March 7th, 2012
NFA falls to Middletown in the semi-finals, 64-53
NFA Goldback Jarrod Scurlock (5) defends Middletown Middie Aaron Ray (33) who scored 22 points during their semi-final game at Mount Saint Mary College. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.
Newburgh - Over 1,200 fans packed Mount Saint Mary College last Thursday night for the Section 9 Class AA boys basketball semifinal game. Excitement filled the air as fans and players alike understood what was at stake.
The Middletown Middies would battle the three-time defending champions Newburgh Free Academy. The winner would move on to the face the top-seed, Kingston, for the Section 9 Class AA Championship.
Newburgh has played for the title every year since 2005. Middletown would be seeking its first title birth.
From the opening tip-off, Middletown dominated Newburgh. Middletown’s Aaron Ray scored seven points in the first quarter to help the Middies take a 15-6 lead.
Newburgh bounced back in the second quarter thanks to Jonte Rutty, who put up 10 of the Goldback’s 13 points, bringing NFA within five at the half. However, it was a thunderous Kendrick Ray dunk that sent the message that Middletown came to play before half time.
NFA sophomore Donovan Fields was on fire in the third quarter, posting 10 of Newburgh’s 18 points. Teammate Jarrod Scurlock scored his only four points in the quarter. Scurlock, who average’s 21 points per game, was completely shut down by the Middies defense. With Scurlock neutralized, Middletown’s Kendrick Ray posted nine more points for the Middies, giving them a 46-37 lead.
While Fields scored eight points in the fourth, it wasn’t enough. Ray stepped up in the fourth, scoring 10 points, to put Newburgh away, 64-53.
Middletown’s Aaron Ray scored a game-high 22 points. Kendrick Ray added 18 and Afonso James scored 13.
Donovan Fields led Newburgh with 21 points and Jonte Rutty posted 17.
Third-seeded Middletown moved on to play, and beat, top-seeded Kingston for the Section 9 Class AA championship on Saturday at SUNY New Paltz.