New Rochelle boys basketball team goes for title Sunday

New Rochelle's Joe Clarke dunks the ball during New Rochelle's Joe Clarke dunks the ball during Saturday's win over Northport. (March 16, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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Late-blooming New Rochelle has defied the odds and made it to the ball. Now all the Cinderella team has to do is defeat a battle-tested Bishop Kearney team and grab that glass slipper.

The teams tip off at 3:15 p.m. Sunday for the New York State Class AA championship at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

In the regular season, New Rochelle finished at .500, the picture of mediocrity, but once the tournament started, the Huguenots played like giant killers.

In Saturday's game, forward Joe Clarke stepped up, pouring in 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds and eight steals to pace New Rochelle over Northport, 60-46.

In a Section 1 showdown March 3 against Mount Vernon, Khalil Edney hit a 55-foot, game-winning shot as time expired. That shot and the wild celebration that followed went viral on YouTube and was hailed by the MaxPreps website as the "greatest ending in high school basketball history."

But Rochester's Bishop Kearney, with 6-foot, 10-inch defensive eraser Chinonso Obokoh, also has played its share of tight games.

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But Huguenots guard Drew Peterson, 16, says the team is riding more than a hot streak on this playoff run.

"We really believe that it's destiny," he said.

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