Adirondack’s Josh Nessel (14) works for a basket late in the ball game. Nick Metzger defends.
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
The VVS Red Devils boy’s basketball team needed a win to qualify for the Section III playoffs and they got just that, holding off the Adirondack Wildcats for a thrilling 54-48 win tonight in a game played at the VVS home court also known as the Pit.
Senior forward, Dalton Cousin, tied a career high with 33 points to lead VVS, which improved to (3-13) on the season.
The 33 point 14 rebound effort by Cousin helped earn him the MHTS/ESPN, Monster Energy Drink Player of the Game Award.
The Red Devils left the Tri-Valley League three years ago and have been competing as an independent in Section III.
Tonight’s opponent, Adirondack, represents the CSC I. They came to town looking for revenge, following a 63-49 loss to the same Red Devils on January 10th.
Oh, by the way guess how many points Cousin scored against Adirondack on that night? How about 33?
The Devils got off to a solid start on their home floor this evening, taking full advantage of a distinct size advantage over the visiting Cats, largely due to the inside game of Cousin.
The 6’3″ senior, accounted for 13 of the Devils 18 first quarter points, sending the home team to a 18-9 lead after one.
Josh Nessel’s 5 first period points paced the Cats early, as the visitors tried to remain revelant.
Cats head coach, Nick Palczak, told his team during the first break that they needed to get the ball up the floor and into the paint much quicker on offense in order to be successful.
Jordan Millard netted 5 of his team high 16 points in the second quarter, all from the free throw line, as the Red Devils started piling up the fouls.
Adirondack took a 22-21 lead to the intermission, much to the delight of Coach Palczak, who told ESPN Radio 99.1 FM,” My team is usually slow starting out, but as per the norm, they kicked it up before half time and grabbed the lead over a tough VVS team.”
With a sectional playoff berth on the line, VVS bounced right back in the third quarter, with Cousin and John Bickhom accounting for 11 of the Devils 15 third quarter points, keeping the home team close at 34-33, after three quarters.
Kyle Swiecki netted 5 points for Adirondack, which took a 36-34 lead to the final period.
The Red Devils suddenly found a hole in the Adirondack two-three zone and exploited it, at will.
VVS guards found Dalton Cousin alone underneath time and time again in the final 8 eight minutes, to cruise home with the much needed win.
Number 22 scored another 14 points in the final frame, to propel VVS into the post season, with a 54-48 victory.
Josh Nessel finished the night with 13 points for Adirondack, which dropped to (6-8) on the season. The Cats have already qualified for the playoffs.
Justin Vanduluitgarden chipped in 8 points for VVS.
Up next for the Red Devils, is a home game against visiting Camden on February 4th and they close out the regular season at New Hartford on the eleventh.
The Wildcats will try to return to the win column when they square off with Holland Patent at home on Friday night.
VVS 54 Adirondack 48
1 2 3 4 Total
Adirondack 9 13 12 15 48
VVS 18 3 12 21 54
MHTS Scoring Summary:
Jordan Millard 15
John Nessel 13
Kyle Swiecki 7
Ethan Wiedmer 5
Ryan Dellerba 4
Elliot Hernendaz 2
Brodie Sweeny 2
Dalton Cousin 33
Justin VanDuliutgaarden 8
Zack Durant 4
Casey Jones 3
Jordan VanDuliutgaarden 2
Matt McCoy 2
Nick Metzger 2