It all came down to the final four seconds in FDR boys basketball’s Feb. 10 showdown with the visiting Saugerties Sawyers. But the first 47:56 were no slouch either.
FDR missed three open three pointers to open the game, but the third three led to a rebound and a bucket for FDR’s Ishmael Chisholm and a shot following a pump fake for FDR’s Isaiah Cotton to knot things at 4 with 3:07 left on the clock. The Presidents’ biggest matchup issue was visible from the get-go, as Saugerties’ powerful combo-forward Paton Gibbs scored seven points against FDR’s big man Chris Roach.
Ruben Jimenez, who led the night in scoring with 19, hit a three-pointer at the last second to end the quarter at 15-13.
In the second quarter, during which five Presidents got on the board–Jimenez, Chisholm, Cotton, Myles Clark, and Will Grega–FDR actually managed to get out to a 25-17 lead. But the definitive lead was almost immediately surrendered as Gibbs and company dropped a slew of mid-range buckets to bring it to 29-27, FDR up, going into the half.
“Our guys know we look to attack first in the open court. Our guards are extremely fast, we like to play up-tempo. We were really going at it in the first quarter, but in the second we weren’t attacking and getting out,” FDR head coach Kevin Hart told the Observer after the game.
Chisholm hit a flying layup at the top of the third quarter trying to create some space, but a Saugerties three pulled the Sawyers to within one point, at 31-30. With the FDR fast break temporarily broken, Saugerties took advantage and nabbed the lead, 38-36, but Tyler Myers hit a pair of free throws and a floater to grab the lead for FDR, 44-40, going into the fourth.
And in the final quarter, things got wild.
Jimenez hit a downtown three a minute into the period to put FDR up 47-42, and the crowds, both home and away, started to get wild, with Saugerties fans whistling during free throws and FDR supporters happily losing their minds.
The Presidents and the Sawyers swapped the lead three times until there were only 10 seconds left on the game clock.
Roach, downcourt and out of position on what would have been Saugerties’ final play, was dished the ball after a steal and pressed downcourt. He released the rock, and it was swatted off the backboard by a Saugerties defender. The trajectory of the layup itself was questionable, but the goal tend call gave FDR two points, to put them up 58-57. The gym went insane.
Then Jimenez shut the doors on the game with a fast-break layup with two seconds left on the clock.
“We just told our kids that they have to be solid defensively and not foul. We know their two strengths are Gibbs and [Darnell] Edge and we held them. Both those kids are sophomores, so I’m worried about them next year. I’m just really happy about the team effort, great win,” Hart told the Observer.