The Genesee Community College men's basketball team was close to a storybook ending in their Region III semifinal playoff game against Erie, but the Kats snatched Genesee's only second-half lead away in the final 30 seconds to end the Cougars' season.
The Cougars entered the second half down by six at 38-32 and trailed by as much as 11 during the second, but Genesee put together an impressive rally that saw the Cougars stay within striking distance before taking their first lead of the second with just one minute to go.
A Brian Fobbs layup made it an 80-79 game, but Erie went back ahead 81-80 with 30 seconds to go before adding a pair of free throws that gave the Cougars just eight seconds to sink a three and send the game to overtime.
Both halves almost played out identical as aside from exchanging baskets in the first few minutes, Genesee trailed almost the entire first half but took its first lead in the final minute with a Rahmel Thompson layup for a 32-31 lead. Erie rattled off the half's last seven points in the final 30 seconds for the 38-32 halftime lead.
The difference in the game ultimately came down to the Kats ability to respond to Genesee taking its lead from them with the Kats holding a collective 11-0 scoring edge when combining the final 30 seconds of each half.
On paper it appeared Genesee was the far better shooting team in holding the edge percentage-wise from the floor 51-40 and from beyond the arc at 42-26, but the Cougars who have been strong at the foul line all season only shot 67 percent to Erie's 85 and Erie dominated the boards with a 45-28 edge to counter Genesee's outstanding shooting prowess. Of Erie's 45 rebounds almost half (22) were offensive. Erie also edged the Cougars in second-chance points (24-11) and bench points (38-9) and were able to hold the nation's leading scorer – Fobbs – to 17 points, something very few teams were able to do all season so credit has to go to Erie's defensive game plan.
Leading Genesee was Thompson with 22 points, followed by 20 from Jarett Haines. Brandon Peters added 10 to give Genesee four double-digit scorers. Fobbs led the team in rebounds with eight, followed by seven from Thompson.
Thompson's 22 points moved him into 10th place on the all-time career scoring list with 1063 points; five ahead of Dave Spiller. Fobbs finished with 1306 in fourth-place all-time and 48 behind No. 3 Rodney Knight.