Fonda-Fultonville ekes out 59-56 win over Johnstown

Fonda-Fultonville’s Nik Couture, right, is defended by Johnstown’s Matthew Boyle during Monday’s game at Fonda-Fultonville High School. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

FONDA — In a game in which it trailed just twice, the Fonda-Fultonville boys basketball team had it anything but easy.

The Braves notched a 59-56 non-league victory over Johnstown at Fonda-Fultonville High School on Monday.

“It was a crazy game. We would get up by 10 and all of a sudden, the lead would be down to four,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Eric Wilson said. “It was a back-and-forth game. [Johnstown] didn’t go away and we didn’t expect them to. They battled us the whole way.”

Nik Couture led Fonda-Fultonville with 21 points, while Terrance Pierce had 13 points. Angelo Canale added 10 points for the Braves, who had nine 3-pointers in the game.

Matthew Boyle led Johnstown with 15 points, while Ethan Wager added 10.

In a game that featured 51 free throws, it was fitting that the game’s first point came on a free throw by Johnstown’s Adam Wilson just 30 seconds into the contest.

The Sir Bills earned 14 free throws in the opening quarter, converting nine of them as FFCS struggled with foul trouble.

“It was a physical game, but it was called tight,” Wilson said. “We need to be able to adjust a little better to that. We did a good job working through the foul trouble though.”

Wilson’s free throw gave the lead to the Sir Bills, who found themselves down 5-1 after a three-point play by Couture and a basket by John Mancini.

The Braves extended their lead to 10-3 before Johnstown battled back to take a 14-12 lead with an 11-2 surge.

It was the final lead of the game for the Sir Bills, who were outscored 11-5 over the final 2:04 of the first quarter. Nine of those points came on 3-pointers by the Braves’ Couture, Pierce and Mancini.

“I thought we missed some assignments on defense,” Johnstown coach Matt Guzielek said.

Fonda-Fultonville ended the opening quarter with a 23-19 lead.

After a first quarter that featured 42 points, the second quarter saw both teams score just seven points each as the Braves took a 30-26 lead into the break.

Boyle scored five points in the quarter for Johnstown, while Mitch Araya had four points in the frame for FFCS.

The Sir Bills scored the first points of the second half to close within 30-28, only to have the Braves’ Canale buy a 3-pointer to make it 33-28.

That proved to be an ongoing theme in the second half as Johnstown made it a one-possession game, every time FFCS answered with a big shot.

Canale and Couture each had six points in the third quarter for the Braves, who led 42-36 heading into the final frame.

Fonda-Fultonville used a 6-2 burst to open up a 10-point lead early in the final quarter, only to have Johnstown with a 7-0 run to make it 48-45 with 4:30 to play.

Pierce hit a 3-point on the Braves’ next possession to push the lead back to six and Canale converted a three-point play to make it 54-45 with 3:48 to play.

“Unfortunately for us, we get down by quite a few points and that’s when our energy starts to pick up,” Guzielek said. “We fight and fight to get back into the game, but by then it’s almost too late and we run out of gas. It’s been our Achilles’ heel this season.”

FFCS struggled to put the game away, going just 5 of 15 from the line in the final two minutes, allowing Johnstown one last opportunity to close the gap.

The Sir Bills chipped away at the Braves’ lead, but weren’t unable to overcome the deficit.

“We missed some opportunities down the stretch,” Guzielek said.

FFCS held on for the win, despite its late-game struggles.

“It certainly wasn’t the cleanest finish to a game, but it’s a win, and we’ll take it,” Wilson said.

Johnstown is scheduled to travel to Broadalbin-Perth today for a 7:30 p.m. contest, while Fonda-Fultonville is slated to host Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Fonda-Fultonville 59, Johnstown 56

Johnstown 19 7 10 20 — 56

Fonda-Fultonville 23 7 12 19 — 59


Wager 2-6-10, Porter 2-3-7, Wilson 3-2-9, Massey 1-0-2, Hoyt 2-2-6, Boyle 5-4-15, Feinour 3-1-7. Totals 18-18-56.


Canale 3-2-10, Araya 1-2-4, Couture 9-2-21, Mancini 3-0-8, Pierce 4-1-13, DiCaprio 0-2-2, Blowers 0-1-1. Totals 20-10-59.

3-point goals: Johnstown 2 (Wilson, Boyle); Fonda-Fultonville 9 (Pierce 4, Canale 2, Mancini 2, Couture).


Northville 74, Johnsburg 35

NORTHVILLE — Nate Reidell connected on four 3-pointers en route to his game-high 22 points in Monday’s non-league game at Northville High School.

T.J. Wadsworth added 12 points for the Falcons, while Michael Kalkbrenner and Lucas Jetty finished with 11 points apiece.

Jaxon Roblee led Johnsburg with 14 points, while Connor Cavanaugh finished with 12.

Northville 74, Johnsburg 35

Johnsburg 6 5 8 16 — 35

Northville 21 13 18 22 — 74


West 2-0-4, Roblee 6-0-14, Cavanaugh 4-4-12, Kimblom 2-1-5. Totals: 14-5-35.


Kalkbrenner 5-1-11, Reidell 9-0-22, Wadsworth 6-0-12, Jetty 5-1-11, Klingbeil 4-0-8, Eckerson 2-0-6, Frasier 1-0-2, Snell 1-0-2. Totals: 33-2-74.

3-point goals: Johnsburg 2 (Jaxon Roblee 2); Northville 6 (Nate Reidell 4, Gerry Eckerson 2).

Wells 57, Fort Plain 52

WELLS — The Indians jumped out to an 18-6 first-quarter lead and outscored Fort Plain in a furious fourth quarter 22-21 to pick up the non-league victory Monday at Wells High School.

Fort Plain’s Jaxson Yacowenia led all scorers with 22 points, while Jacob Hisert joined him in double-figures with 12 and Dawson Nare chipped in with nine.

Coby Stuart was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line in his 21 point performance for Wells, while Tre Zimmerman had 19 and Ryan Bolebruch finished with 11 points.

Wells 57, Fort Plain 52

Fort Plain 6 10 15 21 — 52

Wells 18 10 7 22 — 57

Fort Plain

Hisert 3-3-12, Nare 4-1-9, Yacowenia 9-4-22, Spaulding 2-0-4, Handy 1-2-4, Norton 0-1-1. Totals: 19-11-52.


B. Stuart 2-0-4, C. Stuart 7-7-21, T. Bolebruch 1-0-2, Zimmerman 7-6-19, R. Bolebruch 5-1-11.

3-point goals: Wells none; Fort Plain 3 (Jacob Hisert 3).

By Paul Wager

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