Cyrus Holder leads hustling Friends Academy to LI Class C title
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Cyrus Holder and Friends Academy wanted a second chance at Stony Brook.
One year after falling to the Bears in the Long Island Class C final, the Quakers got their opportunity and didn't let it slip away. Friends Academy (15-2) used a bevy of second-chance points and took control of the game with a dominant second quarter to win the L.I. Class C title, 55-48, Tuesday and advance to the regional final against Haldane on Friday at Beacon High School in Dutchess County.
Stony Brook (18-3) nearly flipped the script in the fourth quarter, outscoring Friends 21-12. The Bears closed to within 51-48 when Andrew Daniel, who had 19 points, hit a jump hook in the lane with 1:15 left.
"I think we just kind of got at each other for a second in the fourth," Holder said. "But we realized that if we played together and played hard we weren't going to lose."
He made sure of it, scoring eight of his game-high 24 points in the final period, including going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
Tyrone Perkins had last year's loss on his mind as Stony Brook began to rally.
"Last year was a tough loss and it hurt a lot," Perkins, who scored 12 points, said. "This year we knew we were going to come in hard and strong and do what we needed to do. We showed that in the first half but came out a little flat in the third and really flat in the fourth and just had to stick it out."
After Daniel cut the Stony Brook deficit to three, Perkins broke the Bears' press and got down the court but was unable to convert a layup. Friends, however, made another hustle play, forcing a jump ball to retain possession.
"Coach always tells us that the hustle plays are what win games," Perkins said.
"I tried to get on the boards and Cyrus is always on the boards and those small things are what win games."Jack Forlines, who scored all five of his points in the third quarter, missed a tear drop in the lane with 30 seconds remaining but made a game-saving play, corralling the offensive rebound and getting it to Holder, who was fouled and made both free throws. "Those hustle plays at the end were what won us the game," Forlines said. "We're a high-scoring team and we usually put up a lot of numbers but the shots aren't always falling and hustle plays are what does it."
The hustle didn't stop until the final buzzer as Perkins had a steal in the final seconds and sprinted uncontested for a layup, which he missed. Of course, a teammate was following up the play and got the putback for the final margin.
"Last year was definitely a crushing defeat," Forlines said. "All season we knew we were going to see them in this game and we came out and had more energy."