GLENS FALLS, N.Y -- Tommy "Big Shot'' Costa did it again.
The senior guard drained a three-pointer with 1:26 left in the fourth quarter for what proved to be the winning points in Friends Academy's 46-44 victory over Syracuse Academy of Science in the state Class C final at the Glens Falls Civic Center Saturday night. It is the first state title for Friends.
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Costa finished with 14 points, including four threes-pointers. The tournament MVP also hit a crucial three-pointer in overtime of Friday night's semifinal.
"I'm just really excited,'' Costa said. "There was no one on me and T.J. [Hefele] did a great job finding me.''
Costa's shot gave Friends (17-4) a 45-43 lead. But, Costa admitted, the rest of the game wasn't as rosy for him.
S.A.S. (22-3) got the ball with 34.5 seconds left after a 24-second violation on Friends, but turned it over. Costa was fouled after catching the ensuing inbound pass, but missed both free throws.
Then with 8.6 seconds left, he committed a foul on Jamon Haddon, who knocked down 1 of 2 to make it a one-point game.
"I was just hoping would win the game because it would have been my fault if we lost,'' Costa said. "I missed two free throws and had a stupid foul at the end.''
Hefele (11 points) hit 1 of 2 from the line with 7.6 seconds left, and Haddon missed a runner at the buzzer to end it.
Friends was just 16-for-52 (30.7 percent) from the field, but a 45-26 advantage on the glass helped out. What also helped was S.A.S. going 9 of 21 from the free-throw line, including misses on six of their last seven attempts.
Though they are state champions, the Quakers' season is complete because there is no Federation tournament for Class C teams.
S.A.S. took a 43-42 lead with 2:58 to play on DeOndray Tape's free throw. Friends had a one-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but scored only five points (all on free throws) before Costa's big shot.
Bennett Felder finished with 12 points, Marc Godlis added nine rebounds and Hefele also had six assists. Kellan Sehring, who fouled out with 6:01 to play, finished with 10 rebounds.
Hefele hit a three-pointer and a baseline jumper to make it 31-24 with 4:42 left in the third. But SAS went on a 9-0 run to take a 33-31 lead just 2:26 later.
But, yet again, it came down to Big Shot Tommy.