The Slaters used a suffocating full court press and took advantage of their height as they cruised to a 71-39 win in the last Friday’s championship game.
Despite the loss, head coach Keith Redmond was pleased with his team’s play.
“The kids played to their potential. They played some great basketball but we were outsized and out manned,” Redmond said.
He said Fair Haven’s press defense wore out Whitehall in the second half of the game.
The Railroaders reached the finals after defeating Fort Edward 71-60 in the opening round of the tournament last Wednesday.
Whitehall was outscored in three of the four quarters but built a sizable lead with a 24 point outburst in the third quarter.
Whitehall’s backcourt led the way for the Railroaders as sophomores Justin Hoagland and Brian McLaughlin combined to score 36 points in the game. McLaughlin finished with a game high 22 points, senior Carl Rehm added 21 points, including five three point shots, and Hoagland scored 14. For the game, Whitehall hit ten three point shots.
Ryan Collier scored 20 points for Fort Edward.
“Brian broke out of his shell. He had some confidence and was able to do the things he does well, which is penetrate and score,” Redmond said.
Fort Edward led Whitehall 32-27 at the half but the Railroaders were dominant in the third quarter, outscoring the Forts 24-7. Whitehall opened the quarter on a 21-3 run and scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory.
Redmond said the second half was the team’s best all season.
“We finally got some shots to fall and they gave a solid effort defensively and offensively,” he said.
Unlike the game against Fair Haven, the victory over Fort Edward counts as an Adirondack League game and the Railroaders are now 2-4 in the league and 2-5 overall.
Fair Haven beat Poultney 69-34 to advance to the finals. Poultney then defeated Fort Edward 54-51 in the consolation game on Friday.
Whitehall will travel to face perennial power Argyle tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m. and will host Hadley Luzerne next Tuesday.