Quick thoughts: Seward’s state Class D quarterfinal

A comeback seemed insurmountable.

S.S. Seward found itself down 17 points entering the fourth quarter of its state Class D quarterfinal against Newfield.

In front of a pro-Newfield crowd at Binghamton’s Floyd L. Maines Memorial Arena, the Spartans closed the gap to seven points twice in the fourth quarter. S.S. Seward regained possession with under 3 minutes left. Sophomore sensation John Guerra dribbled the ball near Seward’s bench. Guerra was trapped by two Newfield defenders. After contact from a Newfield player, an official called Guerra for stepping out of bounds to the chagrin of Seward coach Rob Gravelle, who was a few feet away from the play. Seward’s momentum faded after the call as Newfield hit its next eight free throws to seal the 57-40 win.

“I didn’t think I stepped out of bounds,” said Guerra, who had 30 points, when asked about the play after the game. “I wasn’t sure. I’m not going to argue with what the ref says but I didn’t think I stepped out. I thought it was definitely a hand check or something.”

Guerra scored 16 of Seward’s 20 first-half points, including all nine of its points in the second quarter. Seward held Newfield to six points on 3-of-12 shooting. But, Newfield came out hot after halftime, hitting seven of its 11 shots. Newfield made 3-pointers in the third quarter. The Trojans hit four 3-pointers all game.

Throughout Seward’s season, a secondary scorer has stepped up to compliment Guerra. That didn’t happen Sunday. Guerra’s teammates combined to shoot 10.8 percent from the field (4-for-37).

“We were just horrible shooting,” Seward senior Ryan Stam said. “I think 24 percent on layups. We have to make more than that.”

IN-DEPTH BOX SCORE

S.S. SEWARD (40)
John Guerra 10 6-8 30; Ryan Stam 1 0-0 2; Vinny Vinetti 0 0-0 0; A.J. Valenti 0 0-2 0; Nick Knecht 1 0-0 2; Andrew Sanchez 0 0-0 0; Bobby Verblaauw 0 0-0 0; Matt Stam 2 0-0 6; Joe Villani 0 0-0 0; Grant Gravelle 0 0-0 0; David DeGroat 0 0-0 0; Matt Mulhare 0 0-0 0; Keyshawn Johnson 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 6-10 52.

NEWFIELD (57)
Greg Moravec 3 5-7 11; Stephen LaBarge 4 2-2 12; Patrick King 4 2-2 12; Patrick Banfield 4 0-0 8; Quintel Clements 3 6-10 12;  LaRon Boykin 1 0-0 2; Brent Spencer 0 0-0 0; Andrew Miller 0 0-0 0; Josh Wood 0 0-0 0; Nolan Ruocco 0 0-0 0; Andrew Miller 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 15-21 57.

S.S. Seward 11 9 5 15-40
Newfield 14 6 22 15-57

Halftime: S.S. Seward 20, Newfield 20. Fouled out: Verblaauw. Three-pointers: S.S. Seward – Guerra 4, Matt Stam 2; Newfield – Stephen LaBarge 2; Patrick King 2. Field goal percentage: S.S. Seward 25 percent  (14-for-56); Newfield 43.2 percent (19-for-44). Three-point percentage: S.S. Seward 30 (6-for-20); Newfield 33 (4-for-12). Rebounds: Newfield 31, S.S. Seward 28. Turnovers: Newfield 8, S.S. Seward 7.

Individual statistics: S.S. Seward – Guerra 7 rebounds; Valenti 5 assists; Verblaauw 6 rebounds, 3 blocks. Newfield – Clements 7 rebounds, 3 blocks; Moravec 7 rebounds, 5 assists.

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    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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