UTICA — Most people would agree the first few minutes and the last few are the most important of a basketball game.
The Utica boys basketball team found that out the hard way Saturday in the Division II sectional tournament.
London jumped out to a 14-3 lead early in the first, but it was a 16-3 run in the final two-plus minutes that helped the Red Raiders upset the host Redskins, 65-61.
“Give credit to London. They kept playing hard and made the plays they needed down the stretch,” said Utica coach Brian Radabaugh. “I think they made their last six or seven shots. You can’t turn the ball over like we did and expect to win the game, especially down the stretch.”
Utica (10-13) had responded to that early run thanks to the play of senior Luke Holmes. Holmes scored nine straight and helped the Redskins take the lead later in the game. Leading 58-49 with 2:40 left in the game, it looked like the Redskins were going to advance.
But, four Utica turnovers and a hot shooting London squad turned the Utica gymnasium on its ear in the final minutes. The Red Raiders (9-13) blitzed Utica for 15 straight before Spencer Kendall hit a three-pointer with four seconds remaining in the game.
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