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Generals win Region 3 Championship, down Delhi 70-55 » Herkimer Generals

Generals win Region 3 Championship, down Delhi 70-55

mbball 03 03 2013 JeffersonDelhi, NY – The Herkimer Generals and the Delhi Broncos squared off in the Region 3 title game on Sunday afternoon. The teams were only two points apart with 8:05 to play when the determined Generals upped their offense while keeping the Broncos reined in.

The Herkimer Five won the game 70-55, won the Region 3 championship, won their 30th game of the season, and earned the right to play in the final-eight national championship tournament March 14-16.

It was a grand basketball event. Two fine teams met before a large crowd in a beautiful arena. The weather allowed fans to travel without problems.

There were a couple of unusual sights as the game began. For one, Herkimer was the higher-seeded team, having been seeded #1, so the Generals wore their home uniforms, and the Herkimer score was posted under "Home" on the scoreboard.

Another unusual sight was the Generals' jump ball formation. As he is known to do every now and then, Head Coach Matt Lee set his team defensively and did not contest the opening tip. It was as if the Generals had "won the toss and elected to kick off."

Photo: Dequan Jefferson scoring with a powerful baseline drive

mbball 03 03 2013 DavisThat ploy sometimes pays off for HCCC, but in this game the Broncos took charge of the early going. The Broncos were playing a smooth, polished game, while the Generals missed some shots. Soon Delhi led 8-0. Also, one expects a physical game when these two teams meet, but even so, a surprising number of fouls were called right away. Seven fouls were called in the first three minutes, and 20 were called in the first half – 10 for each team.

Jonathan Feiler was the first to get Herkimer on the scoreboard. He scored from close in. Then the tall Long Islander added a 17' jumper. Herkimer trailed 8-4. The Broncos scored again, and then they put up a shot that was awarded two points when Herkimer goaltended. 12-4 Delhi.

Dequan Jefferson had another big game, scoring some critical points and grabbing key rebounds. Jefferson drove for two. Feiler converted on a three-point play. Jefferson drove for two more, and the score was 12-11.

Demetrius Mitchell and Mike Thomas both scored from behind the arc, and Herkimer took the lead 19-18. However, fouls were becoming a concern. Guard Jerome Floyd was having an excellent game (and was later named Tournament MVP), but he picked up his third personal foul with 7:17 left in the half. Fortunately, the Generals are a team with very good depth, and they successfully subbed for teammates in foul trouble throughout the game.

Photo: Johnnie Davis on a beautiful scoring drive early in the game

Mitchell scored on a great drive-and-FT, and Herkimer led by five. Delhi closed the gap, but field goals by Todd Hunt, Mitchell, and Jefferson restored the five-point lead. Then Delhi went on a scoring run as the half was ending. The teams left the floor with Delhi in front 31-29.

Herkimer already had a lot of fans in the stands. The HCCC baseball team arrived at halftime to add their support. The vocal ballplayers filled the first few rows of the stands across from the team bench, just as they do for basketball games back at Herkimer.

The first score of the second half came when Jefferson fed Mitchell for two plus a free throw. Feiler added two FGs, the second with a nice spin move to get open. Herkimer was back in front, 36-31. Feiler, however, was charged with his third personal foul, and there were still 13 minutes to play.

mbball 03 03 2013 FeilerHerkimer's lead increased to nine points, but Feiler and Hunt were both assessed their fourth personals. The Broncos were galloping again and closed the score to 43-42 Herkimer. But Mitchell sank an NBA-length three, and Thomas tallied a putback. The Generals were taking control.

Thomas scored again. Jefferson made an all-net three from the right side. Floyd added a free throw, and the Generals led by eight with 5:35 to go. Mitchell sank another three and Floyd sank two more from the foul line. Herkimer was up by nine with three and one-half minutes left.

Photo above: Jon Feiler scores after a nice spin move

Mitchell completed a three-point play. Floyd, Feiler, and Thomas combined for six FTs, and the game was virtually over. Every General was smiling, whether they were out on the floor or on the bench. The game ended 70-55, and the Generals became the Region 3 Champions.

It has been an excellent season for Herkimer basketball. The men's team now has a 30-3 record. They will go on to play in the national final-eight championship tournament that begins on March 14. The tourney will be played at Sullivan CC, in the lower Hudson Valley. This website will announce times and matchups as soon as they are available.

Nick Scribe, website writer

Herkimer scoring: Davis 3, Floyd 5, Mitchell 21, Clark 2, Hunt 4, Jefferson 9, Thomas 11, Feiler 15 – Total 70

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