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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — On to the finals.
The Arlington High School boys’ basketball team used a devastating third quarter run to put away Spackenkill, and the Admirals advanced to the championship game of the Dutchess County Basketball Coaches Association Holiday Tournament with a 63-48 victory over the Spartans Thursday night at Our Lady of Lourdes.
Arlington will face Beacon on Friday night at 7 p.m. for the championship of the 23rd annual tournament, back at Our Lady of Lourdes.
Both teams will bring a 4-1 mark into the contest.
Arlington had a terrific balanced scoring attack, getting 17 points from Brian Brocker, 16 from Mike Scocozza and 14 from Gio Rodriguez. The Admirals made 13 three-pointers, compared to four for the Spartans. Three of those four triples came from Andrew Michos, who kept Spackenkill in it as long as he could with 12 points.
But it was a huge run in the third quarter that decided the game. After trading three-pointers to start the period, the Admirals scored 11 consecutive points and 17 of the next 18 to turn a 29-25 halftime lead into a 49-32 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
“Our defense was the big thing,” Arlington coach Matt Hoyt said. “I didn’t think they got any good looks or were able to do what they wanted to do on offense. We put a lot of pressure on them.”
The Spartans were only 2-for-11 in the third quarter from the field, and turned the ball over four times.
“I said the whole game we needed to turn it up, and we did,” Rodriguez said. “Once one person starts going, another gets going. That’s just what happens.”
Rodriguez started the run with a three-pointer and had seven points in the quarter, including a four-point play when he was fouled after making a trey. Seconds after that, Spackenkill coach Terry Feeley drew a technical foul for complaining about a non-call, prompting a humorous exchange between the longtime coach and referee Tom O’Neil. After drawing the ‘T’, Feeley continued to jaw with O’Neil, who said, “You want another one? You want to stay in the game?” To which Feeley replied, “You want to get into the game?”, prompting laughter from the crowd.
After the game was over, the two friends laughed and shook hands, and Feeley acknowledged his team was overmatched on this night.
“They hit some shots, they got physical, and we didn’t handle the pressure,” he said. “I have some small guards and they knocked us around. It’s going to be a challenge.”
Through three quarters, the Spartans had just three offensive rebounds – literally one per quarter.
“We’re not going to get too many offensive rebounds on anybody, and that’s the importance of us being able to run our stuff and take good shots,” Feeley said.
Lourdes, John Jay-EF both win in consolation round
In the consolation round of the tournament, Franklin D. Roosevelt suffered its third loss in three days with a 66-63 overtime decision to John Jay-EF. It was the second time in the tournament the Presidents had to go to an extra session – they lost to Spackenkill by a point in double OT on Tuesday night.
Our Lady of Lourdes picked up its second win after falling to Arlington in the tourney opener, this time beating Roy C. Ketcham 53-46. Chris Metz had 14 points and Nick Porter added 13 for the Warriors, who pulled away from a tight game in the fourth quarter. It wasn’t a pretty game – both teams combined for 41 turnovers and shot 35% from the field – but OLL was opportunistic, outscoring RCK 16-8 on points off offensive rebounds and 11-6 on points after turnovers.
Follow Rich Thomaselli on Twitter @RPTSPORTS