Ludden hoops teams both advance

Both of Bishop Ludden's basketball teams are moving ahead in the Section III playoffs - and both will get chances at sweet atonement, thanks to wins in Tuesday night's opening round.

The boys Gaelic Knights rose from its no. 10 seed in Class A to beat no. 7 seed New Hartford 60-40. Back home, with the roles reserved, Ludden's girls, a no. 7 seed in Class B, topped no. 10 seed Ilion 48-29.

Remarkably, both games turned on the exact same thing - a third-quarter outburst on the part of the Gaelic Knights.

At New Hartford, the Ludden boys' defense ruled early, holding the Spartans to seven points in the first quarter. Though it eased up a bit in the second period, the Gaelic Knights still carried a 27-20 lead to the half.

Far from content, Ludden erased all suspense in a 21-4 blitz following the break. Whether it was Casey Ganley pounding inside for baskets, or the defense constantly making stops on New Hartford, everything seemed to click.

Overall, Ganley would earn a career-best 21 points, the main help coming from Mark DeAngelis (11 points) and Tyler Young, who got all his nine points from three 3-pointers. Jared Littlejohn added six points. Derek German, with 11 points, was the only Spartan to score in double figures.

Meanwhile, in Geddes, Ludden's girls stayed patient as Ilion slowed down the game's tempo, and didn't panic when the visitors inched into an 18-17 lead before halftime.

Instead, a correct set of adjustments allowed the Gaelic Knights to smother the Golden Bombers after the break. That defense, combined with some well-timed outside shots from both Ashley Cianfriglia and Bella Knapp, produced a 17-4 outburst, and Ludden was on its way to Westhill.

All told, Cianfriglia had 18 points, while Knapp produced 10 points and Kristen Ryan worked inside for eight points.

On Friday, the Ludden girls meet no. 2 seed Westhill in the Class B quarterfinals, a team it lost to twice in the regular season, including a 50-41 decision just one week ago. The winner gets Jordan-Elbridge or Sherburne-Earlville in the semifinals.

And the boys Gaelic Knights also meet a no. 2 seed, Cortland, in its Class A quarterfinal - and are also looking to get payback for two regular-season defeats in order to advance to a semifinal against Whitesboro or Nottingham.

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