Friday night the Lakers hosted the Plattsburgh Cardinals in a fixture that came down to the wire. An extremely fast paced, back and forth game saw 12 different lead changes and 10 times where the game was tied. Throughout the game, the Lakers kept getting their noses out in front, just for the Cardinals to go on a run of their own to bring the game close again.
Oswego had three players (Joe Sullivan, Liam Sanborn and Brandan Gartland) play for the entirety of the contest. Despite their lack of rest, the trio strung together 48 of the Lakers’ points. Another notable contribution to the game was the presence of Sophomore Colby Moultrie. While only playing 11 and a half minutes of the game, he managed hit some crucial late game three pointers and finish with 14 points. When asked if Moultrie would be seeing more minutes after such a strong performance, Coach Leone claimed “I’m not sure what that’s going to mean moving forward. It’s kind of a game-by-game basis…we gave Colby a chance and when he went in he knocked down some open shots so we stuck with the hot hand.” Coach Leone also praised the arsenal of Guards he has at his disposal with Julien Crittendon, Colby Moultrie and Bo Sireika all able to step up and play that critical role.
Not to be glossed over are the extravagant performances by Seniors Joe Sullivan and Brandan Gartland. Sullivan put together a brilliant display with his work underneath the rim and finishing through heavy contact on several plays. On top of his seven made field goals, he converted seven free throws. Sullivan finished with 21 points on the night. His teammate, Brandan Gartland also played a vital role in the outcome of this game. He seemed almost automatic from beyond the arc, shooting above 50% from three. At one time, in the first half, he converted on three back-to-back Laker possessions from deep.
For Plattsburgh, although they came up short in the end, there were some glimmers of promise. The Cardinals’ ability to drain from three was huge in the close matchup, as they averaged just over 41% from deep for the game. Along with their accurate perimeter shot, Plattsburgh’s physical presence was a thorn in the side of the Lakers all night. The Cardinals finished with 15 more total rebounds and 12 more points from the paint than their counterparts.
The duo of Bernhard and Cox combined for the vast majority of points for the Cardinals. Matt Bernhard’s success mainly came from three point land as he shot a very high, six for eight. For a moment it seemed as though Cox wasn’t going to be able to continue putting up great numbers for the Cardinals as he was seen getting his leg wrapped and moving with a slight limp at halftime. However, Cox came out even stronger in the second half and more than doubled his point total.
Despite being a menace for the Lakers to deal with, Plattsburgh ultimately came up just short of pulling off what would have been a resounding win. As for Oswego, this huge team win clinched them a spot in the SUNYAC Playoffs and now will strive towards their new goal of getting a home game in the first round.