SCOTIA The Mekeel Christian Academy boys basketball team is often thought of as Collin Stewart's team, and for good reason. The senior forward often dominates his team's opponents to the tune of 30.2 points per game.
But there are four other MCA players on the court, and they had their chance to shine in Tuesday's 70-44 Section II Class B opening-round victory over Cobleskill-Richmondville.
Junior guard Spencer Bath drained four three-pointers on his way to a 14-point night, and junior forward Ohenio Miller pulled down 11 rebounds for the No. 2 Lions (18-1).
"It's really helpful," Stewart said of the support he's received from his teammates this year. "Spencer Bath is a really good shooter. My (younger) brother, Caleb, can hit shots, and Ben Wager is a great outside shooter."
Still, it was Stewart who put up the most impressive numbers. He scored 39 points and added 12 rebounds to lead MCA into Friday's quarterfinal against No. 7 Schuylerville at Rensselaer High School.
"Collin sets things up for us," said MCA coach Chad Bowman, "but it's important that the other kids take advantage of that and shoot the ball when they have the opportunity."
No. 15 Cobleskill (8-12) did what it could to stay close to MCA, but that only lasted until Bath hit two consecutive three-pointers to start the third quarter. The two threes turned a seven-point halftime lead into a 39-26 advantage for the Lions, and the Bulldogs never got closer than 10 points the rest of the night.
"The first half was pretty close, but we knew in the third (quarter) that we had to come out and put it to them," said Stewart. "I think we did that."
"They (Cobleskill) made five threes in the first half. When those guys got going from the perimeter, we couldn't get the separation that we wanted," said Bowman.