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The Times
  • MEN'S BASKETBALL: Summer league title game decided in final seconds

  • AUGUST 16 MEN'S BASKETBALL



    New Hartford’s Navy Blue squad needed overtime Tuesday to get through the semifinals of Herkimer County Community College’s summer league playoffs. A basket by Jim Clifford in the closing seconds gave the team a 65-63 victory over Purple, the top seed, in Thursday’s championship game.

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  • NAVY BLUE 65, PURPLE 63
    New Hartford’s Navy Blue squad needed overtime Tuesday to get through the semifinals of Herkimer County Community College’s summer league playoffs. A basket by Jim Clifford in the closing seconds gave the team a 65-63 victory over Purple, the top seed, in Thursday’s championship game.
    The game was tied at 54 and 61 late in the second half and Purple pulled even for the last time at 63 on a pair of Aaron Swancott foul shots with 32.2 seconds showing on the clock.
    Navy Blue called a timeout at 21.9 with Purple lobbying for a travel call against Mike Clifford at the center of the court. The lower seed was awarded the timeout to set up its final possession and worked the ball around before getting it to Jim Clifford to the left of the key for a jumper with his toe on the three-point line. Clifford’s shot was true and gave his team a two-point lead with 2 1/2 seconds left on  the clock.
    Purple used two timeouts of its own to set up a desperation shot and inbounded the ball to Travis Bivins for an off-balance three-point try from the right wing as time expired.
    Playing with most of the roster that won last year’s summer title, Navy Blue entered the 2012 playoffs seeded third among six teams and needed to play through Monday’s quarterfinals to grab a spot in the Final Four. An 81-66 win over Red Monday was followed by Tuesday’s 62-61 victory over Royal Blue, the No. 2 seed.
    The one player missing from last year’s championship roster, David Golembiowski, broke off and started his own team which became the Purple group. Golembiowski, the top scorer in a 70-37 blowout in the semifinals Tuesday, was not in uniform Thursday because of a conflict with his return to play professionally in Germany.
    Missing the 6-foot-8 Golembiowski, Purple turned to its perimeter game and maintained the upper hand early. Bivins hit four three-pointers and scored all 16 of his points in the first half and his team led 20-12 at one point. Navy Blue tied the game with an 11-3 run and held a 41-40 lead at halftime following Ron Evans’ three-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining in the period.
    The largest lead for either team in the second half was a 59-54 Purple advantage following five straight points scored by Mike Kelly. Purple led 61-57 before Navy Blue ran off six straight points.
    Evans scored a game-high 21 points for the victors. Nick Grimmer added 16 with 14 coming in the first half. Chris Mahoney, a late arrival from a softball playoff game in Utica, scored 14 points off the bench and Jim Clifford had 10.
    Jared Suderley scored 17 points to go with Bivins’ 16 for Purple. Kelly had 12 points and Kevin Cappiello added 10.
    Page 2 of 2 - NAVY BLUE 65, PURPLE 63
    NAVY BLUE (65) — Ron Evans 6 4-4 21; Jim Clifford 4 0-0 10; Nick Grimmer 6 2-2 16; Dan Nelson 2 0-0 4; Mike Clifford 0 0-2 0; Chris Mahoney 5 4-5 14. Totals: 23 10-13 65.
    PURPLE (63) — Jared Suderley 7 3-3 17; Alex Grimmer 2 0-0 4; Kevin Cappiello 3 2-2 10; Travis Bivins 6 0-0 16; Mike Kelly 5 2-4 12; Aaron Swancott 0 4-4 4. Totals: 23 11-13 63.
    Halftime — Navy Blue 41, Purple 40. Three-pointers — Navy Blue 9 (Evans 5, J.Clifford 2, Grimmer 2); Purple 6 (Bivins 4, Cappiello 2).

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