Something quite familiar -- and something quite new -- will be on display when two Syracuse city boys basketball teams pursue Section III championships Sunday at Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Nottingham, seeking to add another chapter to its great hoops legacy, will meet two-time defending state champion Jamesville-DeWitt in the Class A final at 5:30.
This follows the noon tip-off of the Class D final, where Syracuse Academy of Science, in only its third season at the varsity level, will play for its first-ever title against top seed and defending champion New York Mills, who is ranked no. 1 in the state with a 21-0 record.
Both teams reached this point through winning in last Saturday's semifinal round. In Class A at LeMoyne College, Nottingham disposed of Bishop Ludden 56-44, while in Class D SAS needed a last-second shot to get past unbeaten DeRuyter 50-47 at Onondaga Community College.
And a third city team nearly made it, too, as Henninger led going to the fourth quarter of the Class AA semifinal against Utica Proctor at Rome Free Academy, only to see it get away in a 60-53 loss to the Raiders.
SAS had the highest amount of drama. The Atoms, as a no. 3 seed, were facing a 19-0 opponent in DeRuyter, who succeeded in slowing down the game's tempo, making it a sharp contrast to the routs of Madison and Otselic Valley in the early rounds.
The two teams were close much of the way until SAS made a big run early in the fourth quarter, only to see the Rockets roar back, tying it 47-47 in the closing seconds of regulation. Now SAS had to see how much poise it possessed, as it needed a basket to avoid overtime.
They got it when, with two seconds left, Adrian Edwards flashed open, took a 3-point shot -- and made it, the winning basket as the Atoms moved forward.