CORTLAND — Second-seeded Delhi could not solve No. 3 Newfield’s offense, and took a 66-54 loss in the Section IV Class C boys section semifinal at SUNY Cortland on Tuesday, March 3.
The Bulldogs led, 12-10, after the first quarter, but Newfield outscored or tied them in each quarter thereafter to take the win and end Delhi’s season.
“We knew Newfield was a very smart, athletic team and we knew to defeat them, we had to minimize missteps,” Bulldogs coach Warren Kelly said. “I don’t think we did as good a job as we were hoping on that, the kids know that.
“The kids played very hard, their effort is always amazing. We needed to do a few things better to pull out the win and tonight we just didn’t have it.”
Delhi struggled to maintain offensive momentum as seemingly every time it started to get a run going, Newfield halted it with a 3-pointer.
“Give credit them, (Newfield) must’ve missed two or three 3s on the night,” Bulldogs senior Tyler Bruce said. “They were knocking them down, but I couldn’t be more proud of our guys and they way we played defense. We game-planned just like coach asked us to do, we just fell short.”
Newfield netted 10 3s in total, with six of them coming in the second half. DaeJahd Leckey (14 points) led Newfield with four triples.
Trailing at halftime, 28-24, Delhi kept it close by matching Newfield’s 18 points in the third quarter.
In the fourth, the Bulldogs cut the advantage down to single digits with two minutes left in regulation, but Newfield’s offense was just too potent.
Jalen Hardison (21 points) drained a deep ball late to give Newfield a 10-point edge after both teams traded free-throw opportunites, all but sealing Delhi’s fate.
“We were hoping to play a little bit of zone so that we could rotate more players in because they’re not the easiest team to man up, they’re very quick,” Kelly said. “The way they were shooting was hard for us to play defense man-to-man and even then, they were hitting some big 3s when they needed it.”
Bruce finished as the Bulldogs' top scorer with 17 points, including four 3-pointers. He hit two of his four triples in the third quarter, with one of them resulting in a four-point play that energized the Delhi faithful in attendance.
“I just kind of felt it from the first 3 on,” Bruce said. “The first pass, it kind of got me in my groove. I found the rim a little easier. My teammates did a great job getting me the ball.”
Alex Haight had 15 points for the Bulldogs while Luke Branigan was next with seven.
Delhi concluded the year at 20-3 with an undefeated 12-0 Midstate Athletic Conference record as well as a MAC championship to highlight its accomplishments on the campaign.
“I love them, all the respect to the other teams I’ve ever coached, they’re the best team I’ve ever coached in my career,” Kelly said. “They should all be proud of everything they put into this year, because I am.”
Along with Bruce, Michael Griswold, Preston VanWie, A.J. Aukstikalnis and Rich LaLosh make up the seniors who played their last game for Delhi on Tuesday.
“All the support we’ve had over the years, it’s just going to be hard walking away from it and not being able to go to practice tomorrow, but again, I just got to cherish the times that we’ve had,” Bruce said. “I’m so proud of this program and so proud of these players and coaches and couldn’t be more thankful for the effort they’ve given to make this season the best yet.”
Newfield 66, Delhi 54
Newfield.... 10 18 18 20 — 66
Delhi.... 12 12 18 12 — 54
NEWFIELD: Jacob Humble 2 5-8 10, Jalen Hardison 8 2-3 21, DaeJahd Leckey 5 0-0 14, Teagan Moynihan 1 0-0 2, Joshua Wood 5 3-4 15, LaRon Boykin 2 0-1 4. TOTALS: 23 10-16 66.
DELHI (20-3): Tyler Bruce 6 1-2 17, Michael Griswold 0 1-2 1, Logan Aikens 3 0-0 6, Alex Haight 6 3-8 15, Luke Branigan 3 1-2 7, Rich LaLosh 3 0-2 6, Hunter Sanford 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 22 6-16 54.
Three-point field goals made: N 10 (Leckey 4, J. Hardison 3, Wood 2, Humble 1); D 4 (Bruce 4).