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Saturday, March 17, 2018: Seton Catholic, Mekeel win two-OT semifinals

   Leading off today: Senior Leo Gallagher opened the second overtime with two assists, then delivered two baskets in sparking Binghamton's Seton Catholic beat Buffalo Health Sciences Charter 65-61 in a New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys Class B basketball semifinal on Friday.

   Gallagher finished with a team-high 21 points despite sitting much of the second half with four fouls.

   Junior guard Kameron Briggs scored 20 of his 23 points for Health Sciences after halftime.

   While Gallagher was the story late, the Saints got two free throws apiece late in regulation from freshmen Marcus Dyes (18 points) and Brett Rumpel (15) after Seton Catholic fell behind by four. Senior Peter Hartrick did the remainder of the team's scoring with 11 points, including the first four of the second OT off feeds in the paint from Gallagher.

   Seton Catholic's opponent in the final will by another double-OT survivor. Mekeel Christian eliminated Briarcliff 68-61 to get back to the final for the first time since 2009.

   Mekeel and traded 3-pointers to begin the second OT before the winners closed on a 9-2 run.

   Gideon Agbo's layup tied the game late in regulation, Deonte Holder's two free throws knotted the contest late in the first OT, and senior Carter Stewart's short jumper in the lane broke a 59-59 tie with 1:37 left in the second OT.

   Holder finished with 25 points.

   Mekeel was down by as many as eight in the third quarter and Briarcliff led 47-42 with under a minute left in regulation after Miles Jones sank a free throw. But Mekeel answered on a 3-pointer by Jordan Jackson (15 points, 13 rebounds) and Agbo's layup.

   "The heart of this team is unbelievable," Stewart said. "I've never played on a team with guys that could dig that deep."

   Boys Class C: Guard Matthew Medeiros, who shot just a-for-13 in a semifinal loss a season ago, came through this time with 12 points and 13 rebounds as Northstar Christian defeated Tully 58-45 at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton.

   "I told my team that I'm coming here (and) rebounding like crazy," Medeiros said. "I was ready for this game. We've been ready, working this whole year for it. I felt like, for the team, that was one thing I had to do today. Rebound the basketball."

   Northstar's Miles Brown scored a team-high 20 points.

   A pull-up jumper by Tray Roberts gave Northstar a 31-30 lead late in the third quarter. That's when Tully began piling up turnovers against defensive pressure that led to an 11-4 run by Northstar.

   Six-foot-nine senior Joe Crawford had 13 points and seven rebounds, and Jake Endinger scored 13, but Tully hurt its cause by going 7-for-18 from the free-throw line.

   "To hold a team in a state semifinal in the 40s that's just a terrific defensive effort," said Northstar coach J.J. Garwood.

   In the other semifinal, Lake George rolled past Greenport 73-58 behind a game-high 23 points from junior Chris Becker, who made nine of 11 shots and grabbed 13 rebounds.

   Playing in its second straight title game and fourth in six years, Lake George has an opportunity to add its third boys championship in program history Saturday.

   "I was saying that we are not done and we still have another game to go," junior Mason Flatley said. "We cannot celebrate this early because we still have another 32 minutes against a really good team."

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   Boys Class D: Buffalo East dominated Harrisville 78-48 by making 5 of 7 3-pointers in the first quarter and building a 27-11 advantage. For the game, the Panthers shot 59.2 percent and made 13 of 22 from beyond the arc while holding Harrisville to 17 of 54 from the field.

   Panthers senior Willard Anderson scored a game-high 26 points to set up a championship game against Moriah, the defending state champion.

s    Moriah held off Newfield 65-59 in a rematch of the 2017 NYSPHSAA championship game.

   Dylan Trombley and Joey Stahl powered the offense with 20 points apiece. Trombley added 13 rebounds and five steals to the cause, and Stahl made five 3-pointers to go with his four assists.

   The Vikings held a 35-33 lead at the half.

   Late in the fourth, Greg Moravec made a 3-pointer to cut Moriah's lead to 60-57, but Trombley responded with a basket to add breathing room.

  
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   "We got a few steals and some easy baskets there in the second half, which we really didn't get in the first half," coach Brian Cross said. "Our defense is what has carried us all year."

   Girls Class A: Two-time defending champ Jamesville-DeWitt dug out of an eight-point hole after one quarter and defeated Binghamton's Seton Catholic 71-55 in the NYSPHSAA girls semifinals at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.

   "We've never really been down like that in a quarter," senior Meg Hair said after finishing with 23 points to lead the Red Rams. "And I think that got us more hyped than anything and we just came out in the second quarter on fire."

   The Red Rams tied the Saints with just under 2:00 left in the first half, and a 3-pointer by sophomore Gabby Stickle near the buzzer gave J-D a 30-26 lead at the break. J-D took control in the third quarter with runs of 7-0 and 6-0 to on the way to a 47-40 lead. Seton Catholic, the Class B champion a year ago, closed to 53-48 with 4:10 left, but J-D scored the next eight points.

   Hanna Strawn led Seton Catholic with 17 points.

   In the other semifinal, Elmont went on a early 15-0 run, struggled a bit and then finally beat Williamsville South 70-61 on the strength of Zhaneia Thybulle's 22 points.

   With Kem Nwabudu on the bench with four fouls midway through the third quarter, Thybulle picked up the slack for Elmont. She stole an inbounds pass and scored for a three-point lead, then turning another steal into a basket seconds later for a 43-38 advantage.

   Her three-point play midway through the fourth quarter extended the advantage to nine point.

   Girls Class B: Susquehanna Valley got 18 points from Hannah Haskell and eight or more from four teammates to earn a 60-48 victory over previously unbeaten Midlakes.

   Haskell was 7-for-14 from the field. Holly Manchester scored 12 points and added three assists.

   Susquehanna Valley broke open a 15-15 game with a big second quarter. When Alexis Drake scored from down low, it was 36-19 with 2:12 to play in the half.

   Irvington cruised past Northeastern Clinton 81-62 in the other semifinal as sophomore Abby Conklin made seven 3-pointers en route to 25 points. Freshman center Grace Thybulle chipped in with 12 points, four rebounds, and four blocks off the bench.

   Senior forward Mary Brereton added 13 points, six assists, and four rebounds.

   Girls Class C: Millbrook converted 10 of 11 free throws in the last 2:05 to fight off Cambridge 56-52. Millbrook finished the contest 20 of 27 from the line.

   Millbrook missed all seven of its 3-pointers, but sophomore forward Erin Fox was 9-for-17 from the field and finished with 22 points.

   Sophie Phillips led Cambridge with 17 points.

   In the other semifinal, eighth-grader Alexius Pierce made the go-ahead layup in the final minute, junior Diamonne Harris hit four straight free throws in the final 10 seconds and Syracuse Academy of Science edged Allegany-Limestone 55-50.

   Harris led all scorers with 20 points.

   "We just willed our way (to the win), Lyrik Jackson said after finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds and five steals. "Coach said keep pushing. We didn't want to go home."


  
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