As soon as the final period started, the Black Knights hit back with a 12-0 spurt of its own. Two free throws from Markell Stith tied it 42-42, and Marquies Young's dunk pushed Henninger back in front. Fired up by this, Henninger saw Kavon Delee hit consecutive 3-pointers and Tommie Spinner put in a rebound basket.
Again trailing by double digits, 52-42, CNS again fought back, sparked by Moonan's third 3-pointer. With the score 58-53, Moonan made a free throw and Williams made a steal on the inbounds pass that led to his basket with 23.2 seconds left, making it 58-56.
CNS quickly fouled, and the Black Knights missed the front end of a one-and-one. Given a chance to tie it or take the
lead, the Northstars instead saw an errant pass lead to a turnover, the team's 19th of the night. Spinner this time made the free throws with 7.5 seconds left to seal Henninger's trip to the sectional finals.
Boyce, buoyed by five 3-pointers, led CNS with 18 points, while Moonan had 13 points and Jackowski, fresh off his 25-point effort in the quarterfinals against Liverpool, got 12 points. Delee (18 points), Young (15 points) and Spinner (14 points) accounted for most of Henninger's production.
Before all this, the CNS girls, stoutly backing up its no. 1 seed in Class AA, took no. 5 seed Christian Brothers Academy apart in a 75-26 romp during its sectional semifinal.
Bent on settling things early, CNS applied full-court pressure and, after allowing the game's first basket, promptly outscored the Brothers 23-2 the rest of the period.
By halftime, the margin was 38-10, yet CNS pressed on and, at least on the offensive end, made CBA pay dearly for its extra attention to Breanna Stewart, who still managed 18 points.
Brittany Paul got open on the perimeter and sank four 3-pointers, finishing with 15 points overall. Abbey Timpano stepped up, too, earning a season-best 14 points as Kelsey Mattice added 10 points and Cara Gannett got eight points.
By contrast, no CBA player scored in double figures, as Marisa Romeo finished with nine points. Kelsey Johnson (seven points) and Ellen Voorheis (six points) were close behind.
CNS will meet no. 3 seed Utica Proctor in Sunday's final at 5:30 at Utica Memorial Auditorium. The Raiders, led by Pittsburgh-bound senior Brianna Kiesel, beat Fayetteville-Manlius 55-39 in the other semifinal on Tuesday.