NEW PALTZ, NY – The New Paltz Huguenots couldn’t hit one single shot in the 4th quarter of the Regional Championship game against Ardsley and fell 47-31 in what was a close four point game at halftime and through the third quarter.
Ardsley’s team defense and the hot hand of junior guard Zeke Blauner did the Huguenots in, in the final frame. Blauner scored 20 points through the first three quarters, then dropped another 10 in the final quarter while New Paltz was trying to find a groove.
The Section 9 champs had some good looks but nothing was falling in the final eight minutes of play; not even two free throw attempts.
“I think they were pressing a bit too much”, sad New Paltz head coach Stuart Robinson. “Maybe it was our youth, maybe it was the pressure of playing in front of the home crowd on this kind of a stage. Either way, these guys have nothing to hang their heads about. It was a great season.”
The Hugeonots finish the season 12-7, but will return four of the five starters from this team. New Paltz started the game out slow, scoring just six points in the first quarter. But in the second quarter Casey Burke scored 9 of the team’s 15 points, catching up to Ardsley and making it a four point game at halftime 25-21. Burke finished the game as high scorer for New Paltz with 13 points.
Meanwhile the Panthers were getting a good distribution of points, led by Blauner who had 13 at the break. “As soon as I hit the three in the corner with an and one,I knew it was going to be a big night,”, said Blauner. The junior guard finished with 30 points.
Both teams played even through the third, but in the fourth quarter the New Paltz offense was cut off. Part of it was Ardsley’s swarming defense, and part of it was that baskets that should have fallen, didn’t.
The Panthers used that drought to ramp it up and go on to win by 16.
“Our guys played with a ton of energy and confidence.”, said Ardsley Head Coach Andrew Beames. ” We were super aggressive on offense and defense.”