New Hartford – Proctor’s Jalen Hawkins scored a career best 42 points in his team’s last start, which also was its third straight defeat. Tuesday evening, the Raiders’ boys basketball star topped that feat by two points and led his team to an 87-82 overtime win in Tri-Valley League play.
“His endurance is incredible,” NH coach John Randall said of the Proctor junior after a stunning 44-point effort. “Hawkins is tough. It’s usually a foul or a (made) shot.”
Proctor needed every one of Hawkins’ points in regulation to stave off a furious rally by the Spartans to get to OT. The visitors opened the game with a 10-2 run thanks to great pressure and stretched the edge to as much as 15 points late in the third quarter as Hawkins, Jacob Rivera, Landon Johnson and McKinley West led the way. But when Proctor point guard Jacob Phoeurng was injured and a lengthy stoppage ensued, NH came out on fire to end the period down just 53-46.
Frankie Policelli and Noah German scored or assisted on each basket during the run then reserves Troy Henderson, Niko Policelli and Connor Nelson helped continue it to start the fourth quarter. Nelson’s three drew NH within one and German made a three to get the hosts even at for the first time since the game started. Hawkins and Frankie Policelli then traded foul shots to make it 68-68 before Ryan Faro made a layup off a fast break with 2:24 to play to get NH its first lead.
Johnson’s fouling out hurt Proctor with 2:05 to play and Frankie Policelli’s 1-for-2 foul shooting gave the Spartans (4-2) the lead once more. But Proctor surged back in front quickly and when Hawkins made a three with 58 seconds to go NH appeared doomed as it trailed 77-73.
Frankie Policelli gave the Spartans hope when he made two free throws with 38 seconds to play and Cooper Deck’s brilliant steal at midcourt led to his tying layup with 15 seconds to play. Hawkins’ try for a winning shot in the finals seconds failed, but the junior took over the game in OT as he scored the first four points and he added two more free throws in a run near the end that stretched the lead to 87-80. Nick Courto’s shot just before the buzzer for NH capped the game at 87-82 and Proctor (2-3) had snapped its three-game losing streak.
“I was very surprised,” Hawkins said of NH’s rally. “I wasn’t really expecting it. We had to slow the ball down and had to keep the ball in my hands (in OT).”
Proctor did just that and its star delivered in a showdown between two of the top teams in the TVL. “It’ll boost our confidence,” Hawkins said of the win.
NH coach John Randall was disappointed with the loss, but he did find some good. “We showed a lot of heart to come back,” the veteran coach said. “We made a nice run and the end of the third quarter and in the fourth, (but) we made mistakes we normally don’t make. We’ve just got to clean it up a bit. We got going faster than we wanted to. But Proctor makes you do that.”
Rivera had 12 points, Johnson added 10 and McKinley West had nine to round out Proctor’s top scorers after Hawkins. Frankie Policelli had 24 points, German added 20 and Courto had 10 to pace NH in defeat.
Proctor 19 19 15 24 10 – 87
NH 11 17 18 31 5 – 82
Proctor (2-3): McKinley West 9, Jalen Hawkins 44, Jacob Phoeurng 3, Anthony Graham 1, Makhi Mitchell 3, Jiquel Dinkley 1, DeShawn Stanley 2, Landon Johnson 10, Jacob Rivera 12, Tajh Lacy 2.
NH (4-2): Niko Policelli 3, Ryan Faro 8, Frankie Policelli 24, Troy Henderson 3, Connor Nelson 5, Cooper Deck 8, Noah German 20, Nick Courto 10.