By Gary Hawkins CorrespondentJanuary 31, 2018
FARMINGDALE — On a night when Hall-Dale didn’t have its A game, it relied on its double A game.
Ashtyn Abbott powered the Bulldogs to an early lead then, when they went flat, he picked them up again in the third quarter. The lanky left-hander finished with 25 points and six rebounds to lead Hall-Dale over Madison 57-42 on Tuesday night.
Hall-Dale, which finishes the season with two home games this week, is 15-1 and in first place in the Class C South tournament standings. Madison, winners of four straight coming into Tuesday’s game, falls to 8-8.
Hall-Dale jumped out to a 17-3 lead behind nine first-period points from Abbott. Madison never overcame the early deficit but hung around just the same, outscoring Hall-Dale 15-10 in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 29-20 at the half.
Both teams turned the ball over several times in a hotly contested and sometimes sloppy game. Madison finished with 18 turnovers while Hall-Dale had 19.
“That’s been our Achilles heel all year,” Madison coach Jason Furbush said. “We just don’t take care of the ball at times. You can’t let teams like that go on 8-10 point runs.”
Abbott shot 10-of-13 from the floor and 3 of 4 at the line. He also added six rebounds and three steals.
“I thought he really found his way out there,” Hall-Dale coach Chris Ranslow said. “He was able to get himself in the flow. We did a good job of finding him when he was open and to his credit he scored at a high rate.”
Abbott opened the third quarter with his second 3-pointer of the night and followed that with a couple of layups to make it 36-21. He also added a nice assist to Alec Byron as the Bulldogs pushed the lead to 40-23. Byron battled foul trouble, eventually fouling out, and it was left to Abbott and his teammates to take up some of the scoring slack.
“It’s all thanks to teammates getting me the ball and moving the ball up the floor,” Abbott said. “Without them I wouldn’t be able to do anything.”
“Abbott’s a very good player,” Furbush said. “We knew that going in. We didn’t help when we were supposed to. I didn’t think our help-side defense was very good tonight.”
Madison got 15 points from senior guard Evan Bess, all on layups or free throws, while Matt Oliver scored 10. Jett Boyer added 11 points for Hall-Dale while Tyler Nadeau scored eight and Owen Dupont contributed seven rebounds and four steals.
“We’re playing a lot more as a team,” Abbott said. “As the season goes on, we’re getting closer as a team, moving the ball a lot more. The communication needs some work but it’s getting there.”