Mendon falls agonizing short of state title

Vikings miss chance in final seconds

Albany, NY - Mendon had chances. 

The Vikings were down two with 7.3 seconds to play with the ball in the state championship. They got multiple shots at a tying bucket. 

There would be no Hollywood ending. 

Mendon ended up on the short end of a 48-46 score, falling to Jamesville-Dewitt in the Class A state championship Saturday night. 

It was Mendon's only loss of the season and the second straight state title for J-D. 

A huge missed call at the end of the first quarter loomed large. 

Angela Bussone hit from half-court to give the Red Rams a one point lead after eight minutes. 

However, the shot should not have counted. News 8's video shows the ball still in Bussone's hands 1/30th of a second before the buzzer sounded. (In high school hoops, the horn or buzzer ends a quarter instead of zeroes on the clock or a red light on the backboard)

"I knew exactly at the time. I saw it too, that that was not a three," said Mendon head coach Todd Julien. "But at some point, I can't let my kids be working on that. We've got three quarters of a game to play and we've got to put it behind us."

Mendon rallied to lead by five at halftime, but J-D blitzed the Vikings with an 18-2 run to open the 3rd quarter and built a 40-30 lead. 

Pittsford scored the final four points of the third and the first four of the fourth quarter to get within two on a Caroline Cullinan bucket. 

The game remained a one possession spread most of the final quarter. Cullinan scored inside a minute to trim the deficit to one. Mendon even forced a turnover on the next possession, but immediately gave the ball right back. 

Mendon got a stop, but J-D blocked a go ahead chance with ten seconds left. One more free throw set up the final play. 

Did the first quarter mistake make a difference? It's impossible to know.

"I hate to cry sour grapes," Julien said. "Obviously, it was early in the game, so there was a lot of things we can do to overcome it. It's disappointing. It's unfortunate it went that way and what it ended up. Who knows? That could have given us a different working margin going into the second half and into the end of the game."

Cullinan topped all scorers with 17 points. Mendon star Sara Lyons was held to just ten. 

Meg Hair led the Rams with 12 points. Jim Boeheim's daughter Julie chipped in with seven. (Her brother Buddy plays for the J-D boys team that lost to Irondequoit in the state semis Saturday morning)

The Vikings finished the year 25-1. 


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