THE RING IS THE THING….PROCTOR RAIDERS CLASS AA CHAMPS!
MHTS file photo-Jeff Pexton-PGI
Raiders rally for dramatic 46-44 win over Henninger
Section III Class AA Champs….To the Proctor “Raider Nation”…that has a nice ring to it. Especially since Proctor has been reaching for the ring for the last two years.
Especially since the Henninger Black Knights ripped the ring away from the Raiders in last year’s Section III Championship game.
This time the Raiders would not be denied! Although the entire Proctor roster, the five players on the court, those on the bench and let’s add in past Raiders in attendance at the raucous Carrier Dome, or those listening to our broadcast, all had a pained look on their collective faces as they stared and waited for the descent of a last second shot, sent into the night by, Henninger’s Kavon Delee who let a three ball rip at the buzzer.
Wide right! Raiders win…Raiders win! The celebration began and the realization that they had climbed the mountain to claim the prize began to set in, for an emotion filled bunch of Proctor Raiders, as the scoreboard read Proctor 46, Henninger 44.
The fact that Proctor had a chance to head to Regional round action next week is one fans won’t soon forget.
Talk about a tussle. Both defenses dug in their heels early and both teams forced their will without getting their way.
It was not pretty. In fact, it was down right ugly for long stretches in each eight minute segment of time. A different set of dramatic events seemed to play themselves out on Jim Boeheim court.
I guess “ugly” is in the eye of the beholder. Just try and relive the third quarter in this one.
The two quintets struggled to show their offensive skills, as the two teams combined for just 14 third quarter points.
Luckily for Proctor fans, their side scored 11 and the other side just 3..go figure… 3 points in 8 minutes of play.
If you think about it, this just might have been the prettiest quarter Proctor has played all year long. In a two point win, the 8 point differential in the third was just what the doctor ordered.
Senior Lavoy Leggett came to play in the second half, after a slow start, Leggett helped carry his team to the final countdown. Legett scored 7 of his 11 points in the third.
Perhaps the biggest bucket of his career came with 3:59 to go in the quarter, as Leggett drilled a long ball to put his team up 33-30. The momentum was clearly starting to switch to the Raiders side of the court.
Lavoy wasn’t done just yet, as he scored again to give Proctor what seemed like an unsurmountable, seven point lead, 38-31 after three quarters of play.
Henninger was held scoreless for almost six minutes, as their offensive woes turned from bad dreams into nightmares, as the second half sped by.
The Proctor defense had plenty to do with the Black Knights scoring drought. As our guest, ESPN/MHTS, analyst New Hartford coach, John Randall pointed out during our broadcast, a switch from man-to-man to zone defense, by Proctor coach Norm Stamboly, planted the keys for the Raiders second half success.
Great move by a great coach. Good thing the move was made because early on Henninger’s big guys were controlling the paint and having their way inside.
Speaking of defense, Henninger’s did a great job as well, as they held the Raiders leading scorer Chris Simmons, who averages 15 ppg, to just 4 points on the night. Simmons was often double-teamed and was also hindered by foul trouble.
Marquies Young scored 6 of his 12 points in the first eight minutes, as did teammate Amhad McKinney, who matched Young’s 6 with 6 of his own, as the Knights led 15-11 after one. McKinney ended up the game’s leading scorer with 14 on the night.
Maurice Mills, another of Proctor’s senior leaders, kept his team in it, scoring 7 of his 9 in the first half. The Raiders scored five quick points in the last two minutes of the first half to pull to within one 28-27.
Mills was named the Tourney MVP as he added 9 rebounds and four blocks to his 9 points.
Speaking of the first half, Naronn Harvey came up big, scoring 5 of his 7 points in the second quarter, as different Raiders stepped up when it mattered most. A three by Harvey cut the Henninger lead to just one at 27-26.
By the way, did we mention that without the magic touch of Proctor guard J’Von Evans none of this matters.
Evans scored 11 points to match the team high total of Lavoy Leggette, but six of those points came late when the Raiders needed them the most.
Speaking of magic, the first of J’Von’s 3 three’s came as the shot clock was approaching zero and banged in off glass. If J’Von was playing horse he would have to call that shot!
Then talk about drama. With Henninger closing in and down just 3, 38-35, Evans let one fly again as the shot clock was close to hitting double-zero.
As Evans backpedaled to avoid a Black Knights defender, he let the shot go just as he hit the deck. In fact, Evans was sitting on the hardwood as the ball hit the bottom of the net. The lead was once again 6, 41-35, with 4:10 left.
The third three seemed to ice it for Proctor, as Evans celebrated his sweet looking shot to put the Raiders up 44-37 with less than three minutes to play.
Speaking of three point field goals, Kavon Delee set up the last second drama with one of his own, to cut the lead to just two, 46-44, with :52 seconds left.
The ending we already know. The win avenged Proctor’s loss to the same team in last year’s final, and reversed the outcome of the championship tilt two years ago when the Raiders fell to Cicero-North Syracuse on a last-second shot to fall just short in the final.
The two longtime rivals entered Sunday’s finals having split their regular season matchups.
Proctor improves to 19-2 and moves on to Regional play next weekend at Hudson Valley Community College against the Section II champs. Henninger, the defending Class AA champs, ends the year with a record of 17-4.
Proctor 46 Henninger 44
1 2 3 4 Total
Henninger 15 13 3 13 44
Proctor 11 16 11 8 46
MHTS Scoring Summary:
Ahmad McKinney 14
Marquies Young 12
Tevin Chisolm 8
Kavon Delee 4
Christoper Hicks 3
Romero Collier 3
J’Von Evans 11
Lavoy Leggett 11
Maurice Mills 9
Naronn Harvey 7
Chris Simmons 4
Kerion Barton 4