Green Tech came through in crunch time.
Jizziah Carr’s basket off his own missed free throw late in the fourth quarter gave the Eagles enough breathing room to fend off Shaker 61-58 in Saturday’s Section II Class AA quar-terfinal game at Hudson Valley Community College.
It was the second time the Eagles (13-5) played the Blue Bison (13-7) this season. The first time was a one-sided affair as Green Tech downed Shaker 72-51 in the finals of December’s Girmindl/Sands Tourna-ment at Shaker.
“The score is 0-0. You can’t take any team for granted,” said Green Tech coach Jamil Hood Sr. “I knew they (Shaker) would come out ready to play.”
“We competed great. We just wound up a little short,” said Shaker coach Jeff Holmes.
Green Tech — which plays an independent schedule against some of the state’s top large school programs — led by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter before Shaker made a late bid. Baskets by Will Francis and Malik Dare helped the Blue Bison cut the Eagles’ lead to 55-53 with less than one minute left.
Jamil Hood Jr. increased Green Tech’s lead to four points with a pair of free throws. A short time later, Shaker sent Carr to the foul line for a one-and-one. Ward missed the front end, but he rushed the lane to pick up the rebound and put it back in to give the Eagles a 59-53 advantage.
Shaker made a pair of baskets in the final 15 seconds, including a three-pointer to pull within three points of Green Tech. But, that was as close as the Blue Bison got.
“We got hurt on re-bounds and fouling,” said Holmes. “We went down swinging.”
Hood Jr. had a big game for Green Tech with 21 points, but it was the con-tributions from Carr (eight points), Najee Ward (nine points) and Ramion Burt (eight points in the fourth quarter) that separated the Eagles from Shaker.
“It was just grit,” said Hood Sr. “It just comes with the guys practicing hard every day.”
Dare paced Shaker’s offense with 18 points. Andrew Holmes had a big first half with 13 points including three baskets from behind the three-point arc, but Green Tech held him in check after halftime. Will Francis and Seamus McHugh each added 10 points.
“They played him (Andrew Holmes) a little tighter, which we expected,” said coach Holmes. “But other guys stepped up for us.”