Pittsford Mendon comes alive in third quarter to put away Eastridge

By JOHN LIKANJE

WEBSTER, N.Y. –¬†Pittsford Mendon surged out to a huge third quarter and pulled away for an 86-61 victory over Eastridge in the semifinals of the Section V class A1 playoffs.

Leading 40-35 at halftime, the Pittsford Mendon Vikings started the third quarter on a 15-2 run for a 55-37 edge. Throughout the period, head coach Bob Nally’s squad outscored the Eastridge Lancers, 31-11 and surged to a 71-46 lead going into the fourth quarter.

“Early in the third quarter, we were able to get stops and get out in transition,” Nally explained. “When we’re playing good defense and moving the ball, we’re fun to watch.”

Senior guard Michael Harrington netted three of his five shots from beyond the arc during the period and scored 13 points. Daniel Cook had eight points in the third quarter as well.

“Those two have been our best scorers all year,” Nally said. “I see them continuing to be.”

Cook scored 17 of his game-high 30 points in the first half. The senior forward hauled in 14 rebounds for his 21st double-double of the season, handed out three assists, blocked a pair of shots and swiped two steals.

“When Dan hit his first three of the game, now you got to go outside and guard him outside the arc,” Nally said about Cook. “That’s really tough. You’re throwing you have at him inside the paint and if you have to get out on the perimeter and guard him, he’s a really tough matchup.”

“Dan was great on the boards,” Mendon’s head coach continued. “Some of his points came from putbacks. He’s just a beast on the boards.”

Harrington poured 20 of his 25 points in the first and third quarters combined as the Vikings outscored the Lancers, 55-26. The senior guard had three steals, a block and an assist.

“The way he was hitting the three opened him up for going to the basket,” Nally explained about Harrington.

Connor Krapf netted 10 of his 12 points in the second half. The senior guard grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists. Jacob Shadders had all 11 of his points by the end of the third quarter. The sophomore guard handed out four assists, collected a rebound and blocked a shot.

Caleb Arena (4), William Orzell (2) and Nate Strauf (2) rounded out the scoring for the Vikings.

“These guys have really good IQ,” Nally explained about his squad. “We’re able to see what teams are throwing at us and make some adjustments. Just little subtle things within our offensive scheme.”

For Eastridge, Tony Arnold went 14-of-17 from the free throw line and scored a team-high 21 points. The junior guard reached 1,000 career varsity points as well.

Jalen Rose-Hannah (8), Jahmel Demery (7), Jordan Capers (6), Devahn Velazquez (6), Adrian Rodgers (4), Terrence Reid (4), Talib Kinlock (3) and Koby Jones (2) rounded out the scoring for the Lancers.

Pittsford Mendon will play Greece Athena on Saturday at 7:00 PM at the Blue Cross Arena. The Greece Athena Trojans defeated Irondequoit, 53-45, in the semifinals Wednesday night.

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