JAMESTOWN- The No. 1 OTC Middle College Kats proved why they were the number one seed in the Class C-1 boys' basketball bracket for a reason, as they eased their way past the No. 5 Cassadaga Valley Cougars, 81-47, during Section 6 C-1 semifinal action at Jamestown Community College, on Wednesday.
"OTC is one of the best teams around," Cassadaga Valley coach Rich Clifford said. "I told the guys it is all about the competition and I am very proud of the way they competed. We scored 15 points in the first half and 37 in the second, so I'm very proud of the way they responded."
The Kats roared out to a 13-2 lead before the Cougars even had a chance to make their second basket. By the end of the first quarter, OTC led 22-6.
OBSERVER?Photo by Lisa Monacelli
Cassadaga Valley’s Dustin Schauman (24) looks to make a move through a pair of OTC?Middle College defenders, during their Section 6 Class C-1 boys’ basketball semifinal Wednesday, at Jamestown Community College.
"Before we even got to the game, I told the kids to walk in with their heads held high and leave the same way," Clifford said. "We had some shots in the first half, but they just weren't falling."
Cassadaga Valley battled back to a better second quarter, scoring nine points, but the Kats kept up their intensity on the way to a 43-15 halftime lead.
One of the bright spots for the Cougars was Dustin Schauman, who led all scorers with 11 points in the first half.
"Two years ago we lost to the eventual State champs," Clifford said. "That could be the same case this season, so I'm very proud of the way we played against them."
After scoring only 15 points in the first half, the Cougars put up almost as many points in the third quarter alone.
Cassadaga Valley went on a 7-2 run to start the second half, but the Kats had too much fire power to be slowed down, as they put up 18 points of their own.
"At halftime, I told the team to not be shy shooting the ball," Clifford said. "I told them the score was irrelevant and that they just needed to be strong and take the ball to the basket."
With the game out of reach, the Cougars were able to score 17 in the fourth quarter while OTC sealed its spot to the Class C-1 finals against Holland on Friday.
Schauman led all scorers with 24 point to close out his career with Cassadaga Valley.
"Dustin is a fantastic player," Clifford said of his senior. "Heading into the game he led all players in Section 6 in rebounding, free throws attempted and free throws made."
Schauman also added eight boards in the loss.
"We had a great group of seniors this year," Clifford said. "Mike Lanphere, Matt Woodard and Kyle Pfeiffer have all been great. I also have to mention David Tisarcik. He missed the entire season due to a football concussion. For someone who did not play a single second this season, he showed unbelievable support and loyalty."
Kyle Pfeiffer added six points for the Cougars.
Leading the way for the Kats were Bri'an Brown and Khalid Brown who each had 17 points. Kevin Reese had 13 and Keir Anderson had 10 in the win.
The Class C-1 Finals will take place on Friday at JCC, at 8:30 p.m.