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Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014: Guilderland wins five-overtime thriller

   Leading off today: They could have played all night. In fact, they nearly did.

   Surviving horrendous free-throw shooting throughout the game, Guilderland edged Columbia 102-100 in five overtimes Wednesday in the Section 2 boys Class AA basketball semifinals. The Dutchmen will seek their first sectional title Monday vs. Green Tech.

   Billy Floyd went 9-for-11 on free throws and finished with 22 points for 17th-ranked Guilderland, which was just 17-for-43 as a team from the line.

   Regulation ended tied at 63 before the teams logged 20 minutes of overtime in Columbia coach Jim Obermayer's farewell game.

   "It was crazy. I have never been through anything like it," Floyd told The Times Union. "It was insane."

   Said Guilderland coach Ron Osinski: "We could have died a couple of times missing some free throws and some easy shots inside. We'll address that (Thursday) in practice. The good news is we are practicing."

   Matt Cerutti had 29 points and 26 rebounds for the winners. Marc Du Moulin added 28 points and 10 rebounds.

   After being down 10 in the second half, Columbia forced overtime when junior Jahlil Nails (41 points) scored with 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Nails hurt his left knee and sat out part of the second and all of the third and fourth OTs.

   With the score tied at 89, Floyd opened the fifth overtime by making a 3-pointer and went on to make seven of eight foul shots.

   "It was the greatest athletic event I've ever been a part of," Obermayer, who is retiring after 26 seasons, told The Record. "It could be one of the great basketball games in Section 2 history."

   MMA stunner: Canisius, ranked second in the state in Class A, saw its season end with a surprising upset loss to Nichols by a 57-50 margin.

   Canisius had defeated the Vikings 62-49 on Jan. 25. Nichols (18-8) will meet Bishop Timon-St. Jude (15-11), a 65-61 winner over St. Mary's in overtime, for the Manhattan Cup on Sunday.

   "A lot of people have their eyes open, jaws dropped, but everybody in that locker room knew we could play with that team," Nichols coach John Reinholz told The Buffalo News. "We played them tight in January and I think our size posed a problem for them."

   Junior Cam Lewis, a 6-foot-7 forward, led Nichols with 22 points.

   Still alive: One of the feel-good stories of the season continued Wednesday as Eastchester moved within a victory of its first sectional championship in 59 years.

   The Eagles, ranked 12th in the state in Class A, defeated No. 19 Harrison 56-51 in the Section 1 semifinals. Eastchester will go for the program's first Section 1 championship since 1955 against Panas on Saturday.

   "We're hungry," coach Fred DiCarlo told The Journal News. "That's the best word somebody used to describe our team. We don't look past anybody. We don't look past a game."

   No. 1 team toppled: Senior guard Jordan Beers scored a game-high 24 points to lead No. 3 Franklin to a 39-30 win over South Kortright, the top-ranked girls Class D team in the state, in a Section 4 semifinal at SUNY Oneonta.

   Both teams came into the contest undefeated.

   "Everyone was looking forward to it," Beers told The Daily Star. "During the day, we were all excited just to

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come out and get a chance to play. Give them a lot of credit, they're a tough team -- very athletic and very quick and they can hit the outside shot. They deserve to be here just as much as we do."

   Paige Fairchilds hit a short shot from the left baseline with :57 left in the first quarter to set off an 18-2 Franklin run that proved decisive. Beers scored nine points in each quarter to build a 25-12 lead for Franklin, which held South Kortright to two second-quarter points. The Rams finished just 15-for-61 from the field for the game.

   "I don't know if South Kortright has ever been held to two points in one quarter," Franklin coach Mike Dutcher said. "We've got to credit our defense for that."

   Franklin will try to make it back-to-back sectional titles in the final vs. ninth-ranked Southern Cayuga.

   Re-thinking punishments: Lake George senior Andrew Zibro suffered a career-ending two broken wrists in a fall two minutes into the second half last week resulting from a flagrant foul by a Middleburgh player.

   The Post-Star reported that Lake George also lost a player to a broken wrist last season due to a flagrant foul.

   The penalty for a flagrant-foul ejection is a same as an ejection for two technicals -- a one-game suspension. As the paper noted, one scenario may result in a hot-headed player or coach being embarrassed. The other might result in a kid being lost for an entire season.

   Those are hardly equal. I think separate technical fouls in a game for non-dangerous acts -- mouthing off, a push (as opposed to a punch) after the whistle, etc. -- probably already carry a sufficient penalty of two free throws plus possession in each instance and don't require a one-game ban unless the player's own coach wants to go in that direction.

   On the other hand, the CHSAA probably has it right by making a flagrant-foul ejection a two-game ban.

   Extra points: Shaker boys basketball coach Jeff Holmes retired after 24 seasons. The Blue Bison's 13-7 season ended with a 61-58 loss to Green Tech in the Section 2 Class AA quarterfinals.

   When Lake George beat Middleburgh 70-37 in the Section 2 boys basketball quarterfinals last week, Joel Wincowski scored 21 points to break the school's career record. Jim Casey's total of 1,534 points had stood since 1987.

   Pine Bush two-way lineman Scott Flanick has committed to the U.S. Military Academy, where he's projected to be the long-snapper down the road.

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