Sachems just miss on a win for Senior Night

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Wed., Feb. 22, 2012
RHAM’s Kyle Rodegher (left) goes up against Brandon Simmons. Photos by Melanie Savage.
RHAM’s Kyle Rodegher (left) goes up against Brandon Simmons. Photos by Melanie Savage.

The ending of the Feb. 17 varsity basketball game at RHAM was the stuff of dreams for Middletown boys’ basketball coach Dave Sytulek, the stuff of nightmares for RHAM coach Stephen Emt. The Middletown Blue Dragons entered the game with a record of 13-5; the RHAM Sachems entered with a record of 12-6. Both teams had already secured a spot in the state tournament. RHAM was hoping for a win to help secure a spot in the Central Connecticut Conference Tournament.

It was a close game throughout, with RHAM point guard Kyle Rodegher providing offensive leadership for his team. Rodegher was the high scorer with 26 total points. The Sachems were behind by a score of 52-54, with just over one minute left in regulation. A layup by Zach Russo for the Sachems sent the game into overtime.

Middletown scored first in overtime, breaking the tie with a layup. The Sachems answered with a two-pointer of their own, tying the game up again with just over two minutes left in overtime. The Dragons scored two unanswered baskets, bringing the score to 56-60. Rodegher went to the line with 1:37 left in overtime, putting up two good free-throws to put the Sachems within two points. With just over a minute on the clock, Rodegher returned to the line for another two shots. Two good free throws brought the game to another tie at 60-60.

When Rodegher was fouled again, with just 4.2 seconds on the clock, he missed his first free throw but made the second. RHAM fans were elated, figuring their team had won the game by a score of 61-60. Their joy turned to stunned disbelief when Middletown sank a last second three-pointer, bringing the score to 61-63 and ending the game with a loss for the Sachems.

Feb. 17 was Senior Night for RHAM. Seniors on the varsity boys’ basketball team are: Nick Gruner, Conor Wynne and Kevin Finnegan. The Sachems also recognized senior members of the cheerleading squad and the dance team, both of whom performed at half time. Cheerleading seniors are: Alicia Goode and Danielle Levasseur. Dance team seniors are: Allison Hallbach, Samantha Cahill, Anna Casale and Nicole Hebert.

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