Sheldon Hagigal's neat reverse opened the final quarter and gave Westbury a 41-37 lead. Paris Abrams made it 43-37 with a breakaway layuup.
Hagigal, playing another fine all-around, nailed a wing jumper then triggered a nice three-pass fastbreak that ended with a layup by Tyrece Redd. The Green Dragons had a 47-39 lead as Newark called a timeout with 4:58 left.
Did Newark have another run in them, like the 9-0 burst in the first half that cut down a 10-point lead?
It looked that way when Jace Havrfilla nailed a trey from the corner and Andrew Lannon sank two free throws to cut it to 47-44.
Then Javon McCrea struck again with his left hand. He sank a layup, got fouled, and tied the game at 47 with a free throw with 3:19 left. It was an 8-0 run and Westbury called timeout with 3:02 left.
Luckens Victor broke the tie with 1 of 2 free throws. But Newark went ahead 49-48 with 1:58 left on a smart driving layup down the right side on a fastbreak by Tyrone Hills. It was the Reds' first lead since early in the second quarter.
Hagigal missed a pullup but the Green Dragons quickly forced a turnover and regained possession with 1:20 left. However, McCrea blocked two shots on the next possession and one of them sent Ben Holt bolting for a fastbreak layup. Holt drew a foul and his free throw and three-point play gave Newark a 52-48 lead with 53.6 left.
Timeout Westbury. Could Hagigal be magical again? No. He missed a corner trey and McCrea grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 30.2 seconds left. McCrea sank one foul shot, blocked yet another Green Dragon shot and that sent Holt downcourt for a game-clinching breakaway dunk.
Despite trailing for most of the game, Newark triumphed, 55-48, to advance to Sunday's state Class A championship game against Jamesville-DeWitt.
Good job by the folks running the state tournament. Stats are provided! At halftime, Sheldon Hagigal leads Westbury with 8 points. Paris Abrams as 5.
Javon McCrea has a double-double at halftime for Newark -- 15 points and 11 rebounds. He also has 4 blocked shots. However, his team trails the quicker Green Dragons, 28-23.
On the first possession of the second half, Sheldon Hagigal converte a three-point play on a lefthanded drive to giv eWestbury a 31-23 lead. Lamard Herron followed with a short jumper and Westbury had a 33-23 lead with 6:45 lert.
Newark answered boldly with nine straight points -- a lefthanded layup by McCrea, a step-in three from the wing by Ben Holt, a baseline jumper by Davidlee Tack and another lefty layup by McCrea. Westbury coach Dave Graff called a timeout with 4:50 left in the period and his team now clinging to a 33-32 lead.
Herron ended the Newark run with a layup and Hagigal followed with a nice slithering move down the middle that gave Westbury a 37-32 lead with 3:06 left.
A reverse layup off an offensive rebound by McCrea cut Newark's deficit to 39-37 with a minute to play.
Tyrece Redd rimmed the basket with a jumper at the buzzer and Westbury entered the fourth quarter of an exciting game with a 39-37 lead.
Good morning blog fans. Corey McLauglin and Zog are live in Glens Falls to cover both Long Island teams.
Westbury (18-4) is playing Newark (22-1) in the Class A semifinal, which started on time at 10:45 a.m.
Here are the starting lineups:
Newark: Jace Havrilla; Andrew Lannon; Davidlee Tack; Ben Holt, Javon McCrea. McCrea is a 6-7 monster who accepted a scholarship to play next year at Buffalo because he didn't want to go far from home. Georgetown, reportedly, was among the teams recruiting him.
Westbury: Tyrece Redd; Sheldon Hagigal; Paris Abrams; Lamard Herron; Luckens Victor.
Javon McCrea was a one-man wrecking crew to start the period. He scored three inside baskets, turning one of them into a three-point play, as Newark took a 17-16 lead.
But Sheldon Hagigal got the lead back for Westbury with a wing trey that made it 19-17.
Luckens Victor had to sit much of the quarter with two early fouls and that hurts the Green Dragons because Victor, at 6-6, could stand in against McCrea.
Westbury grabbed a 26-21 lead, thanks to its bench. Mikel Hooks scored three points and delivered a perfect dump pass to Aldo Gatica for a fastbreak layup. Gatica then sank a jumper.
A resounding slam by McCrea made it 26-23 with 1:48 left before halftime.
Tyrece Redd, Westbury's point guard, scored his first points with a slicing drive that expaned the Green Dragons lead to 28-23. Their quickness is showing.
Paris Abrams missed a long trey at the buzzer, but Westbury holds a 28-23 halftime lead.
Westbury got off to a fast start, twice taking six-point leads, the last time at 14-8. Sheldon Hagigal had five early points and Paris Abrams nailed a trey to start the quarter. He also sank a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to keep the Green Dragons on top, 16-12 at the end of the first period.
For Newark, the 6-7 McCrea had six points and two blocks and was an intimidating presence when Westbury took it to the basket. Tyrone Hill came off the bench to score four quick points for the Reds, including a breakaway dunk.