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December 3, 2013

Delhi boys edge H-T for tournament title

Staff Report

Sometimes you just have to do what the coach tells you to do.

Alex Specht and Michael Staples did just that in the fourth quarter of the Shalkey-Mokay Tournament title game Monday, leading host Delhi to a 53-52 boys basketball victory over Hunter-Tannersville.

Specht scored the go-ahead basket on an inbounds play in the final minute, rolling off a screen for a layup following a timeout.

“We had the ball under our own basket and set up a play for Alex so he’d be 1-on-1 near the basket,” Delhi coach Warren Kelly said. “He screened and then rolled, and Nate Denison gave him a great pass on the inbounds. It was right where Alex needed it.

“He made a shot from about 3 feet out,” Kelly continued. “We thought we could get a seal after his screen and it worked out exactly how we hoped.”

The Wildcats (1-1) missed two shots on the ensuing possession before Delhi secured a loose ball and sent an outlet pass to Staples. He drew a foul on a layup attempt with 1 second left.

“He missed both free throws, but I was actually happy he missed the second because then they couldn’t set up a play,” Kelly said. “I told him if he missed the first one, miss the second one, too, because we could lose on a desperation three-pointer whether we were up by one or two points.”

Staples finished with 13 points en route to all-tournament honors for Delhi, which received 10 points from Tournament Most Outstanding Player Specht. Ben Branigan also scored 10 points for the Bulldogs (2-0), with nine of them coming in the fourth quarter.

“This was another one that came down to the last minute,” said Kelly, whose team opened its season with a 41-38 first-round defeat of Downsville on Saturday. “For the second game in a rowm all eight guys who were dressed for us put something on the scoreboard.”

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