one seed, we knew how good they were going to be and we respected them,” Schoff said. “The one thing I was very proud about was that we were very similar to Boston College against Syracuse or North Carolina against Duke. We kept chipping away and hanging around. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the same outcome those two teams did.”
Hoosic Valley 55, Canajoharie 48
Canajoharie8 11 11 18 – 48
Hoosic Valley14 13 16 12 – 55
Davis 2-0-5, Sala 3-0-6, Chapman 1-0-3, Veeder 7-6-22, Ouderkirk 2-0-4, Gonzalez 4-0-8. Totals: 19-6-48.
Anderson 1-0-2, Sawyer 4-4-13, Gillespie 2-1-5, Rooney 7-6-20, Pierre 4-7-15. Totals: 18-17-55.
3-point goals: Canajoharie 4 (Veeder 2, Chapman, Davis); Hoosic Valley 1 (Sawyer).