The final – and solely time – Randolph reached a New York State Public Excessive Faculty Athletic Affiliation remaining 4, the Cardinals confronted Part III champion Tully within the semifinals.
Halfway by means of the primary quarter of that sport, certainly one of Randolph’s prime gamers, Nick Schobey, was injured beneath the east basket of the then-Glens Falls Civic Middle.
Later, when head coach Kevin Hind requested Schobey if he was able to re-enter the competition, the Cardinals senior gave his coach a assured “Sure”, however when he stood as much as head to the scorer’s desk, he collapsed.
Schobey by no means obtained again within the sport, Randolph misplaced 46-33, and Schobey was later recognized with three damaged ribs.
On Saturday, in Randolph’s first journey again to Glens Falls since 2004, Hind skilled an eerie second of deja vu.
With 2:15 remaining within the first quarter of Randolph’s state semifinal in opposition to Part IV champion Moravia, the Cardinals’ Griffin Nelson picked up a steal and soared to the basket for a layup.
It will find yourself being Nelson’s solely bucket of the sport.
Because the sophomore got here down, his momentum carried him into the stanchion holding the basket over the court docket and his decrease leg banged into the padded construction.
On the east finish of the court docket.
Within the first quarter.
At what’s now referred to as Cool Insuring Area.
As he laid on the ground writhing in ache, Nelson informed assistant coaches and a NYSPHSAA consultant that he heard one thing snap.
Finally, he was helped to the bench the place his decrease leg/ankle was wrapped. He by no means returned to the sport.
Owen Nelson, a senior for the Cardinals and Griffin’s older brother, was clearly affected by the harm, obtained into foul hassle and was by no means actually in a position to put his stamp on the sport.
However Randolph persevered.
Jaiden Huntington was whistled for 3 early travels and the often regular inside-outside presence for the Cardinals by no means actually took over the sport.
However Randolph persevered.
Senior Carson Conley and sophomore Drew Hind carried the scoring load for the Cardinals with 20 factors apiece.
And whereas Roan Kelly, Tristan Farnham and Cooper Freeman had been largely nonfactors on the offensive finish of the ground, they had been simply as essential to the Cardinals’ success as Conley and Hind.
Kelly was a key a part of Randolph’s press break, made a layup early within the second half, and buried two clutch free throws late that helped put the sport out of attain of the Blue Devils.
Farnham grabbed three rebounds, helped defensively and didn’t flip the ball over in his six minutes of motion.
Freeman – a jayvee callup who didn’t see varsity minutes till late within the season and has but to attain his first varsity basket – performed 9 minutes, grabbed a rebound and picked up a key steal for the Cardinals.
Griffin Nelson sat on the finish of the bench for all the sport and because the remaining buzzer sounded, his older brother was the primary to search out him for an emotional embrace. Drew Hind ultimately ran to his father for an enormous hug, and instantly discovered Griffin on the finish of the bench to share a second.
One after the other, every member of the Cardinals embraced Griffin earlier than making their solution to the locker room within the bowels of Cool Insuring Area.
Griffin Nelson received’t bodily be on the court docket together with his Cardinals teammates after they tackle Part I champion Haldane in at the moment’s 5:15 p.m. championship tilt again in “Hometown U.S.A.,” however every of his teammates will carry a bit of him onto the ground.
Coach Hind by no means obtained to see how his group would reply to dropping a key participant again in 2004.
He’ll get that chance at the moment because the Cardinals play for this system’s first state title.
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