LAKE PLACID - In a hard-fought, often heated game that was close most of the way, Lake Placid's basketball players kept their cool when it counted the most Friday against Chazy.
The host Blue Bombers were rewarded with their first Northern Basketball League win of the season, notching a 47-42 victory over the Eagles in Division II action.
Lake Placid trailed 31-28 at the end of the third quarter, but turned the tide in the fourth by taking advantage of two technical fouls against Chazy. The Blue Bombers scored 19 points in the period to pull away for the win and improve to 4-5 overall.
Lake Placid’s Tarik Cecunjanin soars over Chazy’s Hayden Guay (4) and Jack Genier to score two of his 12 points during the second half of Friday’s game in Lake Placid.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
The Eagles were ahead 37-36 when they were whistled for their first technical with 5:10 left in the game, the last time they led. The technical came when a Chazy player complained about a foul call that didn't go his way, and with the ball in his hands, Chase Hayes stepped to the foul line and swished in both attempts for the Blue Bombers. Chris Kordziel followed by draining a 3-pointer from the top of the key to complete the five-point swing and put Lake Placid in front 41-37.
The Eagles closed the gap to 43-41, and were then hit with another technical with 1:19 left on the clock when a player slammed the ball on the floor. This time, Tarik Cecunjanin knocked down two more shots from the line to push Lake Placid back in front by four. Chazy never recovered as they dropped to 1-8 overall.
"The big thing was keeping composed under pressure," Lake Placid coach Matt Walentuck said. "When the emotion of the game picked up, our boys did a great job staying calm, cool and collected. We got seven points off those technicals and limited our turnovers down the stretch. It's a big league win for us, and hopefully we can carry this over into the second half of our season."
The first quarter ended with the teams tied 14-14, and Lake Placid then went on to take a 21-18 edge into halftime. Sophomore Davis Moore opened the third quarter with two straight field goals to give Lake Placid its biggest lead of the game at 25-18. But Alec LaPierre then took over for Chazy. The senior forward single-handedly went on a 10-point run to give the Eagles a 26-25 advantage, and they stayed on top until the Blue Bombers turned things around following the technical foul.
LaPierre finished as the game-high scorer with 22 points. Keagan O'Connor also reached double figures for Chazy, finishing with 12 points.
Cecunjanin tossed in 12 points to lead Lake Placid, which saw seven players get in on the scoring. Moore and Garrett Woodruff were the next top scorers for Lake Placid, each contributing nine points.
"This was a tough, intense game," Chazy coach Cory Thompson said. "Both teams put on a lot of pressure. We just got our heads out of it in the fourth quarter, and that cost us the basketball game. We also had a tough time at the line.
"We just have to learn from this, bounce back and move forward," Thompson added. "We've been in a lot of close games this season, and hopefully, we can start winning some of these."
The Blue Bombers went 10-for-16 on their free throw attempts, while the Eagles hit just 12-of-28 attempts.
"Everybody contributed for us tonight," Walentuck said. "We had some pretty balanced scoring."
Chazy next plays on Tuesday against Seton Catholic. Lake Placid will also be in action on Tuesday, hosting Willsboro.
Lake Placid 47, Chazy 42
Guay 0-2-2, Brothers 1-1-3, O'Connor 4-3-12, Gravelle 0-1-1, Hemmingway 0-0-0, LaPierre 8-5-22, Genier 0-0-0, Provost 1-0-2. Totals: 14-12-42.
Lake Placid (47)
Reid 0-0-0, Meister 0-0-0, Moore 4-1-9, Dinicola 0-0-0, Kordziel 2-0-6, Hayes 1-2-4, Cecunjanin 4-3-12, Rossi 2-1-5, Woodruff 3-3-9, Brandes 0-0-0, Pratt 1-0-2. Totals: 17-10-47.
Three-point goals: 17-10-47.