The Hudson Valley Empire State Boys Basketball team couldn’t have dreamt up a worse scenario to end the first half of their gold medal game. With .5 seconds on the clock, Central inbounded an ally-oop to send the Hudson Valley into the locker room down 17 points. “It was one of those moments,” says Rye senior and Hudson Valley forward, Coner Smith. But he credits Coach Bill Thom with shifting the momentum back with a few choice halftime words.
Tomorrow the paper is going to say Hudson Valley stormed back from a 17 point deficit to take the gold, Conner relayedthe moment.
Inspired, they came out and put good use to the physical style of tough defense that Coach Thom drilled into them. “We just hung in there and slowly came back until we took the leadat the end,” he says of the 89-85 win.
Not really a coincidence with the manner in which the team was put together. There was some surprise with certain players left off the roster, says Coner, because the coach was looking for the type of guys willing to do the little things rather than those just wanting to be stars.
And Conner had no problem buying into the philosophy at game time. I could have tried to score a little more, he says, but we had other guys who could do that so I concentrated on rebounding and defense.
With a gold medal to show for it, he concludes, “We won – that’s the important thing.”