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Rams beat Mexico, get Class A showdown with Ludden

ESM blows late lead in OT defeat to Oneida

Just as J-D was earning its shot at Ludden (whom it lost to 57-45 back on Dec. 4), East Syracuse-Minoa, the no. 9 seed in Class A, was on the brink of knocking out no. 8 seed Oneida, only to see the Indians rally and, in overtime, eliminate the Spartans 67-64.

With less than four minutes left, ESM had a 56-48 lead, having surged in the second half after trailing 33-25 at the break. Evan Reader earned 10 of his 12 points in the third quarter to put the Spartans in front, 45-44, and baskets from Eyan Underwood (who had 19 points) built the margin early in the final period.

But when Richardson, who finished with 19 points (14 of them in the first half to keep his side close), fouled out with 2:15 left, Oneida went on an 8-0 run to pull even, 56-56, before Dan MacDougall's 3-pointer pushed ESM back in front.

Again the Indians fought back, tying it at 59-59, and when Kyle Peck was fouled twice in the last 30 seconds, he looked like he would put Oneida ahead. Incredibly, Peck missed all four foul shots, and ESM lived to see overtime.

Shaking off his misses, Peck promptly made back-to-back baskets early in the OT period, putting Oneida up 65-61. For the rest of the four-minute frame, ESM crept closer, but never caught up, unable to get a potential tying 3-pointer off in the waning seconds.

Peck finished with 29 points, but had ample help from Lucas Durant (14 points), Matt Carinci (13 points) and Tyler Kuhn (10 points). Underwood got 17 points, two behind Richardson, while Brandon Breen managed eight points for the Spartans, whose season ended with an 8-11 record.

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