T he Whitehall boys’ basketball team won its season opener last Tuesday in dramatic fashion.
Josh Hoagland hit the game winning shot with 9.6 seconds left in the game to give Whitehall a 57-55 victory over visiting Salem.
Salem had an opportunity to tie the game on its final possession but the shot missed its mark.
The Railroaders had four players score double digit points.
Josh Hoagland recorded a double-double in the game, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Justin Hoagland scored 19 points and Brian McLaughlin and Carl Rehm added 11 apiece.
Salem’s P.H. Laporte led all scorers with 22 points.
“Brian and Carl hit some big shots for us down the stretch and Justin did a great jobs handling and distributing the ball,” said head coach Keith Redmond.
“It was a game of runs and fortunately we had the last run.”
The Railroaders led by five points after a 17-point first quarter but Salem turned the tables in the second half, limiting the Railroaders to eight points and went into the half with a five point lead.
But Whitehall’s defense picked up the intensity in the second half and the team scored 16 points in each of the last two quarters.
“It was an outstanding defensive effort throughout the game,” Redmond said. “We varied our defense throughout the game and our man-to-man seemed to be the most effective.”
The only blemish for the Railroaders was their inability to hit free throws. Whitehall missed nine of 21 shots from the charity stripe.
“We need to finish at the line. A lot of points were missed from the strip,” Redmond said.
On Friday night the Railroaders traveled to Corinth where they fell to the Tomahawks 58-47.
Whitehall jumped out to an early first quarter lead but Corinth took control of the game with a 32-17 run in the second and third quarters.
Three players scored in double digit points for Corinth. Blake Basmajian led all scorers with 17 points, Zen Baudoux scored 11 and Zach Shippe added 10.
Josh Hoagland scored a team high 13 points for Whitehall and Justin Hoagland added 11 points.
The Railroaders (1-1), who have already matched their win total from a season ago will host Lake George tomorrow night in what should be a good early season barometer of how much Whitehall has improved.