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Slow start spells defeat for Randolph

Randolph fans wore T-shirts and sweatshirts commemorating their state championship season in football to Buffalo State Sports Arena Saturday. But the Cardinals won't be making a basketball version.

Campbell-Savona used a 15-2 first quarter and a stifling defensive effort all game to beat Randolph, 41-35, in the Class C Far West Regionals Saturday afternoon before an estimated 1,200.

"We dug ourselves a big hole," said Randolph coach Kevin Hind. "We came out a little tight, shots weren't going down, and we turned the ball over too many times against their pressure. [But] we never quit. These guys are a great group of guys and they played with heart the entire game."

Randolph (19-6), a team made up mostly from players who were on the state football title team in Class D (classifications are different in different sports), scored as many points Saturday as it did in its state football final rout of Cambridge (35-6).

Section V champion Campbell-Savona (22-3), which advanced to the state final four in Glens Falls for the first time, forced turnovers all game. The Panthers made it difficult for Cardinals point guard Blake Morrison (14 points) to bring the ball across halfcourt, and once Randolph got there, it was unable to get the ball down low into 6-foot-7 senior Mike Seiberg and 6-5 freshman Chris Erdmann. Meanwhile they hassled Morrison, Trae Rogers and David Pihlblad into several three-point misses.

"Our strength has been our defense and we certainly came out and played good strong help defense from the back side," said Campbell-Savona coach Merlin Button. The Panthers were led by Will Cornett's 16 points.

After C-S took a 23-9 halftime lead, Randolph cut the lead to single digits before heading to the fourth behind, 31-20. Campbell-Savona survived a four-minute scoreless streak in the final period in which Morrison hit a deep three-pointer to cut the lead to 36-29. Randolph had a chance to cut the lead but missed two free throws. C-S pushed its advantage back to double-digits despite going 4 for 14 at the foul line in the final 3:06. Erdmann's last-second three accounted for the final score.

e-mail: kmcshea@buffnews.com

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