PLATTSBURGH — Down 24-19 at the half, Shane Douglas came out in the third and poured in 13 points for the AuSable Valley boys’ basketball team.
The problem for the Patriots: no one else helped out.
AuSable dropped its NYSPHSAA Class C regional championship to Lake George 58-42 Saturday at the Plattsburgh State Field House.
Physicality ruled the game throughout, with scrums, hard fouls and jump balls going both ways. The hack-style of play led to low scoring, as did unforced turnovers by both teams.
“Any player will tell you that they want to play a physical game, rather than a touchy foul kind of game,” AuSable guard Nate Casey said.
But the physicality didn’t go Patriots’ way.
Lake George played tight defense throughout, scrapping for the ball and trying to force AuSable Valley into turnovers. The tight defense led to a big fourth quarter by the Warriors, expanding their six-point lead at the break to the 16-point win.
Though it had been relatively back-and-fourth through the first 24 minutes, the Warriors also got their offense going in the fourth, with sophomore standout Joel Wincowski scoring 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.
After the game, AuSable Valley coach Jamie Douglass didn’t point to Wincowski or the Warrior offense as the reasons for his team’s loss.
“We had too many unforced turnovers, and we didn’t run our offense,” he said.
In the third quarter the Patriots did run set plays to get the ball in Douglas’s, the CVAC’s second-leading scorer (18.8 points per game), hands. But Lake George coach Dave Jones compensated.
“Those 13 points were sets,” Douglass said. “… Coach Jones recognized (the plays) and made adjustments.”
Douglass said the adjustments included Jones putting Douglas in a box-and-one type defense, which limited him to no points in the fourth quarter.
“AuSable came out (at the half) and did a nice job setting up high screens for him,” Jones said. “We tried to match up out of our zone and get him out of his rhythm.”
Neither team had a rhythm early on, mostly trading misses and turnovers. Through the first quarter, the Patriots led 11-9, with seven of AuSable’s points coming in the final two minutes of the quarter.
Lake George then came out hot in the second quarter, outscoring AuSable 15-8. Eight of the Warriors’ points came in the paint, four in transition and four thanks to offensive rebounds.
The Patriots held Wincowski, who already is a 1,000-point scorer, to just five points before the half.
But the Warriors found their offense elsewhere, with five other players chipping in. By contrast, the Patriots had seven players get in the action, though Douglas and Austin Facteau were the only two to score multiple buckets.
Austin Depo and Zach Cosgrove helped Douglas shoulder the scoring, notching seven points apiece.
For Lake George, Connor McCoy added 11 points to go with Wincowski’s 21. Wincowski’s older brother, Ethan, scored nine.
Lake George will play Moravia Friday at the Glens Falls Civic Center in the final four.
As for the Patriots, they’re already looking to who they can play with in the playoffs next year.
“(Saturday), we got outscored, we didn’t get beat,” Douglass said. “When we play team basketball we can beat any team in the state.”
Lake George 58, AuSable Valley 42
Lake George (58)
McCoy 3-3-11, J. Wincowski 5-11-21, Zibro 3-0-6, E. Wincowski 4-0-9, Rosenthal 3-1-7, Brown 2-0-4, Labruzzo 0-0-0, Zayachek 0-0-0. Totals: 20-15-58.
AuSable Valley (42)
Douglas 7-4-19, Depo 3-1-7, Cosgrove 2-1-7, Facteau 1-1-3, McDonald 1-0-2, Casey 2-0-4, Peck 0-0-0, Taylor 0-0-0, Doyle 0-0-0, Sikindar 0-0-0. Totals: 16-7-42.
Lake George 9 15 13 21 — 58
AuSable Valley 11 8 13 10 — 42
3-point goals: Lake George (2): McCoy 2, E. Wincowski 1. AuSable Valley (3): Cosgrove 2, Douglas.