SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) - As with many of the New York Mills boys basketball team's games this season, the Section III, Class D-2 championship Saturday at Manley Field House was not pretty. But as with many of the New York Mills boys basketball team's games this season, the end result was a Marauders win, 70-62 over Otselic Valley for their third sectional title in five years.
New York Mills, the No. 4 seed and ranked No. 13 in the state in Class D, made its first seven shots en route to a 20-4 lead and a 37-24 advantage at halftime. The Marauders stretched it to 47-29 in the third quarter, and the game looked to be in the bag.
But blowouts simply aren't New York Mills' style.
Otselic Valley, the No. 2 seed and ranked No. 15, closed the quarter on a 6-2 run and started the fourth with a 10-0 surge, cutting the score to 53-50 with 5:50 remaining. But the Marauders hung on thanks in large part to sophomore transfer and Tournament Most Valuable Player Fred Russ, who scored five of his 22 points on back-to-back possessions to make it 69-60 with 1:05 left.
The victory puts the Marauders, now 17-6, in the D-1/D-2 crossover final against D-1 champion Sackets Harbor Tuesday at Jamesville-Dewitt at 7:00. Otselic Valley ends the season 19-4.
Russ, who won a sectional title last year with Richfield Springs, finished with a double-double with 11 rebounds. Edgardo Colon scored 12 points and had three steals to make the All-Tournament Team, Ed Schulze dished out six assists and 6-foot-7 freshman Matt Welch grabbed eight rebounds.
David Cerasani made the All-Tournament Team from Otselic Valley with 23 points, Brad Wentworth scored 16 and Justin Shapley scored 15.
New York Mills shot 58% from the floor (31-53)--all two-point attempts--while Otselic Valley made nine three-pointers.
This was the Marauders' fifth finals appearance in six years.