ONEONTA — Round Two went to Milford, but the Wildcats needed overtime to complete their 52-47 comeback win over previously unbeaten Edmeston in the Tri-Valley League boys basketball final Saturday at Oneonta State.
Milford all but erased its 25-18 halftime deficit with a 13-7 run in the third quarter, then engaged in a see-saw fourth period that ended with the teams tied at 43.
The Wildcats’ Peyton Griffiths scored the final points of regulation on a putback with 20 seconds to go, giving the Panthers plenty of time to figure out a winning play. What Edmeston didn’t figure on was a huge defensive play by junior forward Jacob Tabor that set up the extra period.
After running the seconds to single digits, Edmeston point guard Linton Wainright started to execute a familiar play that had hurt Milford all game. He drove the lane and attempted to find forward Brandon Fallon for a layup, but Tabor leaped to block the pass. The ball bounced out of bounds off an Edmeston player, giving Milford 2 seconds and a chance for a miracle.
“In the closing minutes, we had worked unbelievably hard to stay in it,” Tabor said. “So when it came down to the final seconds, we knew we just had to push through it and make a play.”
Following a Milford timeout, Griffiths sprinted down the left side of the court and drew the bulk of Edmeston’s defense. That gave Will Ward enough space for a catch-and-shoot from half-court, but his buzzer-beater caught the front iron and the teams headed into overtime.
Milford (17-1) didn’t need a miracle in the extra period, though, outscoring Edmeston, 9-4, to clinch the title.
“They were absolutely fantastic to play against,” Tabor said. “I know it is hard to believe, but I couldn’t dream of a better Tri-Valley championship game.”