POTSDAM - It was size versus quickness on Thursday evening at SUNY Potsdams Maxcy Hall as No. 3 seed and Class A champion downed No. 2 seed and Class D champion Madrid-Waddington, 64-50, in the second semi-final of the Tournament of Champions.
The Raiders (11-8) will face OFA (20-1) tonight at 7:15 p.m. in the Section 10 Overall Finals where Massena looks give Coach Tom Miller his third overall title matching up with Blue Devil coach Mark Henry who is seeking his first title since succeeding Bill Merna for the 2011-12 season.
Tonight, I felt that our size wore Madrid-Waddington down in the second half. They are really quick but when we get our inside game working along with some contributions from the outside. We can compete with anyone, said Massena coach Tom Miller.
Madrid-Waddington coach Aaron Jones also expressed his views on Massenas inside force.
There size was definitely a factor. They got some passes over our defense and finished. I would have like to rebound better but they made it difficult. But this was a good test for our kids going into state play next week, Jones said.
Madrid-Waddington (16-7) muscled up with the Raiders in the first quarter to lead 15-13.
Down 19-17, Massena went on a 10-0 run keyed by five points from Xavier Viskovich for a 27-19 lead with 2:29 left in the half halftime. Massena eventually led 34-23 at halftime when Joe LaBelle hit three straight free throws.
The third quarter saw M-W trim the deficit to 46-39 on a buzzer-beating three from Randy Wright.
The Raiders started the fourth on a 6-0 run on by hoops by Tyler Haas, Rhoades Tarbell, and Zevon Viskovich. Maurice Rease answered with a three for M-W and Labelle fired in a three back for a 55-42 lead with 5:50 left.
The Jackets got within seven with 4:07 left but Massena responded with five straight keyed by a three from Labelle with 3:30 left for a 60-48 lead.
Hitting those threes were big. Right now, we are playing well and its always nice playing at this time of the year. Weve got a very good OFA team tomorrow night and they beat us twice. Weve got our work cut out for us, said Miller.
Zack Rusaw generated 18 points going 9-for-17 from the field with nine rebounds and two assists. Labelle tallied 15 points keyed by 3-of-7 three-point shooting and logged five assists. Xavier Viskovich tallied 13 points with seven boards. Other Raider contributions came from: Rhoades Tarbell (six points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals), Haas (four points, six assists), Zevon Viskovich (seven points, two boards) and Logan Deshane (two points).
Greg Thompson generated 18 points, 11 rebounds and two steals for M-W. Colin OBryan added 12 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals. Richard Wright added eight points, three boards and two assists. Maurice Rease added seven points and Jacob Barney and Zach Brock followed with three and two.