WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. The Biondi School refused to go away quietly in Fridays Class D championship, and they ultimately walked away with the title.
Biondi trailed Greenburgh Academy by eight with five and half minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but stormed back to win, 69-59, to claim the gold ball.
Im an old coach, but a new coach coming in, said coach Bob Delle Bovi, the longtime Pleasantville coach who took over Biondis program this year. They had to learn my system. I had to learn their weaknesses and strengths. We struggled all year but they never gave up and they were always willing to learn.
The Lions faced a 10-0 deficit to start the game and trailed 21-7 at the end of the first quarter. The Crusaders led, 31-24, at halftime.
Biondi pulled within one at 39-38 but Greenburgh went on a 6-0 run to make the lead 45-38 at the end of the third quarter. The Crusaders led 54-46 with about 5:30 to play, but thats when Biondi made its move.
Delle Bovi spoke to his players at the end of the third quarter, and his words seemed to reach them, particularly Lance McDowdell. The big man finished with 26 points and 15 rebounds, was a force in the fourth quarter and earned all-tournament MVP honors.
I said, You cant give up. The games not over till the final buzzer. Lets get it inside and play defense, Delle Bovi said.
Biondi won its second consecutive Class D championship, and Delle Bovi won his first as coach of the Lions. He had nothing but pride in his players after the game.
They never quit, which is pretty evident by tonight, Delle Bovi said. They just want to play for the love of the game. You cant beat that. They write books about that.
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