Due, in large part, to Derrick Cenicola's accuracy from 3-point range, the Hamilton boys basketball team is still dreaming of a Section III Class D-1 championship.
In last Friday night's D-1 quarterfinal, Cenicola connected six times from beyond the arc and gained 28 points overall, helping the no. 5 seed Emerald Knights go to overtime against no. 4 seed LaFargeville and ultimately prevail by a score of 59-57.
Ignoring the hostile setting and quickly shaking off the long bus ride to the north country, Hamilton bolted out to an 18-7 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Yet LaFargeville made it all up before halftime, tying it 27-27 by going on its own hot streak and setting the stage for a tense, tight battle the rest of the way.
Neither side could make a sustained run in the second half, and despite good chances at the end of regulation, they remained tied, 53-53, requiring four extra minutes to settle it.
Baskets were precious in the OT, and the Emerald Knights didn't get many. But It held LaFargeville to just four points, getting key defensive stops as Mark Schindler and Matt Broedel led on that end.
Aside from Cenicola's consistent 3-point connections, Schindler had the most to do with this win, collecting 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Broedel was right behind with 10 points and eight steals. Nick Donnelly (19 points) and Garett Robins (14 points) led LaFargeville's effort.
Hamilton (12-9) will try to spring an even bigger surprise this weekend when it meets no. 2 seed Oriskany (15-6) in this weekend's D-1 semifinal. Oriskany beat Syracuse Academy of Science 82-77 in its quarterfinal contest. Whoever wins here gets Richfield Springs or Remsen in the D-1 final next week.