The final – and only time – Randolph reached a New York State Public Higher College Athletic Association final 4, the Cardinals faced Section III champion Tully in the semifinals.
Midway via the very first quarter of that game, 1 of Randolph’s top rated players, Nick Schobey, was injured underneath the east basket of the then-Glens Falls Civic Center.
Later, when head coach Kevin Hind asked Schobey if he was prepared to re-enter the contest, the Cardinals senior gave his coach a confident “Yes”, but when he stood up to head to the scorer’s table, he collapsed.
Schobey under no circumstances got back in the game, Randolph lost 46-33, and Schobey was later diagnosed with 3 broken ribs.
On Saturday, in Randolph’s very first trip back to Glens Falls because 2004, Hind seasoned an eerie moment of deja vu.
With two:15 remaining in the very first quarter of Randolph’s state semifinal against Section IV champion Moravia, the Cardinals’ Griffin Nelson picked up a steal and soared to the basket for a layup.
It would finish up becoming Nelson’s only bucket of the game.
As the sophomore came down, his momentum carried him into the stanchion holding the basket more than the court and his decrease leg banged into the padded structure.
At the east finish of the court.
In the very first quarter.
At what is now referred to as Cool Insuring Arena.
As he laid on the floor writhing in discomfort, Nelson told assistant coaches and a NYSPHSAA representative that he heard some thing snap.
Sooner or later, he was helped to the bench exactly where his decrease leg/ankle was wrapped. He under no circumstances returned to the game.
Owen Nelson, a senior for the Cardinals and Griffin’s older brother, was clearly impacted by the injury, got into foul difficulty and was under no circumstances genuinely capable to place his stamp on the game.
But Randolph persevered.
Jaiden Huntington was whistled for 3 early travels and the commonly steady inside-outdoors presence for the Cardinals under no circumstances genuinely took more than the game.
But Randolph persevered.
Senior Carson Conley and sophomore Drew Hind carried the scoring load for the Cardinals with 20 points apiece.
And although Roan Kelly, Tristan Farnham and Cooper Freeman have been largely nonfactors at the offensive finish of the floor, they have been just as essential to the Cardinals’ achievement as Conley and Hind.
Kelly was a essential aspect of Randolph’s press break, produced a layup early in the second half, and buried two clutch cost-free throws late that helped place the game out of attain of the Blue Devils.
Farnham grabbed 3 rebounds, helped defensively and didn’t turn the ball more than in his six minutes of action.
Freeman – a jayvee callup who didn’t see varsity minutes till late in the season and has however to score his very first varsity basket – played nine minutes, grabbed a rebound and picked up a essential steal for the Cardinals.
Griffin Nelson sat at the finish of the bench for the whole game and as the final buzzer sounded, his older brother was the very first to come across him for an emotional embrace. Drew Hind ultimately ran to his father for a substantial hug, and straight away located Griffin at the finish of the bench to share a moment.
One particular by 1, every member of the Cardinals embraced Griffin ahead of creating their way to the locker area in the bowels of Cool Insuring Arena.
Griffin Nelson will not physically be on the court with his Cardinals teammates when they take on Section I champion Haldane in today’s five:15 p.m. championship tilt back in “Hometown U.S.A.,” but every of his teammates will carry a piece of him onto the floor.
Coach Hind under no circumstances got to see how his group would respond to losing a essential player back in 2004.
He’ll get that chance these days as the Cardinals play for the program’s very first state title.
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