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Hackley Falls to Sleepy Hollow on Buzzer Beater

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Ronniel Munoz hit a running shot with 1.2 second remaining on the clock Friday to lift host Sleepy Hollow to a 30-29 victory over Hackley in the opening round of the 20th Annual Sleepy Hollow Holiday Tournament.

The Horsemen (1-0) will face Gorton (Yonkers) (1-0) in the tournament final Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Hackley (0-1) will meet Lincoln at 3:30 p.m. in the consolation game.

“We had what I would call performance anxiety,” said Sleepy Hollow first tear coach Rob Rizzo after his first win. “We have a couple of starters out, so this was a learning experience for a few of the guys in a pressure situation. We didn’t hit many free throws (5 of 22), but we made big plays to win it. We’ll take it.”

Both teams played hard, hustling up and down the court, but neither could put the ball in the basket with any consistency. The first quarter ended with the score 6-6 and Hackley managed to take 14-10 halftime lead.

After intermission, with a full house in the bleachers biting its nails as the teams struggled to score, each missing shots an failing to make free throws, Sleepy finally moved ahead 22-21 after three quarters.

Hackley, led by Erik Bringsjord’s 11 points and Charlie Pidoriano’s rebounding and defense,  responded by taking a 29-25 lead with less than two minutes to play. Pidoriano finished with six points.

Sophomore Nicky Arduino made his only basket of the game, a three-pointer, with 14 seconds remaining in the game to cut the lead to 29-28. Hackley missed a free throw and the Horsemen inbounded with a chance to win, getting the ball to Munoz, who raced down the left side of the lane and rolled in a layup for the win.

“Nicky Arduino is a sophomore and usually in bounds the ball,” Rizzo said. “But we weren’t hitting shots, so we looked to him and he hit the three. Ronniel just made a great play to score.”

Munoz and Christian Berenguer each had eight points for Sleepy.

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