The Saugerties boys’ basketball team had one of its best and most satisfying games against Marlboro before 500 fans in the Saugerties gym Monday night. The victorious home team was led by point guard Austin Curlin, who dished off the ball and got everyone involved in the game. The lights-out three-point shooting of Omar Mazariego and seventh grader Dior Johnson’s 17-point performance from the charity line were big contributors.
On a night that celebrated the seven graduating seniors, both teams got off to a slow start. The score was tied at nine points apiece at the end of the first quarter.
But Saugerties began to pick up the pace in the second quarter, as Curlin dished and the rest of the team swished. The second quarter ended with the Sawyers up 30-21.
In the third quarter, Dior Johnson lit up the crowd with a number of high-flying moves to the basket, and Mazariego began to pop in three-pointers.
Some rough play by Marlboro sent the Sawyers to the foul line a lot.
Marlboro kept clawing its way back into the game, narrowing the score to 49-42 as the third ended.
The fourth period was tightly contested, with the teams trading baskets. Saugerties would hit a two, and Marlboro would come storming down the court and knock in a three. With time running down, Marlboro drew within three points. Hoping for Johnson’s foul-shooting skills to be exercised once more, the crowd started chanting, “Walking Bucket.”
With 34 seconds left, Tavin Rell went to the foul line and made it 69-63.
Saugerties then fouled a Marlboro player on a three-point try. The player made two of three foul shots, making it 69-65 Sawyers.
With 18 seconds to go, Marlboro fouled Johnson, who sank two free throws for a 71-65 lead.
Marlboro scored two points to bring them within four points, but Johnson got fouled again and made them both. Time ran out with the score 73-67.
Johnson led the scoring for Saugerties with 21 points, 17 of which came at the foul line. Mazariego followed with 17 points. Other scorers included Curlin with nine points, Rell with eight, Jack Hindes with seven, Keith Hartrum with three, and Liam Schoonmaker with two.