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Josh Serrano’s cool fourth quarter lifts Amityville in state ‘A’ semifinal

The senior guard scores 10 of his 22 points in the period as the Warriors move one game closer to their first crown since 2003.

Josh Serrano drives to the basket during state

Josh Serrano drives to the basket during state Class A semifinal at Maines Arena in Binghamton. Photo Credit: Adrian Kraus

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — After the game, Josh Serrano held a bag of ice on his right hand. Moments earlier, there was ice water in his veins.

Amityville’s dynamic senior guard scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including back-to-back three-pointers, and led the Warriors to a 52-42 victory over Irondequoit on Saturday morning in a taut, defensive-minded state Class A boys basketball semifinal at Maines Arena.

“It’s my time,” Serrano said of his late-game theatrics, which included an enthusiastic gesture to the Amityville crowd after his second big three, which provided a seven-point lead. “I’m capable of making shots like that.”

Amityville (26-1), which last won a state title in 2003, will face Ardsley of Westchester — which defeated Mohonasen, 61-56, in the other semifinal — at noon on Sunday for the state Class A title. Ardsley won its sectional final two weeks ago on Julian McGarvey’s well-viewed 70-foot desperation heave at the buzzer.

“We didn’t come up here just to visit,” Amityville coach Gordon Thomas said. “We’ve got some unfinished business.”

His team needed a strong finish to take care of business in a game that began at 9 a.m. Iron dequoit led 37-36 with 5:10 remaining, and its stifling defense had kept usually potent Amityville off-stride.

But after a putback by Braden Tannis (13 rebounds), Serrano scored the next eight points in a 10-0 run. First he found some rare space for a left-wing three. With an Eagles defender in his face, Serrano drilled another trey that prompted his emotional reaction.

With Amityville’s trapping man-to-man matching Irondequoit’s defensive intensity, the Warriors again forced an empty trip and Serrano capitalized with a nifty reverse, lefthanded layup off an inbounds pass from Jayson Robinson (12 points, nine rebounds, four assists).

Josh Stenglein (11 points) nailed a three to stop the Amityville run, but freshman Myles Goddard (12 points) — whose older brother, senior Julius Goddard (six rebounds), left the game for several minutes after a hard fall — contributed two huge free throws, a backcourt steal and two more free throws in the final minute to ice it.

But it was Serrano who came up the biggest. “The key thing is that Josh kept his composure,” Thomas said. “He knew there was no tomorrow, that as a senior, he’d never put this uniform on again if we lost. But he’s a big-time player who shows up in games like this.”

Irondequoit shot only 28.3 percent from the field and Amityville’s big fourth quarter raised its overall shooting to 41.7 percent. “We weren’t hitting our shots, but our defense definitely kept our heads in the game,” Serrano said. “Coach told us to keep shooting.”

Serrano — who said he jammed his finger while reaching for a ball on defense, necessitating the postgame ice pack — was glad to comply, especially late. “I’m a good one-on-one player,’’ he said, “but if the defense has its hands down, I’ll take the three. I love to shoot.”

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