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December 07, 2016
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Monticello’s Anthony Gray led the Panthers with 22 points but the Monties’ departure from its set offense and good defense of the three cost them the game.

Cardona was abetted by 14 from E.J. Franskevicz and 11 from Patrick Pierce. Both figured strongly into the second-half resurgence that overcame a 30-18 halftime deficit as the Westies whittled away at Monticello’s lead. Doing what Sullivan West coach Bruce Nober had preached all week long, namely executing strong defense and making the extra pass to find the open shooter, worked like a charm. Monticello’s inability to close out SW’s long-range shooters and to make key buckets down the stretch spelled its demise as the Panthers fell to 1-3 after a subsequent loss to Washingtonville in Monroe-Woodbury’s Taravella Tournament. With 1:22 remaining in the game, the Monties had a one-point lead and the ball, but junior Captain Rob Riley’s shot rolled around and out. Cardona’s final trey of the night put the Dawgs (2-3) ahead 50-48 and they never trailed again. They hit eight of 10 free throws in the final period to help ice the win. The Panthers were paced by Anthony Gray’s 22 points, along with 20 from Riley. But the most talked-about number from the night was three. Sullivan West had netted nine treys in the win, including two each from Franskevicz and Pierce.

It’s hard to remember a time when the three-point shot was not a part of the game of basketball. Who actually invented the concept of a bonus point for a shot beyond of an arc drawn on the floor, which in high school is 19’9” from the basket, is still a matter of controversy. But its trial introduction in a 1945 college game between Fordham and Columbia was a forerunner of its use in both college and professional basketball. It was used first in the American Basketball League (ABL) before becoming a cornerstone of American Basketball Association (ABA), which popularized it (can you say Dr. J?). The NBA, which absorbed the ABA in the 1979-80 season, sanctioned the trey that year from beyond an arc of 23’ 9”. The NCAA adopted its 19’9” line nationally in 1986. The three-point shot has forever changed the game of basketball, but coaches will be the first to tell you that teams that live or die by the three alone have a short-shelf life against those with a more balanced attack. More to come.

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Monticello junior captain Rob Riley had 20 points in the game. This late shot, taken while the Monties had a one-point lead, missed its mark and Cardona followed up with his fifth three to put the Dawgs ahead for good.