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After a tight first half, the Neuqua Valley offense exploded in the third quarter and the Wildcats ran away with a 72-46 win over Lake Park in Upstate Eight Valley action.
Despite dominating the boards and forcing 11 first-half turnovers, the Wildcats’ (18-2, 8-1) lead was just 32-24 going into the break.
That all changed coming out of the break though, as they opened the second half with a 10-0 run and went on to outscore the Lancers 29-7 in the third quarter.
“We were thrilled being up eight at half in a hard-fought game, and I really can’t explain the third quarter,” said Neuqua coach Todd Sutton. “We just played an outstanding quarter, we defended, we rebounded and the ball was going in the basket.”
Jabari Sandifer led the charge in the quarter with 13 points, and the Warriors shot a combined 10-of-16 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the line.
While it was Sandifer who put on a show in the third quarter, it was Darien Miskel that carried the offensive load early on for the Warriors, scoring 11 of the team’s 18 first-quarter points.
Sandifer finished with a game-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and he was joined in double-figures by Miskel with 16 and center Pat Kenny who had 13. Connor Raridon added nine points, with seven of those coming in the third.
Carlos Cortez and Melvin Kimbrough each had 10 points to lead the Lancers.