Class AA Semifinals
(8) Rush-Henrietta 66, (4) Hilton 65 OT
Mason Giorgione thought R-H was down by three. When he released a shot from a step in front of the midcourt logo, he was hoping just to keep the game alive.
Instead, Giorgione kept the Royal Comets Cinderella season alive for one more game.
The senior guard banked in a 30-footer at the overtime buzzer to give Rush-Henrietta a 66-65 win over Hilton at Gates Chili high school Tuesday night. After stunning top-seeded Victor on Friday, the Comets become an unlikely finalist in a class filled with legitimate contenders.
Giorgione’s hero shot came without a time out and only a few seconds after Michael Whelehan stuck a three to put Hilton on top by two with nine seconds to play.
While the end of overtime featured nothing but clutch shotmaking, the end of regulation was just the opposite.
The Cadets led by 14 after three quarters and still held a double-digit lead halfway through the fourth. However, back-to-back three’s by Giorgione after back-to-back misses on the front end of a 1-and-1 by Hilton chopped the lead to 54-51 with 2:30 to play.
After two made free throws by Hilton, Nasir Hunter drained a triple to draw R-H within 56-54 with 90 seconds remaining.
The game got looney from there.
R-H immediately got a steal on the ensuing Hilton inbound after Hunter’s three, but turned the ball back over with a charge two seconds later. The Cadets followed by getting called for a charge of their own 30 feet from the basket.
Tobey Wright made two free throws with 35 seconds left to get the Comets even. R-H then fouled before the inbound to send Hilton to the line, but the Cadets missed both attempts.
Rush-Henrietta held for the final shot on their next possession, but Hilton got a steal with eight seconds to play. The Comets stole the ball back four seconds later and Hilton then fouled a layup attempt with 0.1 seconds to play. However, R-H missed both free throws and the game went to overtime.
The OT session was much better on offense. Wright opened the scoring with a deep 3. Preston Prince answered with a putback. Hunter followed with another three, but a Prince old fashioned three-point play kept the Cadets within one.
Each team then made one of two at the line to set the stage for the thrilling finish.
Rush-Henrietta had only five scorers, but all five finished in double figures. Wright and Abdulfatah Bori paced the Comets with 15 points apiece. Hunter scored 14, including 10 after three quarters. Giorgione had 12 points, all on four three-pointers. Tyler Simmons chipped in with 11.
Prince led Hilton with 29 points. Johnny Bianchi added 13 points and Whelehan had 10 including three triples.
Rush-Henrietta will head to the final with a record of 11-12. Hilton ends their season at 13-9.
(2) Aquinas 84, (3) Edison Tech 66
Aquinas used a 10-2 spurt late in the third to take control of a close game and never looked back from there.
Edison trailed by nine after three quarters, but the Irish lead was double digits for almost the entirety of the fourth quarter.
Aquinas improved to 18-3 while Edison wraps up their season at 14-7.
The championship game between Aquinas and Rush-Henrietta will be Saturday night at Gates Chili high school. Tip time is scheduled for 6pm.
Class A1 Semifinals
(3) Schroeder 61, (2) Thomas 46
Despite losing the regular season matchup by 17 points, the Warriors dominated the Titans in the playoff rematch to advance to the A1 title game.
Schroeder led 16-11 after the first quarter and 32-26 at the half. Michael Salina had nine points in the first half and Ben Carey had seven points in the second quarter alone.
Thomas battled but never was able to cut into the deficit as the Warriors hit four three-pointers in the third to take a 50-37 lead heading to the fourth.
Schroeder only allowed two field goals in the fourth quarter as they completed the upset win.
Carey led the Warriors with 17 points and Salina had 15 points.
Shawn Mason had a game-high 23 points for the Titans in the losing effort.
While Webster won a Class AA title in 2001, Schroeder as a standalone program has never won a boys basketball sectional title.
(1) Mendon 62, (4) Irondequoit 47
Jackson Green took over late in the game as he scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half to lift the Vikings back to the Class A1 title game.
In a rematch of last year’s championship game, the Vikings and Eagles were tied at 29 at the half.
Trailing 41-36 midway through the third quarter, the Eagles ended the third on a 9-2 run to take a 45-43 lead into the fourth quarter.
But the Vikings played lock-down defense and held the Eagles to just two points in the fourth quarter. Green had eleven points in the fourth quarter alone, despite getting accidentally poked in the eye and losing his contact. He would find his contact and lead his team to victory.
Green’s 24 points were a game-high. Caleb Lewis was the only other Viking in double-figures with 14 points.
Ryan Heath led the Eagles with 16 points while Xavier Gissendanner had ten points.
Mendon will try and win their third sectional title in the last four years. Schroeder and Mendon did not play in the regular season.