Femi Olujobi, Mike Almonacy lead Brentwood to overtime win over Half Hollow Hills West
When Brentwood point guard Mike Almonacy's jump shot rimmed in and out at the buzzer to force overtime, the freshman co-captain showed that his leadership extends off the court, as well.
Rather than hang his head dejectedly at missing the game-winner, Almonacy turned to the team's other co-captain, junior center Femi Olujobi and reminded: "Everyone else is tired. You've got the fresh legs."
It sure looked that way.
Olujobi bounced over and around defenders to score all nine of his team's points in overtime as host No. 2 Brentwood beat No. 7 Half Hollow Hills West, 76-73, in a Suffolk AA quarterfinal thriller Tuesday before a raucous crowd that spilled onto the court afterward.
"Femi gave us momentum; the crowd gave us momentum," said Almonacy, who had 26 points, including five three-pointers, as Brentwood overcame a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit.
"I knew I could take whoever was guarding me," said Olujobi, who finished with 25 points.
In the extra period, Marcus Solomon, who like Terry Harris scored 26 points and was splendid all night for Hills West (15-5), drew a foul on a three-point shot and drained all three free throws to put the Colts ahead 70-68.
Olujobi tied it with two free throws, then exchanged baskets with Solomon, leaving the score tied at 72 with 1:37 left.
The gym was rocking when Olujobi's pump fake drew a fifth foul on Hills West center Neneyo Mate-Kole with 1:18 left. But the home crowd went silent as Olujobi stepped to the line. He then sank both free throws.
After Solomon made one of two from the line, Olujobi made two more free throws with 24.7 seconds left for a three-point lead. Solomon missed a shot just before the buzzer, allowing Brentwood to move on.
"I felt very confident at the line because I take a lot of free throws in practice," said Olujobi, who made 11 of 13 foul shots and also scored seven of Brentwood's points during a 12-0 run that erased a 62-53 lead.
Although Almonacy missed his chance to win it in regulation, he was on target with his overtime mission:
"Get the ball to Femi."