BEDFORD, Conn. -- The members of Harvey’s boys varsity basketball team and their fans enjoyed a double celebration Saturday, first in a pregame ceremony honoring the team’s three active seniors and later at the end of the game when the Cavaliers held on for a thrilling 57-55 win against HVAL league rival Watkinson Rams of Hartford, Conn.
Before the team’s final regular season home game, Harvey paid homage to seniors Christian Artuso, Jake Cohn and Deshawn Hilliard. With a loud and energized bench and home crowd, the excitement and determination to win for the seniors carried over into the game as Harvey kept pace with Watkinson, a team that had won its earlier season matchup by 30 points over the Cavaliers. This time Harvey held a three-point lead at halftime.
“Understanding that the game could potentially be the final chance for our graduating seniors,” Coach Dom Narcisco said in a statement. “The team came together to rally behind their three leaders and gave everything they had on the court.”
A fourth senior, Andrew Schwartz, has been inactive this season due to medical reasons.
As the second half opened up, Harvey made a run and stretched its lead to 12, behind leading scorer Ricky Hicks who netted 12 points. The Cavaliers were aggressive on defense, forcing steals and turnovers, and executing well on offense, but the Rams would not go away easily as they made a run of their own and cut the lead to two with a minute remaining.
After two clutch free-throws by freshman guard and Chappaqua resident Evan Roteman, Watkinson came down the court and scored once again. It was a two-point game with only three seconds left. Harvey, out of timeouts, was unable to get the ball in bounds and was called for a five-second violation. Watkinson got the ball back with a chance to tie, but the inbound pass was tipped, and time ran out, making Harvey victorious.
Cohn, a Pound Ridge resident, made significant contributions on offense, scoring nine points and picking up five assists. Hilliard, the team’s leading rebounder this year, grabbed 10 off the boards and added seven points.
Coach Narcisco was very proud of his team’s performance. “The team rallied behind its seniors and the morale was through the roof. We are really starting to gel and come together at the right time.”
Harvey, now 5-4 in the league and 9-10 on the season, will look to even its record with a win Friday, Feb. 14, against Chase Collegiate, a league rival the Cavaliers had defeated in a tight matchup earlier this year.