Riders drop heartbreaker on the court

KINDERHOOK–After starting the season with a pair of victories in the Spa Catholic Tournament the Ichabod Crane boys basketball team has dropped two league games, including an 58-55 heartbreaker to Ravena at home Tuesday. After battling back from an early deficit the Riders pulled ahead by five late in the fourth quarter, before surrendering eight straight points to end the game, including a game winning three-pointer by Austin Babcock with just three seconds left.

The first quarter didn’t get started the way ICC had hoped as Ravena pushed the tempo, attacking the Rider zone defense before it could set up. The fast pace allowed the Indians to spring out to an 11-5 lead early. The Riders fought back in the first quarter with eight points by Shane Morris and a surprising three assists by big man Shaun Davis. A steal and fast break layup by sophomore Jimmy Hollister brought ICC to within one before Ravena nailed their fourth three-pointer of the opening quarter with just 16 seconds left, to go up 19-15.

The Riders adjusted well between quarters and had a fast start of their own to begin the second. Steven Rybka hit a three to start the quarter and Davis, Morris and Brian Pulsifer all followed with hoops of their own, as ICC went up five. The visiting Indians quickly responded, attacking the inside of the Rider zone with senior shot blocker Stephen James on the bench in foul trouble. Ravena scored eight straight points on the inside to re-establish their lead. With the momentum shifting back towards the visitors, James was re-inserted into the game and changed the tide back towards ICC. James had a monster block, his third of the game, to ignite a fast break that resulted in a Pulsifer layup. James followed that up with a jumper to push the Riders up by four with a minute to play. Just like the first however the Riders had a letdown to end the quarter, first allowing a hoop inside as time ticked away and then had their inbounds pass stolen and saw Ravena convert a hoop that put them up 31-30 as time expired.

The third quarter was a low scoring, back and forth battle that left Ravena holding on to their one-point lead heading to the fourth. The final quarter saw the teams passing the lead back and forth. Morris scored to open the quarter to put ICC up one and Ravena responded with a long jump shot to go back up. James and Rybka each got hoops to put ICC up three and Ravena answered with a three-pointer to again tie it up. James hit a free throw with under six minutes to play and then had another big block to ignite a fast break, which saw Rybka finish on the other end to put the Riders up three.

A Ravena triple with three minutes to play tied things at 50 before ICC went on their run. Pulsifer scored off an offensive rebound, James hit a free throw and Pulsifer had a near goal tending come-from-behind block on a fast break that led to Davis bucket and put the Riders up five. As they had all night, the Indians responded with a three pointer and after a pair of missed shots and a scramble by their own basket they converted another hoop to tie it with under a minute to play.

On the defensive end Ravena forced a jump ball with 37 seconds left and the possession arrow favored them. The Riders forced a tough shot and it looked like they’d have the final possession with a chance to win, but instead surrendered an offensive rebound that allowed the Indians the final shot. Coming out of a timeout with nine seconds left Ravena drew up a play and a drive and kick left Babcock open in the corner for a three pointer. A three-quarter court length shot by Pulsifer hit backboard, but not the bottom of the net and the Riders fell.

Ichabod Crane dropped to 2-2 and 0-2 in the Colonial Council with the loss. Shane Morris finished with a team high 18 points and 13 rebounds in the loss, while Rybka finished with 12 points. Stephen James added 9 points and 5 blocks, Davis provided a versatile performance tallying 8 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists, while Pulsifer added 6 and Hollister two. The Riders played without reserve guard Seth Scarano who was injured in the previous game.

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