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Hamilton boys finish second at Morris Tournament

After it saw two different games (against Westmoreland and DeRuyter) wiped out by winter snows before the winter break, the Hamilton boys basketball team was antsy to get back on the court again.

The Emerald Knights had not played since its Dec. 15 defeat to West Canada Valley, meaning it had sat for 11 days (and lost some practice time, too) before playing against Edmeston in Friday's opening round of the Morris Tournament.

However, that anxious rest turned into energy once play started again, as Hamilton handled Edmeston by a score of 52-36.

Hamilton's defense forced Edmeston into some long droughts -- just five points in both the first and third quarters of play.

Put together, that helped the Emerald Knights work its way to a 40-26 advantage by the end of the third period.

Derrick Cenicola had 14 points, with Matt Broedel earning 13 points and John Schell adding 10 points. Each of them hit on two 3-point field goals during the night. Nate Steward helped out with seven points.

From there, the Emerald Knights advanced to Saturday's championship game against Mohawk, where it could not hold on to its early advantage in a 51-44 loss to the Mohicans.

All through the first quarter, Hamilton's defense dictated matters, as it moved to a 13-7 lead. Over the course of the next two periods, though, Mohawk caught up, riding a big performance from John LeClair as it tied the game 38-38 going into the final period.

Toward the end, the Emerald Knights started to cool off, managing just six points in the final period as Mohawk went in front for good.

LeClair accounted for more than half of the Mohicans' offense, earning 30 points, including 12 field goals. Michael Sudder helped him with 12 points.

As for Hamilton, just four players managed field goals. Cenicola hit on four 3-pointers to account for most of his 21 points, while Broedel earned 12 points, Steward eight points and Schell four points.

Hamilton returns home Saturday night with a 3-2 record to take on Sherburne-Earlville as Center State Conference play resumes in the new year.

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