PLATTSBURGH — Defending Class D state champion Moriah started the second half of its boys basketball state regional final seeking the knockout blow against Whitehall.
Leading by five, the Vikings went on 9-0 run before Railroaders coach Keith Redmond called a timeout.
Down 11 points against a team riding a 43-game winning streak, Whitehall had every excuse to roll over. But Bryce Eddy never stopped waving his arms, signaling the crowd to fire up, and Whitehall guard Dawson Procella was not done knocking down triples.
Following the timeout, Procella hit back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Railroaders within five near the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter however, the Vikings hit eight free throws and Dylan Trombley buried two treys to push Moriah to a 74-61 win and spoil Whitehall’s comeback on Saturday at at the Plattsburgh State Field House.
“I was trying to give my 110 percent effort because this could’ve been our last game, and it was,” Procella said. “It hurts that we lost.”
Trombley’s fourth-quarter 3-pointers served as the dagger that initiated Procella’s postgame pain. But the senior guard had almost single-handedly given the Railroaders a chance to make the state’s final four, finishing with a game-high 33 points.
Whitehall (20-5) jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in the first quarter, showing it belonged on the same court as the powerhouse Vikings. Moriah (24-0) captured the lead before the first quarter ended.
Procella took the lead back for Whitehall on a driving layup that opened the fourth quarter, but the Vikings took it back immediately when Trombley began taking over the final eight minutes.
Trombley finished with 32 points, making four 3-pointers and making all 10 of his foul shots.
“We fought so hard,” Redmond said. “Down 13 then come back to take the lead only to have it dissipate as fast as we got it back but they are a super team. I just feel bad for these kids. They gave it everything they had tonight.”
With two minutes to play, Redmond called a timeout down eight points. Needing a bucket on the next possession, forward Daniel St. Clair missed a shot in the lane and the Vikings converted a Kennady Allen jumper on the other end to push their lead to 10 points.
Whitehall scored only three more points to follow and the final buzzer eventually sounded, marking the end of the Railroaders’ historic season.
“The last thing I said to them was that ‘You guys have given the community and our school something that has not been brought for 47 years’,” Redmond said. “’These plaques will hang on the wall and every time someone walks by them they will be reminded of the great run we had’.”
Class C boys regional final
2P 3P FT TP
Daniel St. Clair 3 0 2 8
Thomas Fish 1 0 0 2
Evan St. Claire 3 1 5 14
Dawson Procella 6 6 3 33
Andrew Genier 2 0 0 4
Totals 15 7 10 61
2P 3P FT TP
Joey Stahl 1 3 2 13
Jerin Sargent 1 0 0 2
Braden Swan 3 0 5 11
Jay Strieble 5 1 3 16
Dylan Trombley 5 4 10 32
Totals 15 8 20 74
Whitehall 13 12 18 18 — 61
Moriah 16 14 18 26 — 74