The hour is upon us. Greetings from Farmingdale State, site of the much-anticipated Suffolk Class AA boys basketball title game between unbeaten and nationally-ranked Half Hollow Hills West (21-0) and Longwood (19-2).
It's a crazy atmosphere here. On the way in, people were running from the parking lots to the front door to try to get a better place on line to get in. There is a huge crowd outside and the stands inside are nearly full already, more than 30 minutes before game time. A standing room crowd.
For those that can’t be here, I’m here to live blog the game. I’ll provide updates after each quarter. Tipoff is 8 p.m.
Until then, here’s the news of the day: Longwood will play without starting point guard Tajric Boggs. He is out with a broken foot injured in the Lions’ semifinal win against Lindenhurst.
FINAL: Hills West 77, Longwood 69
Tobias Harris scored the Colts’ first seven points of the fourth quarter and Sledge tied the score at 63 with about four minutes left in the quarter.
After a Piasecki bucket for Longwood, Tobias hit his first three of the game to give the Colts a 66-65 lead with 3:31 to go.
Both teams went scoreless for the next minute or so. Tobias had a block on Longwood’s next possession and both teams had steals.
Then Tyler Harris hit a three to put Longwood ahead 69-65 with two minutes left. Crowds from both sides are on their feet and chanting as time out was on the floor with 1:26 remaining and Hills West up 69-65.
Emile Blackman forced a steal of Longwood’s inbounds play coming out of the time out and made 1 of 2 free throws to give the Colts a 70-65 lead. They lead by that score with 1:11 left.
Blackman scored inside to make it 72-65. Elijah Tyler-Brown made two foul shots for Longwood to make it 72-67 with 43.4 left. After a Hills West missed shot, Anthony Rollino ended up with the rebound for Hills West.
Longwood called time out with 34.2 left with Rollino at the foul line, ahead 72-67. He missed the front end.
Longwood’s Darien Davis hit two foul shots to cut it to 72-69 Hills West with 25.8. Tyler Harris made one to make it 73-69 then Longwood missed a shot and Tobias grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
Tobias Harris went 1 of 2 from the line with 17.7 left and later forced a steal and hit two free throws down the stretch to make it a 77-69 final.
Tobias Harris finished with 25 points. Tavon Sledge had 24.
Darien Davis had 22 for Longwood.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: Longwood 53, Hills West 50
Sledge has 22 points for Hills West. Davis has 18 for Longwood and Tobias Harris has the four fouls.
Hills West started the second half with the ball and Tobias Harris, with the three fouls, started the second half, too.
Parks hit a three to put Longwood up 42-38 two minutes into the quarter. Tobias Harris had a bucket and Tyler Harris made 1 of 2 foul shots to with 5:00 left to make it 42-41 Longwood.
Chris Greene scored inside off a feed from Gerald Holmes to make it 44-41. But Tyler Harris made a three-pointer to tie it at 44 with 4:07 left.
Hills West took a 46-44 lead on two Sledge free throws, and led 48-47 when Tobias Harris picked up his fourth foul on a charge with 2:49 left in the quarter. The Colts called timeout immediately afterward.
Greene went 1-for-2 from the foul line for Longwood to tie the score at 48 with 1:41 left in the third, and Davis hit a three to put the Lions back ahead 51-48. Blake Evans, off the bench, has a putback to give Longwood 53 points.
HALFTIME: Longwood 39, Half Hollow Hills West 36
We have ourselves a game.
Hills West took a 22-20 lead two minutes into the second quarter on two Tobias Harris foul shots, and were up 24-22 on a long jumper by Sledge. But Longwood answered each time and Abrams made an inside move to put Longwood ahead 26-24 with 5:19 left in the quarter, forcing a Hills West timeout.
Davis converted another inside move uncontested to put Longwood up 28-24 on the next possession. Tobias Harris hit two free throws and Sledge made a fast-break to tie it at 28.
It was tied again at 30 and 32 before Davis made 1 of 2 foul shots to put Longwood up 33-32 with three minutes left.
With Longwood up 37-36, Parks drew a charge on Tobias Harris with 1:17 left. That’s Harris’ third foul, and he’s subbed out. Tobias had nine points.
Patrick Piasecki had a big quarter inside for Longwood and now has 10 points. He put Longwood up 39-37. Sledge was stripped in the paint on the Colts’ final possession of the half.
Sledge has 18 points for the Colts. Davis has 12 points for Longwood and Parks has eight.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: Half Hollow Hills West 16, Longwood 13
Tavon Sledge, who leads Hills West with eight points, gave the Colts a 16-11 lead with just about a minute left. But Longwood cut back into the lead to close out the first quarter. Darien Davis cut it to one at the first-quarter buzzer.
Tobias Harris has three points off a three-point play, and Tyler Harris has two blocks for Hills West, which also led 11-7 about three minutes in.
Aaron McCree opened the game with a three-pointer for Hills West, which was answered by a three from Longwood’s Gerald Holmes to excite the crowds from both teams right away.
Paris Parks leads Longwood with six points. It's a tight game and extremely loud in here.