GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Four of the top programs in Class A met at Cool Insuring Arena Wednesday night for the semifinal round of sectionals. Seeds one through four all passed their quarterfinals tests. But only two squads could advance to Saturday’s championship game, and that proved to be top-seeded Amsterdam, and the three-seed, Troy.

The Flying Horses squared off with two-seeded Hudson Falls in game two of a four-game semifinal slate at Glens Falls. Despite a late comeback from the Tigers, Troy managed to forge ahead to the section title match with a 53-50 victory behind massive outings from junior guard Terrance Clark and eighth grader Stetson Merritt.

Troy found itself looking up at a quick, 6-0 hole, though, in the opening quarter after Hudson Falls senior guard Noah Williamson poured in back-to-back three-pointers in the first minute of action.

But the Flying Horses answered with a run of their own. Merritt drilled a trey ball from the left wing to claim Troy a 7-6 lead at the 5:21 mark; and moments later, senior Mike Wiltshire was credited with a two-point tip-in that capped a 9-0 run, extending the margin to three points.

The two sides traded buckets, and leads, throughout much of the remainder of the first half. With the score tied at 22, Troy junior Damarion Tucker poured in a corner triple at the 1:27 mark of the second quarter to reclaim the Flying Horses a three-point edge. After Hudson Falls responded with a pair of Peyton Smith free throws, Troy’s Steve Foust came down and hit his own corner three, and the Flying Horses would take a four-point lead into halftime.

And they came roaring out of the break. Troy went on a 15-6 run in the first 5:10 of the third quarter, punctuated by a 15-foot jumper from junior Legend Merritt.

The Flying Horses outscored Hudson Falls 19-12 in the third frame to take a 47-36 advantage going into the final stanza, but the Tigers would not go quietly.

Fueled by a resurgent defensive effort, Hudson Falls methodically chiseled away at the deficit, until it trailed by just two points with 2:27 remaining in the game.

The biggest moment of the night came with under 30 seconds to play. Hudson Falls had the ball, and a chance to take the lead. The Tigers got it in the hands of their star big man, Smith, who tried backing down Clark in the post, but was called for a charge. Troy managed to put the game away at the free-throw line, and hold on for the 53-50 win.

Aside from making the most critical play of the game on the defensive end, Clark also delivered offensively with a team-high 18 points. He also secured 10 rebounds – good for a double-double. Stetson Merritt followed closely behind with 17 points.

Smith, who’s been one of Sec. II’s top players all season, certainly did all he could to give his team a chance to win. The senior big tallied a double-double with 26 points and 15 rebounds on 8-19 shooting.

The Flying Horses stuck around to see who their opponent would be in the championship game. It came down to top-seeded Amsterdam, and the four-seed Lansingburgh. The Knights hung tough in the first half, but the Rams’ combo of senior guards Ceasar Thompson and Jhai Vellon proved too potent – the duo combined for 48 points to lead Amsterdam to a 75-63 win.

Three-pointers were flying in the first half, and at an efficient clip. Lansingburgh shot 5-10 from beyond the arc in the first half, and Amsterdam 5-9. Three of those long balls for the Rams came in quick succession from Thompson in a pivotal moment in the second quarter. With Amsterdam trailing 26-23 with 6:10 to play in the second quarter, Thompson went on a solo, 9-0 run in the span of 1:28 to claim the Rams a six-point lead.

Lansingburgh managed to trim its’ halftime deficit to three points at 35-32, but then Amsterdam erupted in the third quarter, outscoring the Knights 24-9, ballooning its’ lead to 18 heading into the fourth quarter. Thompson capped off the quarter with a sensational, three-point heave from about 25 feet that banked in as the horn sounded.

The Knights put up a team-best 22 points in the final frame, but the deficit they faced after the third was too much to overcome, and Amsterdam was able to coast to the finish line, recording the 75-63 victory.

Thompson ended with a game-high 28 points, and drilled five of his seven three-point attempts. Vellon added 20 points on 8-17 shooting, and stuffed the stat sheet with five boards, three assists, and two steals.

Three Knights all tallied 15 points: senior Wesley McIntyre and juniors Markous and Aayden Green.

Amsterdam and Troy will now square off at Cool Insuring Arena Saturday at 3:30 p.m. with a section title on the line. The game was originally slated to get underway at 2:30 p.m., but has since been delayed because of an impending winter storm.

It’s a disappointing end to what were two impressive seasons for Hudson Valley and Lansingburgh. Both squads finished with a 17-5 overall record.