NY STATE BOYS BASKETBALL: OWEGO'S SEASON ENDS WITH CLASS B QUARTERFINAL LOSS (24 PHOTOS)
(2019-03-09)BY TIM TAYLORTioga County Sports Report
SYRACUSE -Owego lost one of its team leaders for the majority of the second half of the 2019 NYSPHSAA Boys Basketball quarterfinals - and that was the last thing the Indians needed against a team of talented scorers.
An ankle injury to senior guard Christian Sage would cast a dark cloud - at least for Indians fans - over Lowville's 68-51 victory at SRC Arena here Saturday.
Sage, the Indians' No. 2 scorer and team leader in assists and steals, was attempting a short jumper in the first minute of the third quarter when he rolled his foot. He would not return, and with just 41 seconds off the clock, everyone in the arena knew what had just transpired would not bode well for the Indians.
"It was going to be a struggle without him in the second half," Owego head coach Chris Evans said. "Everybody says a 17 point difference? And I say of course.
"Kobe (Bogart) played great. All the kids tried to step up and do their best, but we were playing uphill the whole game and it was quite a bit different."
Lowville had just taken a 35-28 lead on a Chad Bach 3-pointer on the previous possession, but it was still anyone's game at that point. Following the Sage injury, Rob Merrill connected for a field goal and Evan Hamed drained three, but the Indians were outscored, 17-5, during the remainder of the period as the Raiders went 7-for-8 at the free throw line and connected on a pair of shot from behind the arc.
With a 52-33 advantage, the Section III champions would ride out the fourth quarter, despite 10 points from Bogart.
Bogart, who led all scorers with 28 points, had a strong first half to keep Owego in the game.
Lowville's vaunted press would present a problem early and the Raiders would score the first eight points of the contest. Bogart put in the next five.
The Raiders would hold 8-point leads three more times before the end of the period, but Bogart, Merrill and Sage cut it to 17-13 heading into the final minute. Gavin MacAulay's bucket, his third of the quarter, gave the Raiders a 19-13 lead heading into the second stanza.
Bogart sank a pair of free throws, then knocked down a three to close the gap to 19-18 just 1:45 into the period. Lowville's Aidan MacAulay countered with a basket and a trey to make it 24-18, but Bogart retaliated with a three and Mike Wasyln added a field goal to make it 24-23.
Owego would pick up its first lead of the day, 26-24, when Bogart connected for another 3-pointer with 2:36 remaining in the half. After Alex Thomas got the lead back for the Raiders with a three at 1:49, Sage took a steal for a coast-to-coast ride and a 28-27 edge with 1:17 on the clock.
Lowville would end the period with a basket from Aidan MacAulay and a three by Hudson White to carry a 32-28 lead into the break.
Bogart scored a game-high 28 points and also had a game-high eight rebounds. He made five of his six 3-point attemptsMerrill added eight points and dished out three assists, and Sage had four points and two assists. Wasyln contributed five points, Hamed had three, Isaiah Bishop tallied two and Cooper Phelps chipped in with one point.
Lowville connected on 10 of 20 shots from beyond the arc and had four players score in double figures. Gavin MacAulay had 16 and Aidan MacAulay put up 15. White added 12 and Bach tallied 10. Aidan MacAulay handed out six assists.