Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another heartbreaking loss for La Salle

It's been an interesting season for the La Salle Institute boys basketball team, which has manged to be its fair share of buzz-beating games both ways this season.

With four and one half minutes to go in Wednesday's Section II Class AA opening round game at Albany Academy, La Salle clung to an 11-point lead.

It wouldn't hold.

Academy put on the press, forced turnovers and charged back to tie the game at 59-59 on a David Benoks layup with 1:20 to play. Jelani Currie made the go-ahead bucket with 20 seconds to play.

After Nolan Hart made one of two free throws with seven seconds remaining, La Salle marched the ball up the court and Mike Murray found three-point threat Josh Terry wide open in the corner. As Terry crouched into the beginning of his jump shot, the La Salle players rose, watching the shot arc toward the rim.

For the second straight game, Terry's last-second shot clanged off the rim, as Academy walked away with a come-from-behind 62-59 victory in front of a standing room only crowd at the Albany Academy Fieldhouse.

"We set up an action off a free throw that we practice and it broke down a little bit, but we got it to JT," said La Salle head coach Steve Sgambelluri. "He got a good look at it, we got what we wanted and that’s all we can ask for."

For the full story, check out Thursday's edition of The Record at the newsstand or online at www.troyrecord.com

La Salle's Marquis Campbell dribbles around a Catholic Central defender during a game at CCHS earlier this season.

Excepting a pair of losses to Schenectady High (the Patriots beat La Salle by margins of 15 and 16 points, respectively, during the regular season) and La Salle’s average margin of defeat this season was 4.1 points.

The Cadets had their share of heartbreaking losses (and a number of triumphant wins, too) and Sgambelluri has certainly turned the program around from a low that happened when Sean Brown was dismissed in early 2008.

"The loss does not put a damper on how proud I am of my kids," Sgambelluri said. "I really think, and I told them, that they put La Salle back in the conversation of teams to be reckoned with and teams that are going to play hard. I couldn’t be prouder of them because they play as hard as any team that we played this year."

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Check back tomorrow for the latest on any schedule changes that may pop up with more nasty weather heading our way. For the latest bracket updates, search for our bracket post on the homepage.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding me with this coach from LaSalle. He started 5 seniors, including a kid who made the Channel 13 all star team in Murray, and he's happy with how this season played out. His team went finished 7-12, including 6-10 in a down Big Ten. He thinks they put LaSalle back in the conversation of teams to be reckoned with- are you kidding me? This team returns nobody that plays significant minutes and will be even worse the next 2-3 years. I guess back in the conversation of worst teams in the Big Ten.

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