NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Ben Kenyon's three pointer in overtime gave Blair Academy the lead for good, and the Buccaneers outlasted Trinity Pawling, 58-52, in a Friday evening semifinal matchup at the Boys' Club Tournament at Basketball City.
The victory moved Blair into Saturday's championship tilt against Worcester Academy, where the Bucs hope to gain some measure of revenge on the Hilltoppers.
Worcester recently defeated Blair in the title tilt of its own tournament in Massachusetts. The rematch will take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Basketball City on Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.
Blair battled back from a large first half deficit, and finally took the lead with 3:31 left in regulation. A turnaround jumper in the lane by Luol Deng (pictured right) gave the Bucs a slim 47-46 edge, and the two teams traded leads in the final minutes.
With the game deadlocked at 50, Stanford signee Jason Haas had a chance to vault his team into the lead, but he missed the front end of a one and one opportunity with seven seconds remaining.
Trinity Pawling had about five seconds to get off the game winner, but Blair's 6-10 junior big man Charlie Villanueva blocked Nick Nolan's shot just before the final buzzer sounded.
Kenyon's three pointer with 1:11 left in overtime was the first basket of the extra session, and it seemed to signal the beginning of the end for Bill Casson's Trinity Pawling club.
In the final seconds, the Bucs hit five of six free throws to salt away the game. Haas hit one of two, while Kenyon and Villanueva hit a pair to push the cushion to six points.
And that was how it ended.
Blair's Deng led all scorers with 18 points, while Kenyon pitched in 14 for the winners. Villanueva finished with nine.
Lanky 6-8 junior forward Dante Milligan led the Pride with 15 points. Nolan contributed 12 points for Trinity Pawling.
Perhaps the biggest story line to emerge for the Pride was the rock solid play of 6-3 point guard Carl Elliott, who finished with seven points in defeat.
Although he needs to boost his core grades, Elliott is a very deliberate floor general who runs the show for Trinity Pawling. Based on his play here, many mid-high Division I programs will be taking a hard look at him this winter. He is a leader and a winner who makes others around him better.
While the Pride was eliminated from championship contention, they still have a chance to play for third place if they can take care of business against the Boys' Club on Saturday morning.
The Insiders Report/Rivalshoops.com will be there to provide you with all of the details, so keep it here for continuing coverage of this event.