HUDSON — The Columbia-Greene Twins hosted the Herkimer Generals Thursday afternoon and lost a Region III heartbreaker, 81-79.
The game was hotly contested from the outset, and the Twins held their own against Herkimer, one of the top NJCAA Division III men’s basketball teams in the nation.
Generals’ freshman guard Kayshawn Miller hit three huge three-pointers and a layup for Herkimer in the early stages that fueled their offense.
Though the Twins gave up open baskets in the opening minutes, they scored with ease on the other end and kept pace.
With 7:00 left in the first half, the Generals called a timeout to reset as they trailed 31-25.
It paid off three minutes later when they tied the score at 33. As halftime drew closer, Generals’ Shykell Brown knocked down a three-point shot to take back their lead with 1:39 to go.
After trading another few baskets in the final minute of the half, the Twins led 41-40 at the break, after another three-pointer from Cameron Thomas.
Both teams started the second half going shot-for-shot, just as they ended the first, but the Twins needed to stay focused. There were some questionable no-calls by the referees on the Twins’ next few possessions that could have sent them to the line for a shot at taking the lead.
This forced the Twins to make extra passes and settle for deep shots, instead of driving to the paint where fouls were not getting called. Having to take lower-percentage shots allowed the Generals to climb back into the game.
Herkimer cut the Twins’ lead to 74-73 at the free throw line at the 2:25 mark, with the Twins in trouble with seven team fouls. Myles Ukoh delivers in the clutch with a huge blocked shot and sent the ball out of bounds off of the shooter.
The Twins could not turn that into points however, and committed a charge on the other end.
Inside of a minute, Twins’ Zach Hedgepeth knocks down a three-pointer but Generals’ Dante Griffin hits a three of his own on the ensuing possession with 57.6 on the clock.
Thirty seconds of game time, two missed layups, a few free-throws later, the score was tied at 79 with 25.1 left, as the Twins call a timeout.
Columbia-Greene then commits a five-second violation on the in-bound play, turning it over to the Generals for a final shot. After repeatedly screaming at his teammates not to foul, Ukoh does just that, and Herkimer makes both free throws to go up, 81-79.
After a final timeout by the Twins, Ukoh took the final shot from beyond the arc, hitting it off glass and the rim at the buzzer.
Herkimer improves to 10-5 and Columbia-Greene falls to 5-11 after this classic, well-fought, game on Thursday afternoon.