Mekeel Christian routs Rams, 84-49

PHOTOGRAPHER:
Amsterdam’sPeyton Ausfeld (4) drives against Mekeel Christian’s Ricky Rollins (0) during Sunday’s Section II Class A quarterfinal game at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

TROY — Mekeel Christian Academy showed why they received the top seed in the Section II Class A tournament Sunday against Amsterdam.

The Lions got off to a fast start and despite scoring bursts from upset-minded Amsterdam, pulled away for an 84-49 victory in the quarterfinal round at Hudson Valley Community College.

“You can’t turn the ball over against them,” Amsterdam coach Tim Jones said. “When we were in the half-court we did well and I thought we were in the game but when you turn the ball over against them, they are too talented of a team to do that.”

Mekeel Christian, ranked third in the state, broke out to a 6-0 lead before Damian Colon put the Rams on the board with a 3-pointer. Kevin Perez sandwiched a pair of baskets around an Alex Barnhill score to cut the Lions lead to 8-7.

Mekeel Christian then went on an 13-4 run to end the opening quarter with a 21-11 lead.

Barnhill threw down a pair of dunks as he scored 12 of Mekeel Christian’s 22 second-quarter points to extend the lead to 43-27 at the break.

Amsterdam came out firing in the second half with Caydren Graveley seven points in a 9-4 run at the start of the third quarter to trim the Lions lead to 47-36.

Mekeel Christian coach Chad Bowman called for a time out to settle his team down and they responded with a 15-0 run to end the quarter and carry a 62-36 lead into the fourth quarter.

Mekeel Christian remained in control over the final eight minutes to lock up the 84-49 quarterfinal victory and advance to the Class A semifinal round to face No. 4 Gloversville at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls.

“The second half we were right there,” Jones said. “Realistically, they are well coached and disciplined and they played well tonight. I am proud of our guys effort playing all the way through.”

Graveley led Amsterdam with 19 points, six rebounds a steal and an assist, while Cesar Thompson came off the bench to score 10 points and Colon and Yandeel Vazquez finished with six points apiece.

“They could have mailed it in but they didn’t. We battled back to get it to 11 and that was the seniors,” Jones said. “I am proud of my guys. We are definitely looking forward to the future and what we are going to do there. This is just one more step. I want to thank the seniors for all their time and effort and for what they have been able to do to move our program ahead. I appreciate them.”

Barnhill led Mekeel Christian (18-2) with a double-double of 30 points and 10 rebounds to go with four steals and two assists, while Ricky Rollins had 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists and Ozzy DeJesus finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to go with 12 points and seven rebounds from Janon White.

Amsterdam finishes the season with an 11-11 over record.

Mekeel Christian Academy 84, Amsterdam 49

Amsterdam 11 16 9 13 — 49

Mekeel Christian Academy 21 22 19 22 — 84

Amsterdam

Colon 2-06, Graveley 8-2-19, Ausfeld 1-0-2, Vazquez 2-2-6, Perez 2-0-4, Douglas 1-0-2, Thompson 4-0-10. Totals: 20-4-49.

Mekeel Christian Academy

Rollins 7-0-16, Banks 4-0-9, Dejesus 4-4-12, Barnhill 11-6-30, White 4-4-12, Skeeter 2-0-5. Totals: 32-14-84.

3-point goals: Amsterdam 5 (Damian Colon 2, Cesar Thompson 2, Caydren Graveley); Mekeel Christian Academy 6 (Ricky Rollins 2, Alex Barnhill 2, Eric Skeeter, Paris Banks).

By Paul Wager

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