Herkimer Basketball takes Region III Championship
Herkimer, NY - Back....to Back.....to Back. But it wasn't easy.
In a game that came down to the closing seconds, the Herkimer Generals won their third Region III Championship in a row, and 6th in the last 7 years, by withstanding a furious rally and holding off the Mohawk Valley Hawks by a score of 71-66 on Sunday afternoon at Herkimer's Varsity gym. The win raises the Generals record to 28-1 and propels them on to Rochester, Minnesota for the 2019 NJCAA Division III National Tournament on March 14-16.
Early on, it looked like the Generals would have no problems with the Hawks, as they took a 21-3 lead and held Mohawk Valley without a field goal for the first 9 and a half minutes of the game. The Hawks then went on a run of their own, cutting it to 24-18 before the Generals took control again and led by a score of 43-31 at the half.
The second half saw both teams go back and forth as the Generals held an 8 to 10 point lead for most of the second half. With the Hawks down 8 with 4 minutes to go, they went on a run and cut the Generals lead to 67-66 with under a minute to go. Two free throws by Region III Tournament MVP Derrick Felder (Yonkers, NY) put the lead back up to three at 69-66 as the Hawks called a timeout with 9 seconds to go. The Generals forced a contested 3 point shot and Keshaun Howard (Brooklyn, NY) knocked down two more free throws with 3 seconds left to secure the trip to Minnesota for the Generals.
Felder led the way for Herkimer with 17 points on the day. Howard chipped in with 13 points and All Tournament selection Musa Pough (Brooklyn, NY) closed out a great weekend with 13 points of his own as well.
The Generals, who will take a 25 game winning streak into the National Tournament, now wait for the seedings and matchups to be determined by the Division III Basketball Committee, which will take place this week. Their next game will be a National Quarterfinal Matchup on Thursday, March 14th in Rochester, Minnesota. Information and National Quarterfinal matchups will be updated on this website when they become available.
The 2019 Region III All Tournament Team:
Christian Simmons - Corning CC
Amadou Diakite - Fulton Montgomery CC
Jordanny Cuevas-Marte - Mohawk Valley CC
Jonathan Dean - Mohawk Valley CC
Musa Pough - Herkimer College
Derrick Felder - Herkimer College (Tournament MVP)