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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – In a low scoring game, a 31-24 lead late in the fourth quarter could be described as a comfortable lead.
But it was far from comfortable for Children’s Village.
Keio’s Fumaiki Kobayashi made three consecutive 3-pointers to give the Unicorns a two-point lead with just 30 seconds remaining in regulation.
Roger Owens, however, had the answer for Children’s Village. Off a miss by Kareem Padgett, Owens’ putback with six seconds left sent the game to overtime. Children’s Village dominated the extra period, outscoring Keio 13-2, to pull out a thrilling 46-35 win in a Section 1 Class C semifinal on Monday at the Westchester County Center.
“We kind of wore them down,” Children’s Village coach Michael Graves said of overtime. “We’re a little bit deeper than them. We went like nine, 10 guys tonight. I think our pressure kind of got to them a little bit.”
Owens finished with a team-high 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. He also scored six points in overtime.
“Owens is always big for us,” Graves said. “He’s the only guy I don’t have to run a play for. He just shows up, plays and does what he does well – rebounds, putbacks, defend and all that other stuff.”
Padgett and Andre Jones each added eight points for the Hawks. Anthony Trotter contributed seven points, seven rebounds and five steals.
Trailing 19-13 at halftime, Children’s Village (17-3) got back in the game in the second half with solid defense. They held Keio to just three points in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 22-19. The Hawks went on a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter to grab a 28-22 lead before Keio fired back.
Kobayashi ended up with a game-high 17 points and made five 3-pointers. With the game tied 8-8 after one quarter, Haruyoshi Karube (six points) and Kobayashi helped the Unicorns build a lead as the Hawks struggled to finish.
“This whole atmosphere is new for me and is new for them,” Graves said. “It’s something different. [At halftime] my assistant went off on them and just told them, ‘You have to play and you have to hustle. This could be the last time you ever play a game.’ We’re just happy that we won and are moving on.”
Yutaro Yamashita and Shimpei Konto each added six points for Keio (7-13). Yamashita had five steals, while Konto dished out six assists.
Children’s Village will take on top-seeded and unbeaten Tuckahoe in the Section 1 Class C championship game on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the County Center. Tuckahoe beat Children’s Village, 86-48, in a regular season game on Jan. 31.
“It’s going to take a major effort from us on the defensive end,” Graves said. “They’re going to have to miss some shots. We’re going to have to be consistent on a lot more levels. We have to be a little bit smarter with our press and on the offensive end.”