Generals get back-to-back Regional Championships
(The Men's Basketball team collects their 2014 Region III Championship).
DELHI, NY – Leading the game for only three minutes of Sunday’s Region III Championship game at Clark Field House at SUNY Delhi, the Herkimer Generals Men’s Basketball team made most of the final minutes of regulation, capturing their second consecutive regional championship, defeating Clinton Community College 81-75 in regulation.
Herkimer 25-7 (14-3) got down early to the Cougars by 15 points within the first four minutes of the game, seeing their opponent not miss from three-point land (3-for-3) and finish two ‘three-point’ plays.
Answering the call was Jonathan Feiler (St. James, NY) and Enson Garcia (Bronx, NY), after Wendall Williams (Syracuse, NY) went to the bench with early foul trouble. With a small line-up on the floor, which included Peter Clark (Utica, NY), Julio Galay (Bronx, NY) and Jerrell Hunter, the Generals pressed the Cougars successfully, chipping away at the lead, decreasing it to five points (24-16) after Garcia hit a three, then assisted on a Feiler dunk.
It took 10 minutes to erase the deficit completely, attacking the defense to get to the foul line where Clark, Feiler, Williams and Garcia all hit two, cutting the lead to one (28-27), then tied it on the next offensive possession when Garcia connected on his second three-point field goal of the half.
The Generals were unable to continue that momentum however, losing the lead on the next possession, finding themselves down by eight (50-42) at intermission.
Clinton came out strong again in the beginning of the second half, flirting with a double digit lead until Garcia came through for his team, scoring 13 of the team’s first 15 points. A three-point play made it 55-45, three-point field goal made it 55-48, baseline drive and layup made it 57-50, rebound and coast-to-coast layup made it 57-52, and three made foul shots made it 59-57 with 15:21 left in regulation.
Cooling Garcia off, and the rest of his team for the next eight minutes was foul trouble. Garcia and Williams both had four fouls with 10 minutes left in regulation. It allowed Clinton to keep the lead, relying heavily on Feiler for offense. The Regional Player of the Year responded, scoring seven points in the span of three minutes, keeping the game close (73-67), but the team needed an answer from someone else other than Garcia or Williams.
Answering the call was RaShawn Collins II (Harlem, NY). The freshman guard who had missed all his shots in the tournament thus far, connected on a fade-away 18’ footer, cutting the lead to 73-69. It didn’t stop there, after hitting 1-of-2 from the foul line, Collins II stole a Cougar pass, giving way to Feiler for the offensive rebound and put back to cut the lead to one (73-72) with 3:38 left. Collins II finished his heroics on the Generals next offensive possession, getting fouled and connecting on both free throws to give his team their first lead of the game with 2:57 left.
The Generals never looked back at that point, finishing the game on an 18-2 run after trailing by 10 (73-63) with seven minutes left in regulation. A baseline jumper from Jason Foden (Dolgeville, NY) and clear path foul on Williams after a long rebound with seconds left gave the team four foul shots to seal it, nailing each one of them, two by Williams and two by Collins II, continuing the team’s late-game success in March.
Earning MVP of the Tournament was Garcia. His 27 points, four rebounds and three assists in the championship game helped, but Garcia made numerous contributions the day before, keeping his team in another close one against Mohawk Valley.
Also receiving accolades was Feiler, as Regional Player of the Year. Feiler contributed 25 points, nine rebounds and three blocks on Sunday.
After Garcia and Feiler, Williams had 11 points, nine rebounds and six assists; Collins II had seven points, one rebound and one assist; Galay had five points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals; Foden had two points, four rebounds, two assist and two steals; Clark had two points, one rebound and one steal; and Anthony Lanieri (Port Jefferson, NY) had two points and one block.
Next up for the Generals is Nationals, which will be hosted by Sullivan Community College March 13th – March 16th. The Generals await their seeding.
(The Herkimer Generals cut down the net, ending with Head Coach Matt Lee).
Enson Garcia 27 pts, 4 reb, 3 asst
Jonathan Feiler 25 pts, 9 reb, 3 blk
Wendall Williams 11 pts, 9 reb, 3 blk
RaShawn Collins II 7 pts, 1 reb, 1 asst
Julio Galay 5 pts, 3 reb, 2 asst, 2 stl
Jason Foden 2 pts, 4 reb, 2 asst, 2 stl
Peter Clark 2 pts, 1 reb, 1 stl
Anthony Lanieri 2 pts, 1 blk
Bayron Carter 27 pts, 4 reb
Mykelle Krecko 19 pts, 16 reb
Kyree Hull 14 pts, 6 reb
-Giorgio Varlaro; Athletic Website Manager