Proctor aims to close out season strong after holding off Rome

The game wasn’t over yet.

Thomas R. Proctor High School boys’ basketball coach Mark Joseph told his team to expect “a few runs” from Class AA rivals Rome Free Academy, even as the Raiders built a 20-point lead on Tuesday .

He was right as a challenge from the Black Knights combined with some mistakes from the Raiders in the fourth quarter made for an intriguing ending as the contest eventually descended into a two-possession game.

With the help of season-best senior Oliver Rodgers with 30 points, Proctor held off hosts RFA to a 74-65 win in the second game of the season between teams in the Tri-Valley League Colonial Division.

Rodgers was among four players to score double-digit goals for the Raiders, who also defeated the Black Knights 70-63 on December 19 in Utica.

Senior Todd Abraham and junior Marc Simmons each added 10 points on Tuesday. Hammett finished with 12 points, with Joseph realizing he was key in helping Proctor build a first-half lead.

“Rome are a good team,” said Joseph, who noted his team were “methodical” as they built a 38-25 half-time lead after falling behind early in the first quarter. “You never give up.”

RFA also had four players in double figures, led by sophomore Uzziah Grimes with 18 points. Newcomer Surafia Norries added 16. Sophomores Isaiah DeJean and Deandre Neal each brought in 10 chips.

RFA was within eight points of Proctor early in the third quarter. However, Proctor capitalized on a 19-2 run ended by Hammett’s layup at 1-27 in the third to extend the lead to 25 points.

RFA was not quiet in the fourth quarter. The Knights went on a 24-9 run to cut Proctor’s lead to five with the help of a floater in lane from Grimes with about 3:33 remaining and Neal’s layup with 1:58 remaining.

“At that point we were trying to find five guys who play hard,” RFA coach Nick Medicis said. “We kind of challenged our boys. To their credit, they performed and played. We speeded up the game. … I thought we had a couple of breaks late and our guys were struggling.

Medicis said that increasing the tempo forced Proctor to play faster than the Raiders probably wanted and allowed the Knights to get closer.

“We made some mental mistakes. We tried to have the right people there at the right time and it didn’t always work,” Joseph said. “But it worked perfectly in the first half. This is the basketball game. It’s a running game.”

After RFA missed a putback with about 90 seconds left, Rodgers hit two free throws and Hammett scored with less than a minute to help Proctor. Rodgers finished 7 of 9 on free throws, hit a few shots from middle range and also had a three-pointer.

“He is our leader. Even if he’s not well on the inside, we’ll find a way to make him well on the outside,” Joseph said.

The result puts Proctor at 9-7 overall. At the end of the regular season, the team sits 7-2 at the top of the Colonial Division with New Hartford. The battle for the seeding also intensifies with the postseason looming in Section III.

Proctor will play at Oneida on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Proctor has three straight home games to wrap up the regular season against the Syracuse Academy of Science, which begins Tuesday. The contests against New Hartford (February 10) and Whitesboro (February 14) also remain.

“I think we have a chance to win the rest of the schedule,” Joseph said.

RFA is 6-10 overall with four regular season games remaining. The team plays at VVS on Friday at 7 p.m. There are also games at Utica-Notre Dame (Monday), at Whitesboro (February 10) and against New Hartford (February 14).

“We build on sections,” Medicis said. “We played a challenging schedule. We definitely challenged ourselves.”

Judd loses 26 points in CVA win

Deacon Judd accumulated 26 points in an 84-45 Central Valley Academy win in Oneida on TVL Tuesday.

CVA led 22-6 in the first quarter and 41-17 at halftime.

Judd added 15 rebounds for a double-double. TJ Luke had 14 points and five rebounds.

Oneida’s top scorer was Austin DeGroat with 12 points. Sylvester Sinnoh-Wynn added nine points.

CVA (14-0) host Notre Dame at 7 p.m. in the league tonight.

Oneida (3-12) hosts Thomas R. Proctor High School in the league Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Dogleville manages Frankfurt

Five players scored double-digit goals for Dolgeville in an 87-43 away win over Frankfort-Schuyler in the Center State Conference on Tuesday.

Cameron Dager led with 17 points and 10 rebounds with six assists. Brett Mosher had 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Kamryn Comstock had the third double-double with 13 points and 10 boards. Michael Blaskey and Connor Zacek each scored 11 points.

The Blue Devils led 25-8 after a quarter and 51-27 at halftime.

Frankfurt statistics were not presented.

Dolgeville (16-1) plays in the league at Adirondack at 7 p.m. Friday.

Frankfurt (8-9) travel to Canastota for a league game at 7pm on Friday.

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