YO ADREAN! RCH KO’S REDSKINS IN FINAL SECONDS 54-52-BOYS HOOPS ON ESPN 99.1FM
Rome’s Caleb Blair (24) splits two Redskins defenders in the early going.
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
In one of the most physical and most entertaining boy’s high school basketball games played in Central New York in quite some time, the Rome Catholic Red Wings knocked off the Oriskany Redskins by a score of 54-52 tonight at Oriskany High School.
The win was a big one for the Roman’s as they beat their longtime rivals for the first time since 2008. A jubilant Red Wings head coach, Steve Campbell, shared the news with us on our on-air post-game show on ESPN Radio.
With the score tied at 52-52 and one second remaining on the clock, Rome’s Brian Campbell, sporting a big bandage over his cut left eyebrow, hit two free-throws to give his outnumbered team a key Center State Conference Division IV victory over Oriskany.
Campbell went to the line after being fouled by Oriskany’s Chaz Koss during a scrum under the Rome Catholic basket with time winding down.
After a timeout by Oriskany head coach Bob Reid to ice Campbell, the solid senior toed the line and buried both free-throw shots, sending the large RCH fan contingent into a frenzy.
A 3/4 court length shot by Oriskany’s Austin Smith went into the rafters and the Red Wings jumped for joy at mid court.
Rome Catholic, who was defeated by New York Mills by double digits in a game heard on ESPN Radio 99.1 FM on Tuesday night, took it right to the Redskins in the early going, building a lead of 10-2 with 2:35 remaining in the first quarter.
Wings sophomore Eli Smalls hit back to back shots in the paint to pace the Romans to the early advantage.
Oriskany answered the early bell as senior guard Austin Smith scored 7 of his game high 22 points in the last two minutes of the first quarter to keep his team within reach at 12-9 at the end of one.
The second quarter saw the big, physical front line of Dave Sblendorio, Smalls and Connor Marchione simply dominate the Redskins on the boards.
The pace of play was choppy in the second as the physical play increased by both clubs in an effort to dominate the paint.
With the physical play came the fouls and with the fouls came the cuts, bruises dings and dents on the bodies of several players. Both clubs sent players to the training room to have bleeding cuts patched up.
Marchione and Sblendorio were dominant on the boards at both ends of the floor for Oriskany and the pair flashed consistent offensive talent in the second quarter by scoring 5 points each, helping Rome Cathoilc to a 25-21 half time lead.
At the half, Redskins head coach Bob Reid spent a few moments with MHTS – ESPN Radio 99.1 FM and expressed his team’s frustration with several shots that seemed to go in and out of the hoop during the first 16 minutes.
Coach Reid sure was glad to see his senior guard Austin Smith pour in 10 first half points to keep his team right in the ball game.
Also at the half, Red Wings head coach Steve Cambell said that he was very proud of his team’s effort and the lead at half time, especially since the Red Wings go with just six players throughout most of the game.
Campbell believed his three big fellas were doing a great job underneath and that he hoped fatigue would not become a factor down the stretch.
Oriskany came out firing in the very spirited third period as Smith, Chaz Koss and Ryan Schmadel combined for 16 points for the home team.
Rome Catholic’s Nick Stephan did a great job off the bench in the third quarter to spell Sblendorio, who picked up his third foul and needed to have a seat for several minutes in the third.
Rome took a 40-39 lead into the fourth quarter, receiving points from six different players in the third.
Oriskany built its largest lead of the ball game, 47-43 half way through the final quarter with Sblendorio on the bench and the Wings height advantage somewhat compromised.
Sblendorio did return in the fourth, but picked up his 4th foul of the game quickly.
Connor Marchione’s consecutive baskets late in the fourth quarter tied the game at 47-47.
Rome built a lead of 52-47 with :45 seconds remaining, but Austin Smith’s three pointer with 25.7 seconds left pulled Oriskany within 52-50.
After a defensive stop by the Redskins and a quick time out, Redskins forward Cody Murphy hit a 12 foot jumper with 14.4 ticks on the clock to make it 52-52.
Austin Smith forced a turnover at mid court and drove to the basket with what appeared to be the go ahead layup when Wings center David Sblendorio batted Smith’s shot away and into the hands of Brian Campbell with time ticking away.
Campbell was fouled by Chaz Koss, sending the RCH senior to the line with one second left. Campbell calmly buried both shots, sending the RCH faithful into a frenzy. The Wings went on to win this one 54-52.
After the game Coach Campbell told MHTS – ESPN Radio 99.1 FM that he was extremely proud of his relatively shorthanded team’s effort right until the final buzzer tonight.
Campbell said that with such a thin bench, he can only hope that his starters stay disciplined and avoid over fatigue.
Monster Energy Drink Player of The Game Eli Smalls (12 points) told us after the game that if the game gets physical then the Red Wings can hang with anyone and tonight they did just that.
Smalls went on to say that he was proud of the great effort by his teammates going on the road for a huge win tonight after the tough loss at home. Eli scored 8 of his 12 points in the second half when his team needed him most.
With the win, Rome Catholic improves to (4-3) on the season, while Oriskany dropped to (4-2).
Austin Smith was responsible for 24 points for the Redskins, knocking down four three pointers.
Caleb Blair, Sblendorio, Marchione and Smalls were all in double digits scoring for RCH.
Oriskany returns to action next weekend when they travel to Fabius Pompey for a Holiday Tournament. Rome Catholic will look to keep growing the win column when they host Old Forge next week.
Rome Catholic 54 Oriskany 52
1 2 3 4 Final
RCH 12 13 15 14 54
Oriskany 9 12 18 13 52
MHTS Scoring Summary:
Connor Marchione 14
Eli Smalls 12
Dave Sblendorio 10
Caleb Blair 10
Brian Campbell 6
Nick Stephan 2
Austin Smith 24
Ryan Schmadel 10
Cody Murphy 10
Chaz Koss 6
Anthony Pickard 2