STAMFORD — Stamford’s boys followed the lead of senior guard Erik Ehrhart to pass their first Delaware League test Wednesday.
The second step comes Friday at Margaretville, where a victory will place the Indians in the DL crossover basketball game for the first time since 1983.
“It was huge,” said Ehrhart, whose 14-point night led Stamford to a 44-41 win over Hunter-Tannersville. “If we lost, we were done for crossovers. This is my last year and I’ve never been to the league championships. I just want to get there.”
Ehrhart scored his team’s first seven points of the final quarter, turning a one-point deficit into a 42-37 lead.
“He’s not leading us in anything (statistically), but he leads us in everything,” Stamford coach Greg O’Connell said of his third-year starter and the lone senior among his starting five. “He just controls everything. He’s a coach on the floor and that’s what a third-year varsity senior is supposed to do, and he does it.”
Stamford (13-3) came into the night tied with H-T and Margaretville atop the Upper Division standings — all three with two league losses.
H-T (12-4, 9-3) was eliminated from the race.
Margaretville defeated Davenport, 41-31, Wednesday to join Stamford at 10-2 in the league standings.
“That’s why you practice for four months,” O’Connell said of the importance of Friday’s game, when the Indians will try to reverse a 48-42 loss to the Blue Devils in the teams’ first meeting this season.
The winner will meet Mountain Division winner South Kortright in the crossover final Feb. 15 at SUNY Delhi.
What transpired on the court Wednesday was baffling at times, sloppy at other times and compelling for most of the fourth quarter.
H-T standout Zach Mudge seemed to be foul trouble seconds after exiting the team bus and Ehrhart also dealt with foul troubles.