Location:Home > slippers > " Rainey said. "We just made history. Ledyard high school has never been to the semis." A noticeable

" Rainey said. "We just made history. Ledyard high school has never been to the semis." A noticeable

Time:2017-11-27 22:07Shoes websites Click:

United States basketball north america Connecticut Ledyard CT

Enfield - Years from now, Ledyard Nation will talk about where Rainey's Rainbow ranks in memorable moments in Colonel sports history.

As of Monday night, John Rainey's game-winning, buzzer-beating bank shot was No. 1 in the hearts of the upset-minded Colonels and their fans.

His dramatic basket propelled No. 9 Ledyard past top-seeded and previously undefeated Enfield, 69-67, in the quarterfinals of the CIAC Class M boys' basketball tournament.

"I shot up a prayer," Rainey said.

The Colonels (21-6) set a school record for wins while advancing to Wednesday's semifinals against No. 4 Watertown at 7 p.m. at Central Connecticut State University.

"I'm so happy for the kids," coach Dave Cornish said. "We played so hard. I don't think it should have come down to this, but the glass slipper still fits."

The potent inside duo of junior Chris Gill (21 points) and sophomore Darnay Gray (22 points) led the Colonels and junior Tom Whipple had 15 points, 11 in the second half.

Ledyard battled through enormous pressure in the form of a hostile crowd and tenacious trapping defense. The Colonels took a 34-28 halftime lead and never trailed in the second half but briefly buckled, failing to hold an eight-point edge with three minutes left.

In a frantic final few minutes, Enfield (25-1) stormed back to tie the game behind the play of senior Tra Preston (30 points). His two free throws with 31 seconds left cut the Ledyard lead to 67-65.

Three seconds later, Enfield fouled junior Jaquantee Reels, who missed the front end of a 1-and-1, giving the Raiders life. Preston set up freshman Rachone Preston for the game-tying layup with seven seconds remaining.

Timeout Ledyard.

Enfield set up its press that had hounded Ledyard all game. The Colonels inbounded the ball to Gray who quickly dribbled past mid-court and passed to an open Rainey.

After checking the clock, the junior launched an 18-foot jumper that banked in, setting off a wild celebration. Ledyard fans stormed the court while shocked Enfield followers looked on.

Somewhere at the bottom of the pile, Rainey celebrated, too. "It's tremendous," Rainey said. "We just made history. Ledyard high school has never been to the semis."

A noticeable buzz could still be heard throughout the gym as Rainey talked about the play. The plan was attack but also make sure to use up every second.

"We wanted the last shot," Cornish said. "We didn't even want them to get a chance to get another shot."

Ledyard never let Enfield take command even after falling behind 21-16 in the first quarter. Gray dominated inside, scoring 11 points in the first eight minutes and had 15 in the first half.

The Colonels also had success going inside to Gill who had eight points in the second quarter to push his team in front. Their tight man-to-man defense cooled off the Raiders who had only one field goal in the last 5:07 before intermission.

Two minutes into the fourth quarter, the Colonels increased their lead to 56-46 - their biggest of the game. They somehow held on for the win thanks to Rainey's Rainbow.

"This was great atmosphere and a great high school game," Cornish said. "We like playing on the road in a hostile environment.

"I told the kids we were underdogs. We're not even supposed to be here. But we want to shock Connecticut tonight. The last undefeated in the state was Enfield and we wanted to come in here and show we're a good basketball team, too."

Mission accomplished.

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