The Times
  • BOYS' BASKETBALL: Little Falls wins Joe L. Green championship 

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  • ST. JOHNSVILLE, N.Y. — The championship game at the St. Johnsville Youth Center’s Joe L. Green Memorial Tournament was decided on the final basket Sunday, a fitting ending to one of the more competitive tournaments in recent memory.
    Little Falls’ Mounties took home the championship plaque after beating Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville 61-59 in the title game. The Mounties had beaten the Wolves by three points in the winners bracket semifinal earlier in the day and forced Oppenheim-Ephratah to play its way back into the championship game on its home court.
    Little Falls led by as many as 11 points midway through the second half of the championship game. Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville scored six straight points in the final 1:11 and pulled even at 59 on a length-of-the-court drive by Dylan Klock. The pressing Wolves fouled Sean Ward in the backcourt and sent him to the line with 22 seconds on the clock. Ward missed the first shot of his one-and-one but teammate James Amuso grabbed the rebound and scored what proved to be the winning basket on a putback.
    Devan Battisti drove to the basket for Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville and missed his shot but Amuso was called for a foul on the rebound. Ward then stole the Wolves’ inbounding pass and was fouled. He again missed his free throw and Hayes rebounded the shot with 6.5 seconds on the clock. The Wolves rushed the ball up the court and Klock’s three-pointer hit the backboard to the left of the rim as time expired.
    Preston Trumbull scored 13 points in the second half and led Little Falls with 19. Amuso added 10 points while Mark Aloisio and Todd Hubbell each had nine.
    Klock scored 17 points, Johnny Vicciarelli added 14, and Hayes and Payten Johnson each had eight for the Wolves.
    Hubbell was named the tournament’s most valuable player while Aloisio, Trumbull, Hayes and Vicciarelli were picked for the tournament’s all-star team.
    Little Falls had beaten Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville 56-53 to earn its spot in the championship game. Hubbell had 20 points in that game while Aloisio and Amuso each scored 12. Klock scored 21 points and Andrew Hart had 10 for the Wolves who led 26-23 at halftime.
    Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville earned another shot at the Mounties by beating West Canada Valley 58-54 in the losers bracket semifinal. Vicciarelli scored 13 points while Klock and Hayes each had 11. Bobby Davenport led West Canada Valley with 21 points and Cole Smith scored 13.
    West Canada Valley, dispatched to the losers bracket by a 72-60 Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville win Saturday, had to win twice just to get to its semifinal. The Indians beat Fort Plain 68-55 to start the day then beat Owen D. Young 63-53. Smith led West Canada Valley with 17 points against Fort Plain while Davenport scored 15 and Carson Marko had 10; James May (14 points), Aiden Van Loan (13) and Kiernan Briggs (12) all were in double figures for Fort Plain. Davenport and Marko had 18 points each and Smith scored 15 against Owen D. Young; Ryan Crouse scored 20 points and Max Crisman had 19 for the Wildcats.
    Page 2 of 2 - Owen D. Young defeated Central Valley Academy 61-55 in its first game of the day. Crisman scored 23 points, Matt Cristman had 19 and Crouse added 11. Kamyrn Perez scored 22 points for Central Valley Academy.
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