GLENS FALLS — Saratoga Catholic opened the Class C semifinal of the Boys Basketball Section II tournament by putting a full court press on undefeated Lake George.
The Warriors responded with one pass, two pass, three pass, score.
Again, the Saints applied heat and Lake George converted an easy layup. Only two minutes and thirty seconds into the game, Warriors forward Mason Flatley nailed a pull-up jumper, following a full-court pickup by Spa Catholic.
Down 10-0, Saints coach Ken Mantia called a timeout. They were done pressuring the Warriors.
“We haven’t given up transition baskets in like a month,” Mantia said. “Then we gave up four out of the chute.”
Jumping out to a 10-point lead, Lake George (23-0) never gave Spa Catholic a chance, limiting the Saints to 34-percent shooting from the field, and won 82-46 on Thursday night.
The Warriors advance to the Class C championship against No. 2 seed Hoosick Falls on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Cool Insuring Arena.
Spa Catholic (18-5) features two athletic guards capable of putting up points in Tyler Haraden and Terel Tillman. Keeping those two in check was priority, and Lake George held Haraden to three points on 1-for-9 shooting, and Tillman to eight points. He shot 3 of 12 from the field.
“We executed our game plan about as well as we’ve done all season,” Warriors coach Dave Jones said. “We wanted to play at that tempo, with that speed.”
As sound as Lake George was defensively, it was equally as efficient near the rim both scoring and pulling down second-chance rebounds.
Center Chris Becker scored 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting and added seven rebounds. In total, the Warriors grabbed 15 offensive rebounds compared to only seven for the Saints.
Lake George outrebounded Spa Catholic 41-21.
Flatley led all scorers with a game-high 19 points while pulling down five rebounds. Three other Warriors scored in double figures, including Becker. Caleb Scrime added 17 points and Alex Jones scored 16.
The Warriors are in familiar territory playing for a Section II title again. Lake George won the section last season and then lost in the state championship game.
Though they are excited to reach another sectional final, it was obvious by the looks on their faces that the Warriors have much more they want to accomplish before a celebration takes place.
“They are kind of like the Duke of Class C ball,” Mantia said. “They are always here and have a very good coach. That is going to be an absolute war on Saturday, because we’ve seen both sides with Hoosick Falls who crushed us twice.”