The #1 seeded Marathon Olympians used a second half rally to win their second consecutive Sectional title last night. They defeated #2 seeded South Kortright 51-45.
The Olympians had a rough start to the game, with most of their shots not going in and not rebounding as well as they normally do. The Olympians were down 18-26 at the half.
In the second half, the Olympians held South Kortright to four points in the third quarter.
“They looked more like a unit out there,” said Marathon Head Coach Jim Holland. They also went on a big 11-0 run with all seniors contributing in scoring to take a 29-26 point lead halfway through the third quarter.
“I think they were tight,” stated Coach Holland. “They had great expectations put on them from last year, and they heard the hype about South Kortright; which they did an excellent job. They are a really good team. So I think all of that fed into it, but I think the seniors showed up in the second half.”
Seniors Diego Castellot and Kenyon DePuy ended the quarter on a high note, with Castellot hitting an and-one and DePuy blocking a buzzer beater shot to increase the Olympian’s momentum heading into the final quarter.
“That (block) definitely felt great,” said DePuy. “It’s definitely a highlight in my career here. Getting up, and being able to shut a kid down felt good.”
It was a battle of the titans from then on, with both teams moving the ball well on offense and continually exchanging the lead.
Up by one (36-35), with less than five minutes to go, the Olympians began to hit some clutch shots - freshman Connor Holland with a 3-pointer, DePuy with an and-one, and Andrew Tillotson with another three.
South Kortright tried to pull a late game comeback with a minute left, but all they had to rely on were fouls and hope for some missed free throws by the Olympians.
“It definitely felt like it was the longest minute of our lives. We just wanted it to go by fast,” said Castellot.
“With foul shot after foul shot, time ticks so slow. It was crazy,” added Tillotson.
Up next, the Olympians will be moving on to the regional/state tournament. They will play their sub-regional round at Windsor High School on Tuesday, March 10th against Children's Village. Tip-off starts at 6:30 pm.
“It’s going to be exciting,” said Tillotson. “It’s definitely going to be a competition. We know the teams are good this year, so hopefully we can rise up and win it all.”
Here is a game highlight video along with some postgame interviews (all videos were produced by Chris Tarantino/Cortland Voice):