McGraw boys basketball advance to Sectional Semi-Finals

McGraw sophomore Caleb Smith shooting a floater over New York Mills defenders (Ross Cohen/Cortland Voice)

It was a close game down the stretch but the McGraw Eagles came away with a 50-45 win over the New York Mills Marauders Tuesday night at McGraw High School.

The Eagles moved the ball well during the first half of the game, creating open shots, including three from behind the arc.

It was a physical game with a total of 31 fouls; McGraw committed 16 and New York Mills committed 15. McGraw applied plenty of defensive pressure throughout the game, especially down the stretch.

“Pressuring our opponents is something we have been doing all year,” said McGraw head coach Derek Allen. “We try to make it uncomfortable for them the whole entire time.”

McGraw celebrates after the final buzzer (Ross Cohen/Cortland Voice)

McGraw sophomore Caleb Smith led the Eagles with 21 points, six of them coming from behind the arc. Smith’s offensive prowess forced defenders to double team him, creating space for the other four players to knock down key shots.

“It was a great win for McGraw,” said Smith. “They had a good plan coming out to contact the paint, but I feel like we as a team were able to maneuver and get through the paint. It was a good win for us.”  

McGraw senior Chase Curtis followed Smith with a double-double, grabbing 12 boards and scoring 13 points. He also had four key blocks.

New York Mills attempted to mount a comeback during the fourth quarter, outscoring McGraw 17-15, but it wasn’t enough.

New York Mills senior Alex Matrassi led the Marauders in scoring with 14 points, six of them coming from behind the arc.

“The key to winning this game was not turning the ball over at the end of the fourth quarter,” said McGraw head coach Allen. “We had a few turnovers at the beginning of the fourth quarter and let them back into it. Our kids stayed really composed towards the end of the game. We knocked down a few shots and extended the lead. Every single time they came back, we answered with another run of our own.”

McGraw will be going against DeRuyter on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the SRC Arena in Onondaga Community College.