Rye senior captain Conor Smith splashed a game-winning corner 3-pointer with 5.4 seconds left in the first round of the Class A Section playoffs February 18, and the ninth-seeded Garnets escaped Yonkers High School with a 56-54 victory over No. 8 Roosevelt.
“I had a feeling the extra pass would be made and the ball would end up in my hands,” said Smith of Rye’s exhilarating final possession. “We’ve been playing team ball as of late, and I knew it was going in as soon as I released it. I even told my friend during the week — jokingly — that I’d hit the game-winner!”
The Garnets trailed by as many as nine points in the final quarter thanks to a 3-point bonanza from Roosevelt, but scratched and clawed their way back without ever losing composure or diverting from the game plan. Key steals by Smith and offensive rebounds by senior captain Brian Pickup were pivotal, and fellow senior Chris Twyman blocked a potential game-tying lay-up with less than a second remaining to seal the victory.
Rye advances to the quarterfinals, where they meet top-seeded Kennedy on the road Tuesday at 6.