Deonte Holder scored 22 points as the Mekeel Christian Academy Lions narrowly escaped the clutches of the Voorheesville Blackbirds, getting a key three pointer from Holder late to pull away to the 55-51 win in the Class B Sectional Semifinal Monday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The first half was a series of runs for both teams, as Voorheesville scored the first four points of the game, only to see Mekeel Christian Academy answer back with a 9-0 run before Sean Nolan broke it up with a 3 pointer. In the second quarter, Voorheesville had a 4 point lead before Carter Stewart was fouled on a three point shot on the baseline. Stewart would make all three, to pull the Lions to within one.
His next trip to the charity stripe would give the Lions a brief lead, but not before Sean Nolan took over for the Blackbirds to return the advantage in their favor at the half.
The game remained close through the third and fourth quarters, ultimately coming down to Deonte Holder's 3 pointer with 1:09 left to build the Lions lead to 6. Despite a full-court pressure that led to a turnover to draw the Blackbirds within 2, Voorheesville was unable to catch back up, giving the Lions the berth in Friday night's Class B Championship.
In addition to Holder's 22 points, Carter Stewart contributed 16 points in the effort, and Jordon Jackson scored 11 points for the Lions.
Sean Nolan led the Blackbirds with 18 points, but was left scoreless in the 4th quarter. Ryan Daly scored 11 points and Matt Bernhard added 10 in the losing effort.
The Lions now play in Friday night's Class B Championship against the winner of the Ichabod Crane/Glens Falls game, to be played at the Glens Falls Civic Center.