G-MU 40, Richfield Springs 38
COPES CORNERS – In a six-point hole to start the fourth quarter, G-MU rallied past Richfield Springs Tuesday night to advance in the Section IV Class D playoffs.
Richfield Springs’ Joeal Gardner canned a three with one minute and 45 seconds left in the fourth giving his club its last lead, 38-35.
G-MU closed the gap to one on Tim French’s mid-lane jumper, and a Greg Delaney steal on Richfield Springs’ next possession led to a one-and-one free throw opportunity for Delaney. Delaney made both tries giving his club the lead for good. Following a missed three ball by the Indians, Delaney again found himself at the line with 1.6 seconds left, and he made one free throw to wrap up the scoring.
Richfield Springs, winners by one over G-MU last month, missed a halfcourt shot at the buzzer. “It was the type of game you would expect from an 8-9 seed matchup,” said G-MU coach Bill Hartman. “Both teams were equally skilled, we just got the better of it.”
The Raiders played with just its starting rotation – DeMario Reed, Delaney, Eddie Ray Cotton, Tim French, and Dereck Musson – the entire game, an ironman effort for his players. “I’m just proud of how resilient the kids were. There wasn’t any negativity on the floor at all tonight,” Hartman said. “They just kept playing and didn’t panic. (Richfield Springs) didn’t shoot it that well in the fourth quarter, and we rebounded the ball much more aggressively. That defensive effort really gave us an opportunity to claw back.”
Delaney had 12 points, French 11, and DeMario Reed scored 10. Eddie Ray Cotton pulled down 12 rebounds, and he along with Reed limited Richfield Springs’ top scorers, Joe Kelly and Zach Boss, to eight total points. Entering the game, Kelly and Boss were averaging close to 30 combined points per game. “We just did a great job shutting down Kelly and Boss,” Hartman said, “and Cotton played a whale of a defensive game.”
G-MU (12-7) plays at top-seeded Hunter-Tannersville on Friday. “They’re in the top five in the state, and they have a nice program and a nice club over there,” Hartman said. “We’ll have to play close to a perfect game and get some help.”