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It was fitting on a night when Shlomo Ashkanazy dictated play, that he would also dictate the game's ending.
At the end of regulation, the Yeshiva point guard went to the line for two shots from the charity stripe. With just 14.8 seconds remaining, his first free throw bounced off the back rim. His second shot, following a timeout, was true. In overtime, he nearly played hero once again, but his buzzer-beating three rattled off the rim, allowing Roycemore to emerge Monday night with a 41-40 victory in the opening round of the Christian Liberty Academy Regional of the Class 1A playoffs.
While the Yeshiva junior finished with 21 points, accounting for 21 of his team's 34 points from the second quarter through the fourth quarter, Roycemore point guard Randy Hewitt hit the game-winning shot, utilizing a screen to knock down a three-pointer from the top of the key with fewer than two minutes remaining in overtime.
After the game, Roycemore coach Tim Anstett was quick to point out that Hewitt's excellence extends beyond one game-winning shot.
"He's a great defender," Anstett said. "Earlier in the season, he was one rebound, I think it was, short of a quadruple-double. He had 11 steals and 12 assists and 12 points. We told him he had to work on his rebounding because he had nine."
After Hewitt's go-ahead three-pointer, Yeshiva had its chances, but junior guard Kobi Greenfield missed a chance to tie it from the charity stripe and Ashkanazy's last-ditch attempt fell just short.
Ashkanazy gave Yeshiva a five-point lead out of the locker room with a pretty finger roll, but Roycemore responded with a 13-4 third-quarter run, led by senior Joel Klopfenstein, who notched a three-pointer, a three-point play and a two-pointer during the Griffins' run.