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M-W repeats Class D title

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POTSDAM - Madrid-Waddington coach Aaron Jones pointed to all 13 players on his team after his Yellowjackets claimed their second straight Section 10 Class D Boys Basketball Championship on Saturday at SUNY Potsdam’s Maxcy Hall. Emplying suffocating and larcenous on-the-ball defense to dominate the second half the sixth seeded Jackets forged a 52-41 win over top seeded St. Regis Falls.

It was the Jackets third straight win over an NAC Division champion.

“You should see this team in practice,” said Jones after 16-6 team retraced its steps to the beginning of last year’s trip to the New York State Class D Championship game against Sackets Harbor.

“Our bench really pushes our starters everyday in practice to be better. If it wasn’t for them these accomplishments, like a Class D Championship can’t happen. Today, we were very active defensively. Caleb Green had a heck of a game for Coach Justin Todd and he had a tremendous season as did his team. He worked for everyone of those 26 points today and truthfully I thought we did a great job against him.”

Richard Wright sparked the No. 6 seeded Jackets to take a 17-11 lead with 3:30 remaining in the second quarter but the Saints (18-2) rallied back within two at halftime 19-17.

The Jackets opened to a 26-17 lead with a 7-0 run to start the third keyed by five points from Greg Thompson and three quick steals. The Jackets ended the third quarter with a another 7-0 run for a 34-21 lead keyed by Colin O’Bryan’s three-point play with 2:15 to play.

Later in the fourth quarter, Brandon Votra cut the deficit to 36-27 but Thompson hit one of two free throws and Maurice Rease stole the ball at midcourt and scored for a 39-27 lead. Richard Wright followed with a three, Rease scored again and Colin O’Bryan tipped home his own miss on a drive for a 46-30 lead.

“Colin O’Bryan got us started early, Zach Brock came up big in the second quarter off the bench and Greg Thompson just had a great game all around and helped us in the third with some big points. It was just a great team effort,” noted Jones who also complimented the defensive play of Jacob Barney and Zach Brock.

Thompson finished with 17 points and five rebounds and Wright used a 6-8 free throw shooting in the fourth quarter to cap a 13-point, four-assist, three rebound, two-steal effort.

While directing the offense against a tenacious St. Regis defense, O’Bryan delivered 11 points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals. Rease added eight points, three steals and two assists. Brock chipped in five points and five rebounds while Terry Crump posted three boards and two assists.

“We had a shaky start but we never stopped working hard. Once we got on a roll at the end of the season we worked even harder,” said O’Bryan.

“Our defense was great today, everyone stayed with their man.”

Green scored 10 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and grabbed five rebounds for St. Regis. Brandon Votra added seven points and grabbed seven rebounds

“This one is a tough one to swallow. Madrid-Waddington has been here before and that played a big factor in the outcome. They were active defensively and boarded well. But we had a tremendous season something that put St. Regis Falls back on the map,” said St. Regis Coach Justin Todd after his NAC East Co-Champion Saints finished at 19-2.

“Caleb Green had a great game and I’m very proud of this team and what we done.”

M-W’s season goes as the Jackets face Class A Champion Massena in the overall Section 10 semi-finals on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.

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