Harborfields advances to Federation final

Harborfields' John Patron drives to the basket against Harborfields' John Patron drives to the basket against Iona Prep. (March 23, 2012) Photo Credit: Pat Orr Photography

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ALBANY -- Harborfields used balanced scoring, placing three players in double figures, to advance to the state Federation Class A boys basketball championship game for the second year in a row.

John Patron scored 20 points, Justin Ringen 17 and Lucas Woodhouse 14. Chris Brady added seven off the bench as the Tornadoes defeated Iona Prep, 68-56, Friday night at the Times Union Center.

In winning its 20th straight game, Harborfields (23-2) gets a chance face the team that beat it last -- Long Island Lutheran, which defeated Brooklyn Collegiate earlier in the evening. The Crusaders beat Harborfields, 55-41, on Dec. 23. The all-Long Island title game will be played Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

It was vintage Harborfields basketball during an impressive third quarter. During one sequence, Ringen hit a three-pointer then fed Woodhouse for another trey. Woodhouse scored a more conventional three-point play moments later when he made an acrobatic one-handed tip-in and drew a foul as he tumbled to the floor before sinking the free throw.

Woodhouse's pullup foul-line jumper provided the Tornadoes with their biggest lead at 41-24.

Things got a little interesting in the fourth quarter. Iona Prep (25-4), the CHSAA champion, cut the deficit to 48-40 on a layup by Luke Wooters. But Kevin Zabransky hit a floater and Ringer nailed a three from the wing. Brandon Williams answered with a trey for the Gaels, but then Brady did a bunch of damage.

The 6-9 junior had a putback before bringing the small Harborfields contingent to its feet when he took an interior pass from Patron and dunked. Patron then showed his versatility by draining a three that made it 60-44 with 3:21 left. He had seven points in the final period.

Patron scored 13 in the first half, hitting 5 of 7 shots, as Harborfields built a 28-19 lead at the break. The Tornadoes shot well, making 11 of 21 field goals in the first half.

The icing on this victory cake was a layup by former team manager Reed McLean, on a pass from his close friend Woodhouse, with four seconds left.

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