Greece Athena grinds out win over Irondequoit, advances to meet top-seeded Mendon in A1 final

By JOHN LIKANJE

WEBSTER, N.Y. – Greece Athena locked down on defense in the second half to beat Irondequoit, 53-45, in the semifinals of the Section V class A1 playoffs.

Tied at 26 at halftime, the Greece Athena Trojans held the Irondequoit Eagles to 19 points in the last 16 minutes of the game, including eight in the fourth quarter.

In the third period, the Trojans held the Eagles to six missed field goals and a pair of turnovers in 14 possessions. In the fourth quarter, head coach Mike Setzer’s squad’s defense forced 10 missed field goals and three turnovers in 18 possessions.

“That’s a really good showing against a team that’s got some really good shooters and really good big men, so I’m really happy with how we defended today,” Setzer said.

Junior guard Melvin Council, Jr. scored 11 of his game-high 16 points in the first half.

“Generally, he always has the best defender on him and generally, he knows he’s going to have help defenders on him,” Setzer said about his junior guard. “What we really tried to stress with Melvin after the half is share the ball a little bit.”

Junior guard DeAndre Newsome netted a trio of three-pointers en route to 15 points.

“At halftime, we really stressed moving the ball to the other side of the floor,” Setzer explained. “DeAndre Newsome hit a really big three.”

 

 

 

Isaiah Brock (8), Kelvin Reaves, Jr. (6), Austin Brown (5) and Johnny Salone (3) rounded out the scoring for the Trojans.

“Sometimes, we fall in love with the right side,” Setzer said when explaining his squad’s offensive adjustments. “The play starts on the right and we keep it on the right. If we kick it to the other side, we get open looks.”

 

 

For Irondequoit, sophomore forward Keenan Robertson had all 13 of his team-high points by the end of the third quarter.
Senior guard Freddie June, Jr. scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half.

 

 

Luke Melidona (9), Patrick Thomas (8) and Josh Stenglein (3) rounded out the scoring for the Eagles.

This is the 11th time in the last 15 years, including the fourth straight, that both of these squads have matched up in the playoffs. With the victory, the Trojans have won eight of the last 11 contests against the Eagles and advance to their seventh consecutive sectional final.

Greece Athena will play top-seeded Pittsford Mendon on Saturday at 7:00 PM at the Blue Cross Athena. The Trojans will be looking to avenge two of their three losses this season, which came at the hands of the Vikings.

“I think the biggest thing is that we just have to believe in ourselves,” Setzer said. “That’s what we’ve been trying to stress from the get-go of this season is believe.”

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