SARANAC LAKE — After winning six of their first seven games to start the season, the Saranac Lake boys basketball team has fallen into a bit of a slump.
On Tuesday, the Red Storm suffered their third straight loss, this time to the Plattsburgh Hornets by a score of 58-51 at home. The loss pushed the team’s record to 6-4 on the season.
“Before the break, we were averaging almost 70 something points per game,” Saranac Lake head coach Dermott Morgan said. “In the last three games, we’re barely scoring 50. We kind of have a hiccup going.”
Despite the loss, Saranac Lake’s Nate McCarthy powered his team to a close match, with his game-high 22 points. Carter Hewitt also contributed on the offensive side, with 15 points which included two three-pointers.
On the other side, the Hornets were paced by Max Filosca, Michael Phillips and Carter King. The trio combined for a triumphant 42 points.
The three Hornets were particularly dominant in the first half. They consistently pressured the Red Storm guards into committing turnovers.
“I was disappointed that our guards didn’t handle the pressure in the first half. They over-pressured and wouldn’t pass away,” Morgan said. “Our point guards had a tough job, Gabe Wilson and Landon LaDue bringing the ball up, they had nobody to pass to, nobody was open.”
With the constant pressure on the guards, Plattsburgh managed to score 25 points in the first half to Saranac Lake’s 19.
“We made an adjustment at halftime. We started getting open and that took the pressure off our point guards. Then we actually started scoring some points. You could see that,” Morgan said. “I was disappointed that our guards didn’t know how to do that because they did it against Chateaugay, they did it against other teams. It was just like we took a step backward tonight.”
Coming out of halftime, the Red Storm looked like a different team. With the adjustments made, the guards were able to do what they were capable of doing. They managed to move the ball up the court and were able to get McCarthy in transition.
With the momentum shifted toward Saranac Lake, the team managed to hit big shots, including three-pointers from Hewitt and Landon Faubert, which helped bring the deficit to within four points.
But, unfortunately for the Red Storm, Plattsburgh quickly turned things around and brought the deficit back up to 10 points. The Hornets would ultimately hold the lead for the remainder of the game.
“It’s the second game in a row where we were chasing a 10 or 15 point deficit and we just didn’t have enough in the tank at the end,” Morgan said. “But I tip my hat to our boys they fought all the way until the end and played hard.”
Saranac Lake’s Faubert and Markus Navarra recorded five points each in the loss, while LaDue and Caleb Akey chipped in two points each.
“I think this was the first time we had an almost full team back. We’ve only been back a week, so we’re still rusty,” Morgan said. “Hats off to Plattsburgh they took away what we are good at doing. We’re good at fast-breaking and they took that away from us. I think they hit some big shots.”
Morgan said the team is in the toughest part of their schedule. He added that they have a tough matchup against AuSable Valley today but he expects the team to roll up their sleeves and get back to work.
The Red Storm will travel to take on AuSable Valley today at 7 p.m.