With time dwindling and Spackenkill basketball team trailing by two points, Camron Abalos beat a defender on the perimeter and drove inside. Rather than force a contested shot, Abalos did what he has done successfully so often: Slip a pass to Kyiev Bennermon.
The big fella was double teamed in the paint, but that mattered 6-foot-4, 270 pound center. Bennermon muscled inside, powered through contact, and tossed in a layup as he was fouled with two seconds remaining.
That basket tied the score and his subsequent free throw won the game as the Spartans came from behind to stun New Paltz High School, 55-54, on Thursday in the Mid-Hudson Athletic League final at SUNY Ulster.
READ: New Paltz edges Roosevelt in MHAL semifinal
Abalos, a point guard, also was a star quarterback for the Spackenkill football team. One of his favorite targets last season was his slot receiver, Bennermon. Often, when pressured, he would look for the big target over the middle. And quite often, good things would come. It was no different this time.
Spackenkill finished with a flurry after trailing 49-39 entering the fourth quarter.
The Spartans had defeated Rhinebeck, 57-51, in their semifinal on Wednesday. New Paltz had edged Franklin D. Roosevelt, 59-56, in their semifinal.
Both teams advance to the Section 9 playoffs in their respective classes next week.
Stephen Haynes: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4