BY DEAN RUSSIN
UTICA _ South Kortright had two big problems Saturday at Thomas Proctor High.
And the Rams had no answer for either one.
Six-foot-8 sophomore center Matt Welch and 6-5 junior forward Fred Russ combined for 28 points and 29 rebounds to lead New York Mills to a 65-38 drubbing of SK in a Class D boys basketball state quarterfinal that drew a standing-room-only crowd.
"It was hard pushing them around," said 6-3 SK center Charlie Darling, by far the Rams' tallest player. "They're big. Both of those guys are big. They're the biggest guys we've seen all year."
Although the defending Class D state champions held the Marauders' bulky giants to a combined 10 points over the first two quarters, they trailed by 13 at halftime. That's because this New York Mills team is much more than a two-man gang.
"This year, we put five guys on the court who could do it all," said Russ, whose team fell, 56-45, to SK (20-2) in this round a year ago at Hartwick College. "Last year, they focused a lot on me. But this time, they couldn't. I don't think they could guard all the spots on the court we were getting to."
Mills senior guard Edgardo Colon opened the scoring with a three-pointer from the right wing and, after Jon Denario quickly countered with a layup, Matthew Dziekan gave the Marauders (23-0) a 6-2 lead with a three from the top of the key.
Senior swingman Rashawn Herrington pulled SK to 6-5 with two baseline drives, the first setting up a 1-for-2 effort at the free throw line and the second resulting in a reverse layup. Welch then hit the first of two free throws after drawing a foul in the paint on Darling, who followed up with a baseline runner off a sharp pass from Herrington.