ONEONTA, N.Y. — After a close game down the stretch, the Marathon Olympians were able to come away with a 66-57 win over the Edmeston Panthers to win the Section IV Class D Finals.
Marathon played competitive throughout the first half, heading into half time leading by 32-21.
In the second half, Edmeston turned on the jets to force a comeback. Their defensive pressure, combined with improved three-point shooting, cut the Olympians lead to one possession. Marathon junior Andrew Tillotson answered with a three pointer of his own, hyping up the crowd and forcing Edmeston to call a timeout.
Marathon junior Owen Hoyt led the Olympians with 19 points, nine of them coming from the charity strike. Junior Andrew Tillotson scored 16 points, eight of them coming in the third quarter, while junior Diego Castellot scored 12 points including several clutch shots down the stretch.
“Going into the second half, we knew that they were going to up the intensity,” said Marathon head coach Jim Holland. “I told them that we needed to keep bringing the intensity to them, unlike two days ago against Morris where we fell back a little. We also switched defenses again with a third press, which helped us a lot. They did go on a run with some fast breaks and I called a timeout. I told our players, 'We are in the driver’s seat, there are three minutes to go, and it’s our game to win or lose.’"
“We just had to work hard all throughout the game,” said Tillotson. “Like in the Morris game, we let go of the gas pedal, and today we kept the gas pedal on through the whole game.”
Both teams were knocking down shots down the stretch, but with Marathon leading, Edmeston was forced to foul with less than a minute remaining in regulation. Marathon took advantage by making most of their free throws.
“Coming from two years ago, when we were 0-20, being champs feels amazing,” Castellot said.
Marathon advances to regional play. They will take on Martin Luther at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at Poughkeepsie high School. This game will be live-streamed by the Cortland Voice via our Facebook page.
Check out highlights from the second half: