New Rochelle players and head coach Rasaun Young, second from left, celebrate with the Gold Ball trophy after Khalil Edney hit a shot from the opposite side of the court at the buzzer to give New Rochelle a 61-60 victory over Mount Vernon in the Class AA final at the Westchester County Center in White Plains March 3, 2013. (Seth Harrison/The Journal News )
WHITE PLAINS (LOHUD.COM) - When Khalil Edney spun and looked behind him, his tears of joy turned to tears of sorrow. Mount Vernon had swarmed the court in jubilation. He saw one player, Jakeeme Strugis, doing flips along the baseline. Opposing teammates and coaches tugging on their maroon and gold shirts in celebration.
Here the state-championship-winning quarterback had just swished an improbable 60-footer at the buzzer and he weeped.
"I saw him doing flips and saw that the shot was no good and started crying," Edney said. "I was shocked that we lost."
For a few moments, they had and bedlam ensued. Both New Rochelle and Mount Vernon's celebrations meshed into a big, confused dog pile at center court of the County Center. After initially waiving off the shot, the referees met and determined it counted and that the Huguenots had stunned their archival, 61-60, in a Class AA championship that will live forever.
Edney's heave and the 30 points and seven rebounds from MVP Joe Clarke continued New Rochelle High School's remarkable year. Those two and fellow senior Terrence Holden were central in the football team's state championship last fall, but this even topped that.
"This is No. 1 over the state championship, over the Shaker game and the Pine Bush game, and the last Mahopac game," Clarke said, rattling off both teams greatest feats. "This is No. 1."
New Rochelle (13-9) reached Sunday's final despite entering the playoffs at .500 but seemed like a team that spent its last miracle midway through the fourth quarter.