WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Kingstons Justin Robinson had just one thought as Joseph Clarke's last-second, three-point, half-court heave headed toward the basket.
Dont go in. Dont go in. Dont go in.
His wish came true, as the shot bounced off the backboard and Kingston pulled out a thrilling 57-55 win over New Rochelle in the first round of the Slam Dunk Tournament at the Westchester County Center on Wednesday. The Tigers will face Jamestown in the championship on Thursday at 8 p.m., while the Huguenots will face Kennedy Catholic in the consolation game at 6 p.m.
With the score tied at 53 with 48 seconds to go, New Rochelles Kirkland Ottey put back a missed free throw to give New Rochelle a two-point lead. Robinson then dribbled down the court and nailed a jumper to tie the game at 55.
New Rochelle called timeout with 7.5 seconds to play. The Tigers stole the ball and Sean Fener fouled Robinson, who coolly sank two free throws with 0.4 seconds left. The Huguenots last chance clanged off the top of the glass.
Huguenots coach Billy Murphy declined to speak to reporters after the game.
Clarke led New Rochelle with 22 points of his own and led all players with 15 rebounds. Robinson finished with 22 points to lead his team, and the two most important points came on the final free throws.
Although Jamestown, the Tigers opponent in Thursdays championship game, lost in the state finals last year, Robinson would only say they are okay.
When told of the Red Raiders trip to the finals last season, Robinson still did not yield.
Last years last year, Robinson said.
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