Gritty Schenectady Patriots refuse to lose

LaSalle Institute forced overtime with a buzzer-beating layup. The Cadets forced a second overtime w
Roddy Delagrandeanse of Schenectady goes up for a shot in front of Joe DeLollo of LaSalle Tuesday, February 16, 2016.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Roddy Delagrandeanse of Schenectady goes up for a shot in front of Joe DeLollo of LaSalle Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

LaSalle Institute forced overtime with a buzzer-beating layup. The Cadets forced a second overtime with another one.

Schenectady never surrendered.

“It was the seniors’ last night on their home court,” junior forward John Ryals said after the Patriots outlasted the Cadets 68-62 in a Section II Class AA first-round game Tuesday at the Pat Riley Sports Center. “We wanted to win for them. We wanted to make it special.”

Tyrone Jenkins delivered two key baskets in the second overtime, including a layup that broke a tie at 58-58, and Ryals accounted for the Patriots’ final five points as they ended a four-game slide at the expense of the Colonial Council Liberty Division co-champions.

Schenectady (No. 8 seed, 12-9) trailed by six heading into the fourth quarter, but used its pressure defense to swing the contest in its direction, and stayed with it the rest of the way to great effect.

“Their athleticism concerned us,” LaSalle coach Steve Sgambelluri said. “We don’t see that athleticism in our league, with the exception of Lansingburgh. They made big plays off of that.”

Stevie Tchako made one of the game’s most significant plays with an offensive rebound after Deshawn Westbrook’s foul shot had given the Pats a 61-58 lead with 1:52 left in the second OT. That rebound led to a short jumper by Jenkins and a five-point advantage.

“We had our senior night, and that was not a good way to go out,” Tchako said of a 76-56 regular season-ending loss to Albany. “Tonight, the whole team was behind us.”

Jenkins had 14 points and 15 rebounds, and Ryals had 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead Schenectady to its first win since scoring leader Tobias Holmes was lost for the season with a knee injury. Westbrook and Roddy Delagrandeanse both contributed 10 points, and Cameron Coles finished with eight points and seven assists.

“They fought,” Schenectady coach Eric Loudis said. “It was nice to see that. We had some lapses early about what our game plan was, and we overcame them.”

Joe DeLollo’s 20 points for LaSalle (No. 9, 12-9) included a layup after Ian Duncan air-balled a three in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter that tied the game at 47. Tim Carroll drove for a basket just before the second overtime buzzer sounded, knotting the contest at 56-56.

“It was a close game. We had to stick together,” said Coles, a sophomore guard who had a pair of layups in a game-changing 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter. “We didn’t give up on each other.”

Alijah Gibbs got LaSalle within 63-60 with two foul shots, and Ryals answered with a layup after taking a perfect feed from Tchako with 64 seconds left. After Gibbs dropped in a layup for the last of his 15 points, Ryals went 3-for-4 from the line inside the final 30 seconds.

“Never give up,” Ryals said, referring to a nine-point deficit the Pats dug for themselves in the first quarter. “When it seems like it’s the end of the world, never give up.”

Desean Fortune gave Schen­ectady a big lift off the bench with back-to-back three-point baskets in the third quarter that got the hosts within 30-29. LaSalle countered with an 8-3 run to close the frame before Schenectady’s 12-0 spurt to begin the fourth.

Westbrook sank a free throw and a three in that run, and his two quick steals led to layups by Coles as Schenectady went up 44-38. LaSalle ended the fourth with a 9-3 run of its own capped by DeLollo’s tying basket.

Schenectady led by five in the second OT after a layup by Coles 56-51. Carroll then scored on two drives sandwiched around a Gibbs foul shot.

“I thought we had it won a couple of times. I thought they had it won a couple of times,” Sgambelluri said. “Both teams played a spirited and enthusiastic game.”

Schenectady will play Shenendehowa (No. 1, 20-0) Saturday at 7 in the last of four Class AA quarterfinals at Hudson Valley Community College. Shenendehowa has been a sectional nemesis for Schenectady, owning an 8-1 record that includes a 79-47 win against the Pats in the 2015 quarterfinals.

“They wanted to get to Hudson Valley,” Loudis said. “To win there, we have to 100 percent efficient.”

LASALLE

Duncan 3-2-10, Crudo 1-0-2, Gibbs 6-3-15, Borey 3-0-6, Carroll 4-1-9, DeLollo 9-1-20. Totals: 26-7-62.

SCHENECTADY

Coles 4-0-8, Delagrandeanse 4-2-10, Fortune 2-1-7, Jenkins 5-3-14, Ryals 5-3-13, Tchako 3-0-6, Westbrook 3-2-10. Totals: 26-11-68.

LaSalle 18 6 14  9 9  6 — 62

Schenectady 15 6 11 15 9 12 — 68

Three-point goals: Duncan 2, DeLollo, Fortune 2, Jenkins, Westbrook 2.

Categories: High School Sports

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