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Fox Lane Holds Off North Rockland in Quarterfinals

BEDFORD, N.Y. – No. 2 Fox Lane held a precarious 44-39 lead against No. 7 North Rockland with just about three minutes to play in the quarterfinals of the Class AA playoffs on Tuesday night.

Fox Lane boys basketball coach Chris Violante called timeout and rallied his players by reminding them of what was at stake, and it worked.

“Coach called a timeout, brought us on the bench and was like, ‘Guys, we’ve got to pick it up. Everything we worked for, we’ve got to show it in the last three minutes,’” said Fox Lane’s Will Trawick.

The Foxes closed the game on an 8-0 run and earned their first trip to the Westchester County Center since 2004 with a 52-39 win against North Rockland.

Violante said he and his team discussed “confidence” and a “you’ve got to believe” mentality in the days of practice and the pregame leading up to Tuesday’s game. They put that confidence into play in the final three minutes.

“We missed some free throws, which was frustrating. We’re really, really excited to have an opportunity to get (to the County Center),” Violante said. “We were missing shots, we were struggling a little offensively in the fourth, which you expect in a tight game like that with so much on the line. But we didn’t give up at all defensively. We rebounded the heck out of the ball and played really well.”

Trawick, Dylan Peretz and Ben Korren each scored 13 points for Fox Lane. Charles Nardone led North Rockland with nine points.

Trawick ended a five-minute scoreless period for the Foxes and sparked their 8-0 run with a thunderous one-handed dunk as the shot clock expired with 1:22 left to play. He raised his arms to pump up the crowd as he ran to get back on defense.

“It got the crowd fired up. It was a great dunk,” Violante said. “He had a dunk in practice that was ridiculous. He dunked on someone whose name I’ll leave off. But that was a great dunk in the fourth quarter, as tired as he was. He’s a heck of a player. It’s just been a pleasure to coach him and all these other guys.”

Fox Lane will face No. 3 Mahopac, which won a 76-75 double overtime thriller against Arlington, at the County Center in the semifinals. Violante said that he did not worry about potential County Center opponents before Tuesday’s game. Now, his attention will turn to the Indians.

“I didn’t look at all what’s after this. Let’s focus on getting by North Rockland. If we get by North Rockland, then we’ll move on,” Violante said. “But we’ll give (the players) off tomorrow and we’ll map it out and see where we go from there.”

Follow Andrew Meola on Twitter @andrewmeola for live scores, updates and analysis of the Section 1 playoffs.

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