GRANVILLE — Everything was going Granville’s way in the first quarter.
The Golden Horde’s knocked down three 3-pointers, hit all their free throws and smothered the ball defensively for eight straight minutes.
Whitehall just wanted to get out of the opening quarter trailing by 12 points.
Then Granville guard Nick Sumner hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the quarter. The Horde’s home fans went bananas and any hope the Railroaders had of winning vanished.
Granville outscored Whitehall by 25 points in the first half, and the Railroaders never recovered from Sumner’s momentum-popping 3-pointer as the Horde went on to a 81-62 boys basketball win.
“That shot was huge,” Granville coach Grant Sharrow said. “It changed the momentum of the game. After that shot, the kids kept going off that vibe.”
Sumner scored 19 points, including two 3-pointers, and Jeremy Amaral scored a team-high 25.
Granville improved to 6-2 in the Adirondack League and its home crowd packed the gym in anticipation of two of the league’s top teams facing off.
Whitehall entered the game with a league record of 5-1. Despite sitting near the top of the standings, the Railroaders failed to ever generate enough momentum to ever make the game close in the second half.
All night the Horde executed sound offensive sets and the Railroaders struggled with their defensive rotations.
Following halftime, Granville guard Bart Bartholomew had the ball at the top of the arc and called for a screen.
Center Matt Parker raced to his spot, made solid contact with Bartholomew’s defender and then rolled to the basket. Without any hesitation, Parker caught a zipping pass from Bartholomew and laid it in with ease.
One of the many set plays that caused issues for the Railroaders all game.
With 3 minutes to play, Whitehall came within 13 points and forced a Horde timeout. Granville regrouped and pushed its lead back over 15.
Whitehall was led by Danny St. Clair’s team-high 25 points. Evan St. Claire came into the game averaging 27.7 points per game and finished with 15.
Sharrow said he wished the Horde came out to play with the energy they displayed Friday night more often. Too many times this year Granville has played down to its level of competition, Sharrow said, but a statement win against a top Adirondack league team should set things straight for the Horde.
Playing at home in front of an electric crowd pumped much needed new life into Granville. When this season ends, the Horde may look back on Sumner’s quarter ending 3-pointer as a critical shift in their year.
“This was a turning point in our season,” Sumner said. “We are halfway through the year and a lot of the intensity that was shown tonight will carry on throughout the rest of the season.”
Granville 81, Whitehall 62
2P 3P FT TP
Danny St. Clair 9 2 1 25
Fish 1 0 0 2
Evan St. Claire 2 3 2 15
Patch 0 1 0 3
Procella 4 1 2 13
Eddy 1 0 2 4
Totals 17 7 7 62
2P 3P FT TP
Parker 3 0 7 13
Williams 0 3 2 11
Bourn 1 0 0 2
Amaral 8 2 3 25
Sumner 4 2 5 19
Bartholomew 5 0 1 11
Totals 21 7 18 81
Whitehall 11 9 21 21 — 62
Granville 26 19 16 20 — 81