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.”