Shooting woes and foul trouble sunk Whitehall in their annual Holiday Tournament.
The Railroaders dropped the opening game of the tournament to Fort Edward 53-44 and was edged by Poultney in the consolation game 48-36.
Whitehall had an excellent opportunity to pick up their first win of the season on Monday evening, but was unable to knock down their shots when they needed them most.
Both teams struggled to find any offensive momentum in the first quarter, combining for 13 total points as Poultney finished the opening quarter with a 9-4 lead.
The Railroaders roared back in the second quarter, limiting Poultney to a pair of free throws through the first five minutes of the quarter.
Whitehall took a 12-11 lead behind Josh Hoagland’s three point shot halfway through the quarter but Poultney’s Tyler Rice steal and subsequent fast break layup at the end of the half gave Poultney a 17-14 lead.
Poultney opened the third quarter in a full court press which seemed to disrupt whatever offensive momentum Whitehall may have had.
“We made some adjustments offensively and defensively the last few days and it seemed to work in the second half,” Poultney head coach Alfonso Howlett said.
In the quarter Poultney scored 15 points, mostly behind Rice who finished with a team high 21 points, while Whitehall struggled to put the basketball in the cylinder.
There were several occasions when Whitehall grabbed two or three offensive rebounds on a possession only to watch the ball clang off the rim.
The Railroaders fared slightly better in the final quarter, scoring 15 points, but Poultney added 16 points of their own.
Josh Hoagland had his best game of the season, finishing with 21 points and a handful of rebounds. No other player knocked down more than one shot for Whitehall.
Whitehall had a chance against Fort Edward, but allowed the Forts to score 19 points from the foul line while sinking only five free throws of their own.
Sean Morency led the charge, scoring 14 points, Kevin McCarthy added 12 points and Jonah Taylor had a double-double, scoring 12 points and ripping down 17 rebounds.
Justin Hoagland scored 15 points for Whitehall while his older brother, Josh added 11 points.
The game was close throughout the first half, and Whitehall went into the half trailing by only five points. But Fort Edward outscored Whitehall 16-10 in the third quarter and added another 17 points in the final frame for the victory.
A cold shooting performance in the fourth quarter against Hartford sunk Whitehall in an Adirondack League showdown last Wednesday.
“We didn’t shoot well in the fourth quarter. It was a competitive game until that point,” Redmond said.
Freshman Brian McLaughlin, who was recently called up from the junior varsity team, scored 13 points, including four 3-pointers to lead Whitehall. Josh and Justin Hoagland combined to score 12 points.
Phil Cassella had a monster game for the Tanagers, scoring 21 points and ripping down 14 rebounds. Ethan Farley also registered double digit scoring for Hartford, scoring 13 points in the win.
The Railroaders entered the fourth quarter with a shot, but the offense lost its rhythm as the Hartford defense adjusted its game.
McLaughlin, who was a consistent scoring threat for Whitehall in the first three quarters, was shut out in the fourth.
“He hit the three’s but then they put someone taller on him and he couldn’t get off his shots,” Redmond said, adding that team is improving.
“We’re getting there.”
Whitehall dropped to 0-7 overall and will host Salem at 6 p.m. on Jan. 3 and North Warren at 6 p.m. on Jan. 6.