Furious basketball rally leads RCS boys past Rams

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By John Bernhardt

The undefeated South Kortright Rams scored 13 unanswered points and their hometown fans were frenzied. Trailing 34-27, with less than four minutes to play, the game was unraveling for Roxbury. In only the fifth game of the season, the preseason promise of a Mountain Division championship run seemed to be slipping through the Rockets’ fingers.
Legendary seasons many times have turning points. If Roxbury is crowned the Mountain Division Champion sometime this year, the final 3 minutes and 34 seconds of Friday night’s game in South Kortright will be the exact point when they turned their season around.

The turn of events started in a most unusual fashion. After South Kortright’s Josh Palmatier had bounced a pass across the lane at the end of the Roxbury press finding Kale Hanselman for a lay-up, the Rockets went down by seven, the biggest deficit of the game for either team. The Rockets were rattled, and struggled to advance the ball into the front court where the ball was dislodged and rolled loose on the floor. Andrew Camillone dug the ball out for the Rockets, and took the ball to the hoop surrounded by Rams. Somehow, Camillone managed to muscle the ball upward. The ball catapulted high above the cylinder, then dropped like a rock straight down and through the nets for a Roxbury score.

Camillone’s heroics ignited an incredible stretch of play that thrust Roxbury back into the Delaware League race. On the next SK possession, Steven Hubbard jarred the ball loose from a SK ball handler and dove to the floor gaining possession. From his stomach, Hubbard dished a pass to a wide-open Lucas Brewer for a lay-up. Hubbard was the catalyst again with 2:54 left to play, threading a pass inside finding Camillone who banked in a score to narrow the SK margin to one, 34-33. Moments later Roxbury took back the lead when DaVaun Morgan stole a Ram pass and glided through the lane for a basket.
South Kortright made one last attempt to turn back the Rockets’ stampede. Junior Danny Many grabbed a long rebound and buried an eight-foot turn around jumper in the lane putting SK back in front, 36-35, with 1:58 remaining.

The razor thin SK lead held for over a minute until Ryan Skipper used a rocker-step and one dribble misdirection move to shake himself free, nailing a jumper from 12 feet away and to the right of the lane, and putting the Rockets in front, 37-36. Intense defensive pressure resulted in a Roxbury foul, but the Rams failed to hit the front end of the one-and one.