CRARYVILLE–Hosting Coxsackie-Athens in basketball action Friday night, the Titans of Taconic Hills held leads in each of the final two quarters but could not hold on to any of them, eventually succumbing to the visiting Indians 50-40. The loss drops the Titans to 0-6 overall, 0-5 in the league heading into their winter break.
Coxsackie came out in a swarming, trapping zone to open the game that seemingly caught the Titans off guard as they either turned the ball over or ended possessions with difficult shots that led to some easy fast break and transition hoops for the Indians. Down 12-5, Justin Doty was fouled shooting a three-pointer with under a minute remaining, sinking all three, to close the Titan’s deficit to four as the quarter came to a close.
To start the second quarter the Titans got Louis Mellan going, finding him down low for an easy hoop, but the Indians came roaring back, knocking down a three and a drive. Taconic Hills countered with a three pointer by Nick Arre and a hoop and free throw by Mellan, but again could not keep the Indians off the board. Arre scored on a drive to end the quarter to pull the Titans to within one.
The second half started well for the Titans on a three by Joe Dwy that gave them the lead, but the lead did not last long as the Indians countered with an 8-1 run. With the Indians surging, the Titans ended the quarter strong as Austin Shadic knocked down a free throw and Dwy added a hoop and free throw to close the quarter down by just three.
The opening four minutes of the final stanza went the Titans’ way as they dug in defensively to hold Coxsackie off the board while getting buckets on a drive from Arre, a Shadic hoop in the paint and a Devin Miller drive as the Titans went up 38-35. But much like the third quarter, the Titans were unable to keep that lead, giving up the game tying three-pointer to Taylor LeClair and then Sean O’Connor broke the tie with a jumper. Tristan Valencia went coast to coast for the Indians to push the lead to four before Arre knocked down a pair of free throws to make it a one-possession game, but it would never get closer than that.
The Indians dominated the offensive glass as the Titans continually put the Indians to the free throw line in an attempt to extend the game and C-A kept grabbing boards and heading back to the line. Four free throws combined with two hoops gave the Indians their 10-point cushion and the win.
Arre led the Titans with 12 points, while Mellan scored 9 in limited action. Doty added 8 points, Shadic had 5, Dwy 4, and Miller 2 points. For the Indians 3-3 (3-3), Valencia scored 17 points and LeClair added 15 in the win.