ARDSLEY, N.Y. First-year Sleepy Hollow coach Rob Rizzo had a plan for his team when it had the ball down by two points with just more than eight seconds to go against Ardsley on Monday. Unfortunately, the execution failed.
Theres only so many things you can practice, Rizzo said. We tried to put a little wrinkle in something we run all the time. The execution just broke down.
Ardsley senior Jake Liebersohn intercepted the inbounds pass and the home team held on for a 36-33 victory against Sleepy Hollow (1-5). The senior led all scorers with 14 points.
Liebersohn knew that one of two Sleepy Hollow players would take the potential game-tying shot. So when he realized who would get the ball off the inbound pass, he acted.
I saw the referee had counted for four, Liebersohn said. He was going to throw it right to the middle.
Turnovers were abundant on both sides Monday, and Ardsley (2-5) coach Andy Beames knew it.
We turned the ball over a million times, Beames said. At one point, I think there were more turnovers than points, he said referring to both teams. It was ugly.
While turnovers were plentiful, scoring was sparse in the first half. Ardsley had a 17-14 advantage at the break. Sleepy Hollow then started the second half on an 8-0 run before the Panthers finally scored with a little more than three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Horsemen led 24-23 at the end of the third quarter but did not score until 4:52 remaining in the final quarter.
Free throws threatened to doom the Panthers at the end of the game. Ardsley had a 32-28 lead when sophomore John Scrofani missed the front end of a one-and-one with 35 seconds left. Junior Eric Scaperrotta did the same at 32-30 with 10 seconds remaining.
Sleepy Hollow called timeout with 8.4 seconds remaining but Liebersohns steal destroyed the Horsemens plan. Scaperrotta then sank two free throws to ice the game. A last-ditch, full-court, three-point heave by Sleepy Hollow to tie the game was well off the mark.
Sleepy Hollow will play next at the Slam Dunk tournament at the Westchester County Center against Blind Brook next week and Rizzo is optimistic about the direction of his team.
Were making progress because weve gone from bad losses to close losses, Rizzo said. Im not down on the kids and I dont think the kids are down on themselves.
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