When Ardsley walked off the floor following a heartbreaking loss to Byram Hills on Jan. 25 — the Panthers’ third loss in four games — coach Sean Cappiello sensed a revelation in his team.
“We knew we could play with them,” Cappiello said. “We knew we could play with anyone.”
Ardsley hasn’t lost since. The surging confidence in the Panthers and ability to handle late-game pressure was on full display on Tuesday at the Westchester County Center. They eighth-seed overcame a six-point deficit to fourth-seeded Hen Hud in the fourth quarter for a 48-43 win in the Section 1 Class A semifinals at the Westchester County Center.
Zeke Blauner scored 18 points, knocking down three 3-pointers, while seniors Julian McGarvey and Sean Casey made clutch shots late in the victory.
Casey scored 11 points, eight coming in the fourth quarter. McGarvey scored nine and, combined with Danny Hewitt, did a terrific job in Ardsley’s zone defense at limited Hen Hud in the paint and on the boards.
Mehki Gray scored 15 points and Kyle James added 11 for Hen Hud.
Ardsley will meet No. 6 seed Tappan Zee in the Section 1 final on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Pace University.