Raiders Defy Odds During Section 1 Championship

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With maroon and white rippling through the crowd, Raider rooters cheered on the Scarsdale boys’ basketball team as they made history at the County Center during one of the most thrilling comebacks in Section 1 history.
After a successful regular season with a record of 14-5, the Raiders earned the #3 seed and looked towards the playoffs with excitement and determination. They won their first two post-season games against Mamaroneck and Horace Greeley, then defeated Yorktown at their first County Center game, bringing them to the Section 1 finals against Mt. Vernon on March 5, whom they had lost to twice in the regular season. Mt. Vernon was favored to win by a large margin, but despite that, the Raiders felt energized by the County Center and the fact that all of their friends were there to support them. “It was really fun playing in that environment. At the County Center, anything can happen,” said Nash Goldman ’18. Right from the tip off, Mt. Vernon gained momentum and shut down Scarsdale’s offense so that they did not score until late in the first quarter. The first quarter ended with a score of 17-9, with Mt. Vernon in the lead. The second quarter was not much different; the Raiders’ shots were heavily contested by Mt. Vernon and were bouncing out of the hoop as Mt. Vernon’s lead lengthened. By the end of the first half, the score was 37-15, and the Raider rooters’ hopes began to waver.
The third quarter seemed to be a replica of the second at first; with three minutes left, Mt. Vernon was leading Scarsdale 44-18. However, at that point, the trajectory of the game completely changed. Senior captain Max Bosco scored ten straight points for the Raiders, and junior guard Jared Schulman scored a buzzer beater before the end of the quarter, shrinking the deficit at the end of the third quarter to 46-31. At the start of the fourth quarter, the difference in Scarsdale’s attitude was almost tangible both on and off the court. The Raider rooters grew louder, and the players increased their intensity under the leadership of shooting powerhouse Bosco. “Max Bosco is an unselfish leader, so everyone was unselfish on the team,” noted Joey Lane ’19. By the halfway point of the fourth quarter, Bosco had scored 23 points in the second half alone. Despite this incredible performance, the Raiders were still down by ten points with a score of 53-43, with only a few minutes left. The Raiders continued their surge with another 9-0 run, and with 30 seconds left, they were only down by one point. With 25 seconds on the clock, Mt. Vernon scored a two-pointer, making the score 55-52. After a brief timeout, the Raiders spent the next 25 seconds searching for an open three-pointer, and they finally found one with 2.7 seconds on the clock when junior Will Hoffman scored the tying shot, bringing the game into overtime.
The Raiders were overcome with emotion as spectators struggled to remain in their seats and the stadium filled with cheers. The Raiders had made an unlikely comeback, and if they won this game, then they would be the first Scarsdale boys’ basketball team to win the Section 1 Class AA title since 1992. “We knew that our shots would begin to fall, and once we started to believe in that, and believe in the offense, everything started to click,” reflected Nash Goldman. During overtime, Mt. Vernon picked up their momentum from earlier and won with a score of 67-61. In the end, Leo Katz ’18 scored 3 points, Jared Schulman scored 4, Trevor Nossel ’18 scored 4, Will Hoffman scored 7, Nash Goldman scored 8, and Max Bosco scored 35. While the players were disappointed by the loss, they were still amazed by the outcome. “It’s the best way to lose,” said Joey Lane.
In this year’s section championship, the Scarsdale Raiders defied their past experiences with Mt. Vernon, people’s predictions for the game, and the scoreboard in their comeback against Mt. Vernon. Like Nash Goldman said: anything is possible at the County Center.

by Alex Wilson