Vikings Grab Runner-Up Honors
CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 373-1262
Hudson Valley Finishes Second In Region III
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, March 4, 2001
SUNY Cobleskill, March 4 – Sometimes the line between winning is losing is so blurred that the score doesn't matter. Sometimes, what matters instead is the effort, the intensity with which a team plays. Whether or not it sweats blood and tears in a battle to come out on top.
If this is the case, Hudson Valley Community College's men's basketball team earned the title champions despite a heartbreaking 62-61 overtime loss to SUNY Delhi in the NJCAA Division III Region III title game this afternoon. Appearing in the championship contest for the third consecutive year (Hudson Valley won the tournament in 1999, advancing to the national tournament), the Vikings left nothing on the court today, running themselves and Delhi ragged in an attempt to extend their season.
Instead, Hudson Valley finished the year with a 22-7 record. When the contest is more distant, however, and the Vikings have gained some distance and perspective, they will remember fighting until the final buzzer. They will recall a valiant collective effort.
It happened like this:
Delhi held a two-point lead with just 37 seconds left in regulation, when Hudson Valley's R.J. Mann (Canajoharie) collected an offensive rebound and passed to point guard Kyle Miller (Columbia), who fed the ball to All-Tournament selection Thomas Perren (Brotmanville, NJ). Perren drove the baseline and dropped in a layup with a defender in his face to tie the game.
Delhi ran the game clock down to five seconds and then tried to penetrate for a final shot. Paul Bowe (Hudson Falls), however, picked the pocket of the Delhi dribbler and forced a jump ball. The possession arrow favored Delhi and the Broncos inbounded the ball with two ticks of the clock left. Delhi attempted a 3-pointer from the corner, but the 6-foot-5 Perren leapt high to knock the ball into the stands, picking up his third block of the day. With 1.2 seconds remaining, Delhi attempted to inbound the ball again, but Perren intercepted it and launched up a potential game-winner from just inside halfcourt. With the buzzer sounding, his shot hit the backboard and the rim before bouncing away.
The two teams headed to overtime, tied at 56 points apiece.
Hudson Valley scored first in the extra five-minute session; Perren hit a layup from a Bowe lob pass. Then Miller made a pair of free throws with 1:34 remaining, giving the Vikings a 60-56 advantage. In the first 3:45 of overtime, Delhi did not manage a field goal attempt. Thanks in part to a block and steal by Kurt Bush (Newcomb-Minerva), a steal by Perren and a steal by Bowe, the Broncos turned the ball over six times in that stretch.
But Delhi then hit a field goal and free throw to pull within one point. Bowe swished a free throw to extend Hudson Valley's lead to two points, and, with 8.9 seconds remaining, Delhi made another free throw, again closing to with one point. The Broncos then threw up a runner, which missed its mark. Bush grabbed the rebound but was tied up by a pair of Delhi players who dragged him to the ground, forcing a jump ball. Delhi was awarded the ball with 4.1 seconds remaining because of the possession arrow.
Hudson Valley nearly forced a five-second violation on the inbounds play, but Delhi got the ball in and hit a baseline jumper with 1.8 seconds left. Hudson Valley, training by one point, had one last chance, but Bowe's three-quarters-court shot was wide.
Hudson Valley lost, 62-61, but finished among the top two teams in Region III for the third consecutive year. Perren had a game-high 17 points. He also contributed seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Miller had 16 points.
SUNY DELHI 62
HUDSON VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE 61
Bush 3-0-8, Thomas Perren 7-3-17, Kyle Miller 5-5-16, Mann 1-0-2, Schneible 3-2-8, Bowe 0-1-1, Manny 0-1-1, Vooris 4-0-8. Totals 23-12-61.
Willie Fann 6-0-13, Bolden 3-2-9, Pete 2-5-9, Carlton Graham 4-2-10, Aquawasi St. Hillarie 3-4-10, Scott 2-5-9, Spence 0-2-2. Totals 20-20-62.
Halftime: Delhi, 30-25.
Three-point field goals: Hudson Valley 3 – Bush 2, Miller 1. Delhi 2 – Fann 1, Bolden 1.