Steady Passalacqua leads Mynderse past Clyde

Mynderse Academy defeated Clyde-Savannah on Monday night in Waterloo by a score of 66-50 to advance to face Lyons High in the Section V Class C State Qualifier at the Blue Cross Arena.After Clyde-Savannah, Mynderse Academy, and Lyons each won sectional titles in their respective Class C divisions on Saturday, the stage was set for a dream scenario for Wayne-Finger Lakes high school basketball fans.Mynderse would face Clyde-Savannah, on a neutral court in Waterloo on Monday night. Then, the winner returns to the Blue Cross Arena on Wednesday to face the Lyons Lions for a berth to the state tournament as Section V’s representative from Class C.Mynderse and Clyde-Savannah are old-school rivals in football and basketball but don’t regularly meet in hoops anymore due to different league affiliations. Despite being separated by just 14 miles on Route 414, these two schools haven’t met on the hardcourt since 2007. They would face off on Monday night in Waterloo with everything on the line. One would return to the “Big House” to face Lyons, while the other would see their successful season come to a close.Waterloo, NYFans from both communities began arriving at Waterloo High School shortly before 6:00 for the 7:00 pm scheduled tip-off. By the time the national anthem was played, there was nearly 1,500 people packed into every seat and spilling out along the north baseline. It was an electric atmosphere, the likes of which have not been seen for a high school basketball game in Seneca County for quite some time.Tim Jackson’s Clyde-Savannah squad wore their road gold jerseys while Mynderse wore home whites and the sections housing the fans were equally well defined. An equal number of supporters for each side that included big head cut-outs of the Mynderse players and a pair of Golden Eagle students in head-to-toe purple with bright yellow wigs.Clyde-SavannahAs the game tipped, the frenetic play on the court immediately matched the atmosphere in the gymnasium as both teams pressed and played 90 feet out of the gate. Clyde’s athletic big man Joemaine Bogan scored first on a transition lay-up and Mynderse junior small forward Jason Anderson immediately answered with a transition layup of his own. Both teams were on the board and continued to trade turnovers and transition buckets until Jimmy Ricci buried a corner three to make the score 8-4.Coach Mike Fields’ Mynderse front court duo of Conner Miller and Luke Ruddy faced stiff opposition at the rim early as Kam DiSanto and Bogan turned back multiple shots in the paint sparking transition opportunities for Clyde.It was the steady of play of the Blue Devil’s senior point guard Brandon Passalacqua that eventually helped Mynderse build and maintain the lead throughout the game. Passalacqua finished with a team-high 16 points, 8 assists, and 6 steals scoring most of his points in the paint with nifty hooks and runners tossed in after avoiding multiple Clyde defenders with his dribble. The Mynderse Class of 2013 valedictorian was in full control of the ball and his team’s offense. After some early struggles with Clyde-Savannah’s full court press, Passalacqua settled in and broke the pressure consistently leading to transition scores and solid half-court sets.Passalacqua set up Jimmy Ricci for a pair of early three pointers and found sophomore Liam Caraher for another first quarter trifecta. Ricci finished with 12 points on four three pointers.The teams exchanged blows, and the lead, throughout the first half as Clyde countered the hot outside shooting of Mynderse with bombs of their own from guards Faniel, Sharp and Molisanti. Clyde senior and 1,000 point scorer Tom Kanaley knifed through the lane for a lay-up to give Clyde the lead with just over 5:00 mins left in the 2nd quarter. It would be the last time the Golden Eagles would lead.Passalacqua scored on the next two possession for Mynderse on a baby-hook runner and a pull up from five feet and then Ricci buried another three to put Mynderse up 29-23 with 26 seconds left in the half.Joemaine Bogan stepped out to knock down a three pointer as the 2nd quarter concluded to pull Clyde within 3 points and Mynderse took a narrow 29-26 lead into halftime.Bogan also notched the first points of the second half on a lay-up after a run out, but then junior big man Luke Ruddy began to have his way.Ruddy knocked down two free throws, scored on a fast break, and scored again on a nice pass from Passalacqua to help Mynderse to a 38-31 lead midway through the 3rd quarter.Then, an unlikely scoring run from reserve center Jared Coffee who scored six straight in the paint for Mynderse that helped the Blue Devils maintain their margin before another Jimmy Ricci three built the lead to 10 to end the 3rd quarter.Mynderse wouldn’t look back as Clyde’s pressure wasn’t effective against the cool-headed Passalacqua and Ruddy. Mynderse would eventually cruise to a 66-50 victory and a date with another old-school rival in Rochester on Wednesday night.Luke Ruddy would finish with 12 point and 12 rebounds while junior Jason Anderson finished with 12 points.For Clyde-Savannah, Joemaine Bogan led all scorers with 18 points while Kam DiSanto added 10 points and 5 blocked shots.Clyde-Savannah’s Sectional Championship season ends with a 19-3 record, a share of the Wayne County League title, and the Section V Class C3 crown.For Mynderse, they stand at 17-5 after winning the Class C1 title on Saturday and advancing past Clyde on Monday. Wednesday’s match-up against Lyons at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester is set to tip at 7:15 pm. Mynderse and Lyons have not played each other since 1992 when Mynderse defeated Lyons in the state qualifying round en route to winning the state championship.

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