Woodlands edges Fox Lane in OT
Follow Section 1 basketball on Twitter @MSGVarsityKDJ
HARRISON, N.Y. — Every high school basketball team wants to end its regular season the right way. Whether it’s a big win or something smaller like a moral victory, finishing up in a positive fashion can be a huge boost heading toward the playoffs.
On Friday night at Harrison High School, Woodlands got that boost, scoring a 64-59 OT victory over Fox Lane in the Dapper McDonald Classic.
“This was a really important win for us,” said Woodlands center Fred Bowers, who finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds to earn MVP honors. “Fox Lane is ranked right up there in Class AA this year behind Mount Vernon. We ended the season with a win — a huge win.”
Woodlands (15-4) led the majority of the game but Fox Lane (15-4) took the lead with under a minute remaining in regulation thanks to eight straight points from guard Robbie Shilstone. The Falcons battled and sent the game into overtime behind a pair of clutch free throws from Justin Smith.
In overtime, Woodlands guard/forward Reece Williams rose to the occasion, scoring five of his 17 points while playing tough defense on Foxes star Will Trawick. He also pulled down nine rebounds.
“We maintained tenacity throughout the whole game — that was the difference,” said Williams, who had just six first-half points. “We stuck together as a team and maintained our tenacity the whole time. We made mistakes, but we didn’t let that ruin the game and we came away with the win.”
Williams and teammate Andre Scipio (15 points) both earned all-tournament team honors.
Woodlands coach Bob Murphy was thrilled following the victory, praising his team's perseverance.
“It was a tremendous team win,” Murphy said. “We didn’t give up. That’s what it’s all about. We defended and we sent them to the weak hand. We did all the little things we used to do back in the 60s. I’m proud of our kids. It’s a great bunch of kids.”
The Foxes did what they could to fight back after trailing throughout much of the game, but they couldn’t put the nail in the coffin down the stretch. Fox Lane coach Chris Violante said it was a painful loss, but his team must quickly rebound if they want to compete in the upcoming Section 1 Class AA playoffs.
“I think their athleticism gave us fits and we didn’t do a good job keeping them in front of us,” Violante said. “We have no choice but to bounce back. From here on out its one-and-done if you lose. If you let a loss like this hold you down and affect your next game, it’s all over. We have to bounce back.”
Fox Lane center Dylan Peretz played well in the loss, scoring 16 points to go with 11 rebounds. Shilstone finished with 13 points while Trawick added 10.
After the game, Woodlands turned the focus to the upcoming Section 1 Class B tournament. The Falcons will most likely finish with a top-four seed and hope to make some noise.
“Bring home that gold ball — that’s the only goal,” Williams said. “I won one when I was a sophomore, but I just want to go back one more time and end it the right way.”
Follow Jordan Griffith on Twitter @MSGV_JGriffith