GLENS FALLS — Lake George center Chris Becker needed one rebound to secure a double-double late in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ matchup with Hoosick Falls.
He had already scored a team-high 23 points, and with 29 seconds to play, Becker pulled down his 10th board, helping Lake George protected its two-point lead.
Warriors guard Alex Jones hit four free throws down the stretch and Lake George held on for a 59-56 boys basketball victory in the Grandstander Christmas Festival, overcoming a 27-point performance by Hoosick Falls’ Jonathan Kempf.
“It has been something different for us this year with trying to establish an inside game,” Warriors coach Dave Jones said. “Chris has been a work in progress. And a lot of it has to do with getting good positioning. He has soft hands and good touch with the basketball so a lot of it is where we are getting him the ball. ”
Becker is a 6-foot-6 presence inside the paint and is as effective defending the rim as he is scoring and rebounding.
When Hoosick Falls went on a 10-3 run in the final five minutes, it was Becker’s rebound and outlet pass to Jones that led to Jones’s four free throws that ended the game.
Jones made five of six free throws and finished with 13 points.
Considering the Warriors were outscored in the fourth quarter 13-9, Becker’s 10th rebound helped Lake George slow Hoosick Falls’ pace and eventually secure the win.
“I’m really there for the rebounds,” Becker said. “So I am just going to work my hardest to get those rebounds and not let anything inside.”
Becker let his size down low be felt early. In the first half, he scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds. The Panthers tried fronting the post to deny the big man the ball, but Becker remained dominant throughout.
Trailing 32-25 at half, Hoosick Falls scored 18 points in the third, including eight points from Kempf. The sophomore guard is averaging 22.3 points per game and his seven 3-pointers Wednesday night kept the Warriors within striking distance until the end.
Kempf’s four second half 3-pointers, including a near 23-foot shot in the third quarter, resulted in the Warriors denying him the ball in the game’s closing moments.
With a chance to tie it with five seconds to play, the Panthers could not get Kempf open on a sideline out-of-bounds play and eventually turned the ball over to end the game. “When he works hard it happens,” Jones said of Becker’s performance. “He gets the boards and works to get open in the post so it’s nice having a big guy like that.”
Lake George 59, Hoosick Falls 56
Lake George (4-0,7-0)</&hspag4>
2P 3P FT TP
Caleb Scrime 2 0 0 4
Mason Flatley 3 2 2 14
Chris Becker 11 0 1 23
Nick Hoffis 1 0 1 3
Alex Jones 1 2 5 13
Connor Vidnansky 1 0 0 2
Totals 19 4 9 59
Hoosick Falls (2-0,3-2)
2P 3P FT TP
Evan McCart 5 0 2 12
Jonathan Kempf 3 7 0 27
Max Kipp 1 0 0 2
Guy Milliman 5 1 2 15
Totals 14 8 4 56
Lake George 21 11 18 9 — 59
Hoo. Falls 13 12 18 13 — 56