By Ted Waddell
GRAHAMSVILLE February 28, 2003 It was a battle right down to the wire.
On Tuesday, the Tri-Valley Bears advanced to the Section IX Class C semifinals by defeating the visiting Rhinebeck Indians 81-72 in a hard- fought quarterfinal game.
With the win, fourth-seeded T-V (14-7) advanced to the Class C semifinals. The Bears were slated to face top seed Chester last night at SUNY Orange.
Enroute to victory, T-Vs Kyle Humphrey eclipsed the school record for most points scored in a single game by blistering the scoreboard for 55 points.
The previous record of 53 points in a game was set by Brent Lawrence, now the top cop in the Town of Fallsburg Police Department.
The Bears took a nine-point lead (46-37) into the locker room at the half, as Humphrey closed out the second period with a fade away three-pointer that landed him flat on his back in the center of the court but put a big three on the scoreboard.
In the second period, the Indians outgunned the Bears 20-18, in the wake of trailing 28-17 at the end of the opening frame.
About halfway through the third period, Rhinebeck (7-14) shaved T-Vs lead to just two points at 48-46.
With 24 seconds remaining in that quarter, the Bears were back up 56-49 and by the 7:22 mark in the fourth period, the score was 61-49.
But the Indians werent done.
At the 2:41 mark, they had closed to within five points, 71-66. Then things got wild and woolly, so woolly that a sheep might have shed tears.
With 38 seconds left on the game clock, Humphrey was fouled. He converted both free throws to make it a 75-68 ballgame.
Ten seconds later, Rhinebecks Gregg Lobotsky got tagged with a technical for roughing up the Bears ace shooter, and it was back to the foul line for Humphrey. Two for two, and T-V was up 77-69.
At the five second mark, Humphrey was fouled again and the Bears went up 79-69.
One second later, T-Vs Eli Felder was fouled under the Rhinebeck glass and after making both shots from the free throw line, the score was 81-69.
In the last second of the game, Ryan Gilmour sunk a shot from outside the three-point arc to add three points to the Indians tally.
It was a hard-fought game, and thats what sectional basketball is all about, Rhinebeck Coach Jedd Sims said. Number 21 [Humphrey] is a fantastic shooter. He killed us in the first half, but I think we did a pretty good job on him in the second half. Then some of their other guys stepped up their game.
Sims credited the intensity of his players with fighting right up to the final buzzer.
Ryan Gilmour shot the ball really well, Zack Doyle had an outstanding defense effort and a solid all-around game, Adam Yerry had an exceptional second half and everyone else chipped in with hard work, he said.
T-V Coach Jason Semo was grinning from ear to ear with the win.
I thought both teams played outstanding basketball, he said. It was a very competitive game . . . there was a lot of hustle out there, and both teams played very hard to the end.
Semo said every time the Bears got ahead, Rhinebeck kept coming back for more.
When they started coming back at us, we settled own and our kids showed a lot of poise, said Semo. Thats what it takes, and I think our kids are finally learning that, and their experience is starting to show.
When one player leads the pack with 55 points, its hard to watch the rest of the team, but Semo put Humphreys record busting performance into perspective.
Kyle played an amazing game, he said. Offensively, he made the calls tonight, but it takes five guys to make a basketball team . . . [but] with four guys and Kyle, it makes it a little easier.
It was a very good night of basketball . . . before a very intense crowd, he added.
In addition to Humphrey, Eli Felder also scored in double figures for the Bears. Felder had 10 points.
Three Rhinebeck players scored at least 10 points in the game. Gilmour led the way with 28, while Zack Doyle had 19 and Adam Yerry added 15.
T-V went 20-of-28 (71%) from the foul line, while Rhinebeck was 17-of-27 (63%).