Raiders break open tight game to take county crown

The Blue Ridge boys’ basketball team that won the Susquehanna County Christmas Tournament with a 62-44 win over Elk Lake on Wednesday are, front row, from left, Teejay Loomis, Matt Principe, Jesse Pruitt and Alex Cardoza, back row, head coach Brian Woodruff, Mike Gathany, Curtis Miller, Dylan Pruitt, Sawyer Dearborn, Chris Carlsen, Jake Hinkley and assistant coach Matt Treible. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF

Blue Ridge’s boys basketball team emerged victorious from the Susquehanna County Christmas Tournament on Wednesday night, defeating Elk Lake 62-44 in the championship game.

It was a tight game throughout the first half as Blue Ridge and Elk Lake each scored 13 in the first and Elk Lake went into halftime with a 24-22 lead.

However, Blue Ridge outscored the Warriors 23-7 in the third quarter to gain a big lead before topping the Warriors 17-13 in the fourth to take the win.

Alex Cardoza, who was named tournament MVP, scored 17 points and added seven assists to lead the Raiders while Matt Principe added 16 points and

Blue Ridge’s Matt Principe throws up a jumper over Elk Lake’s Matt Horvath and Mark Bush at Montrose on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF

Sawyer Dearborn had 13 points, eight rebounds, five steals and three blocks.

Elk Lake was led by Rob Heft with 12 points while Mark Bush chipped in 10.

The all tournament team was comprised of Blue Ridge’s Cardoza and Sawyer Dearborn, Montrose’s Bill Stranburg, Susquehanna’s Andrzej Tomczyk and Elk Lake’s Rob Heft.

In Wednesday’s consolation game, Montrose defeated Susquehanna 62-51 to place third in the tournament.

Susquehanna came out strong early in the game to pace the Meteors 18-10 in the first quarter, however, Montrose chipped away at the Saber lead pacing Susquehanna 16-10 in the second to make it a 28-26 Saber game at the half.

In the third, Montrose took the lead, outscoring the Sabers 28-11, and despite a 12-8 run from the Sabers in the third, Montrose took the win.

Raider Alex Cardoza, the tournament MVP, gets by Elk Lake’s Bryan Grosvenor on his way to scoring 17 points in the Blue Ridge win. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF

Bill Stranburg led Montrose with 17 points while Tom Lewis added 13.

For Susquehanna, Cole Mallery scored a game-high 19 points while Andrzej Tomczyk dropped in 18 points.

In day one action on Monday, Blue Ridge defeated Montrose, 52-51, in a nail-biter that culminated with Cardoza sinking a buzzer-beater to defeat the Meteors, while Elk Lake handled Susquehanna 53-41.

The Blue Ridge game was a tight one from the start as both teams scored 15 in the first quarter, before Blue Ridge would take a 28-26 advantage at the half going 13-11 over the Meteors in the second.

In the third quarter, Montrose gained back the lead with a 14-11 run over the Raiders, but a 13-11 run in the fourth would prove successful and push Blue Ridge to the win.

Cardoza scored a game-high 19 points while Dearborn chipped in 12 and Dylan Pruitt had eight.

For Montrose, Steve Squires scored 18 points while Stranburg and Colby Major each had eight points.

In the Elk Lake win, the Warriors took an early lead going 21-6 over Susquehanna in the first quarter, and continued to pace the Sabers with a 9-8 run in the second to make it 30-14 at the half.

In the second half, Elk Lake outscored Susquehanna 17-11, before Susquehanna would make a 16-6 rally in the fourth that fell short as the Warriors took the win.

Bush led the way for Elk Lake with 15 points while Woolcock added 11.

Susquehanna was led by Tomczyk who scored a game-high 17 points including four three-pointers.

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