Potsdam The Moriah Vikings held a lead form early in the second quarter to the middle of the fourth quarter, which turned into an edge-of-your seat thriller until the final buzzer sounded.
Unfortunately, that final sounding was for the Vikings, who fell to the Madrid-Waddington Yellow Jackets, 49-46.
The Vikings and Jackets exchanged baskets during most of the fourth quarter in the Class D regional boys basketball semifinals March 5, with both teams exchanging the lead late.
The Vikings took a 46-45 lead when Derek Brassard connected on his second three of the half with less than two minutes remaining. Brassard finished with a game-high 16 points.
The Vikings then got possession of the ball back in the final minute, but a pass was intercepted by Greg Thompson, who raced down the court, barely beating Jessup Calkins to the rim and extending over his hand to give the Jackets a 47-46 lead with 29.4 seconds left.
Maurice Rease then picked up a loose ball and was fouled with 10.9 seconds left. Rease stepped to the line and sank both ends of a one-and-one for a three point lead.
On the inbounds, Calkins got the ball up the court and found Brassard for a game-tying three point attempt. The shot was long and rebounded by Tyler Pratt, who dribbled out to the three point line and faked a shot, getting his defender in the air. Pratt then attempted the three, but a great athletic play by the defender, Colin O’Bryan, led to a blocked shot to end the game.
The Vikings trailed 11-9 after the first quarter, but started the second eight minutes on a 9-0 run, helping them to a 22-16 halftime lead. The lead could have been eight, but a foul on the Jackets Richard Wright at the buzzer led to Wright hitting two-of-three free throws to cut into the lead.
“We knew that they were going to be a tough team,” head coach Brian Cross said. “We knew this was going to be a game like Schroon Lake and it would come right down to the end. This time, we were on the wrong end of the score.”
Adam Jaquish added 12 points for the Vikings, while Ryan Shpur scored eight, Pratt six on a pair of three-pointers, while Calkins added three points.
“Our goal was to win the sectional title and I am proud of what our team has accomplished this year,” Cross said.