2018-02-13 / Sports

Walton Boys Win Twice, Get Top Seed For MAC Tourney

By Tom Coddington

The Walton boys’ basketball team vaulted into the top seeding for the Midstate Athletic Conference’s playoffs last Monday, with a 57-50 victory over host Sidney, and sealed the verdict with a lopsided win over host Harpursville on Thursday.

The S-Warriors outscored the W-Warriors by 20-14 in the first quarter and also had a halftime edge of 29-27. The visitors took charge in the third quarter, by playing better defense than the hosts.

Walton’s Jacob Beach connected for 21 points, including five shots from beyond the arc, and all eight players who saw action got into the scoring column, with Alex Tweedie and Gavin Griffin each contributed nine points. Sidney’s Ethan Finch had a game-high 22 points, and Malik Howard tallied eight.

On Thursday, Coach Dave Gardepe’s Warriors scored 33 points in the first quarter, which was more than host Harpursville scored in the entire game, as Walton cruised to an 83-22 rout.

“We shot well, and everyone (11 players) scored, and our defense was great,” Gardepe remarked. “They all played with energy, because we knew we would be the number one if we won. Everyone has played hard, especially late in the season, when we played UV, Delhi and Sidney. We spread the scoring around.”

Griffin was the high individual scorer with 15 points, Jacob Beach 11, Robbie Swiatek and Alex Tweedie 10 each, Tommy Maguire eight, Jose Mirabal seven, Justin Beers six, Brett Charles and Shane Merwin five each, and Ethan Wood and Dylan Jacob two apiece.

Walton’s record in the regular season was 9-1, and Unadilla Valley also was 9-1, with the only loss coming at the hands of Walton. The third seed is Delaware Academy, which lost only to Walton and UV, and Sidney is the fourth seed at 7-3.

The first bracket action will be tonight (Tuesday), with Sidney visiting Walton and and DA traveling to UV. The winners of those games will play for the MAC championship on Friday at 8 p.m. at SUNY Binghamton.

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