UTICA — Five is one.
That’s the best way Cooperstown senior Jack Lambert could describe how his state-ranked, unbeaten boys basketball team was able to come up with clutch baskets in the Hawkeyes' 56-48 nonleague win over Sherburne-Earlville in Saturday’s third annual Mohawk Valley Basketball Classic at Utica College.
Lambert earned MVP honors after scoring nine of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter, but it was buckets by Calvin Sandler and Ryan Lansing in the final moments that helped the Class C, state-ranked No. 2 Hawkeyes improve to 12-0 overall.
Cooperstown also beat Center State Conference Division I leader Sherburne-Earlville 63-54 on Dec. 1.
"Five is one out there," Lambert said. "Anybody can knock down big shots and everybody contributes."
"Yes, he's going to score points ... but he's also the distraction," said Cooperstown head coach John Lambert, Jack's father. "That's a real weapon for me to use, and it's fun that he's my own kid."
Robert Hill's layup gave Sherburne-Earlville a 40-38 lead after three. Midway through the fourth, Sandler split a pair of free throws to tie the game at 46-46 before Cooperstown took the lead for good on Lansing’s fastbreak layup, which gave the Hawkeyes a 48-46 advantage.
Lambert and Sandler split Cooperstown's final eight points to help the Hawkeyes pull away from Sherburne-Earlville (7-4).
"Despite the first half, I think it shows our team can stick through it and play hard through adversity," Cooperstown's Noah Lifgren said.
Lambert was 8 of 10 from the foul line, sinking 7 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter. John Kennedy added 10 points and 12 rebounds while Lifgren added six points, nine boards, four blocks and two steals for a Cooperstown team on top of Center State Conference Division III with a 4-0 league record.
Sherburne-Earlville guard Hunter Lane led the Marauders with 24 points, earning the game's sportsmanship award. Noah Posson scored nine and Hill had eight points for a Marauders team that is ahead of CSC Division I with a 3-0 mark.
"He's got that scorer's mentality," Sherburne coach Kevin Vibbard said about Lane. "He gets shots off that you don't think he's going to get off."
Whitesboro boys knock off
Collin McAndrew and Tommy Morreale scored 18 points each and Avery Cook added 14 points to lead Whitesboro's Warriors to a 62-53 win over previously unbeaten Jamesville-DeWitt in a nonleague matchup of state-ranked Class A teams.
Whitesboro, ranked 25th in the most recent state poll, improved to 9-1. State-ranked No. 12 Jamesville-DeWitt slipped to 10-1.
• Ryan Maddox had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Dekwan Grant also scored 17 points to lead state-ranked No. 11 Utica Academy of Science to a 60-56 nonleague win over Holland Patent in a CSC crossover game at Utica College.
• Aaron Warcup had 18 points and 11 rebounds in Oriskany's 82-60 nonleague loss to Weedsport. John Longeretta and Matt Enos scored 11 points each and Colton Davis had six assists for Oriskany.
• Ryan Rutledge scored 17 points and Sean Hunt had 14 in Hamilton's 65-50 nonleague loss to Edmeston.
Contact reporter Marquel Slaughter at 315-792-4963 or follow him on Twitter @OD_Slaughter.