Henninger wins fifth straight Mayor's Roundball Classic

Officially, it's called the Mayor's Roundball Classic - but unofficially, Henninger has gained exclusive property over the annual boys basketball gathering of the city's four large high schools.

When the Black Knights pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Fowler 62-48 Wednesday night in the championship game at LeMoyne College, it captured the Mayor's Cup for the fifth consecutive year - and the seventh time overall in the tournament's nine-year history.

No doubt, having talent, strong coaching and a program with a deep history of success helps - but a little bit of good fortune has to exist in order to capture any single event year after year.

Just that sort of fortune found Henninger during the final. Fowler, still in search of its first-ever Mayor's Roundball Classic title, was standing up to what Henninger was throwing at them, at one point gaining a 28-20 lead late in the first half.

Midway through the second quarter, though, one of Fowler's top players, Malcolm Jones, went to the sidelines with an injured left foot, not to return. Jones was a vital reason why the Falcons were off to a 3-1 start, including Tuesday night's 53-40 victory over Nottingham in the opening round where Jones finished with 19 points.

Without Jones to bother Henninger in the middle, the Black Knights quickly erased its deficit early in the third quarter, moving ahead 36-32. Fowler fought back and tied it, 36-36, early in the fourth quarter, but its thin roster (it dressed just nine players) was left even more vulnerable with Jones on the bench.

So when Kavon Delee hit a 3-pointer from the corner to push Henninger back in front 39-36, it launched a 15-3 run. The Falcons were kept without a field goal for nearly seven minutes as the Black Knights, once again, secured city bragging rights.

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