Brendan Mulson is known for his shooting ability, his unselfish play and for being a good teammate.
But blocking shots? Well, the Colonie senior guard — fearing his career might end Saturday night — saved the Garnet Raiders' season in the waning seconds.
Green Tech guard Tobias Holmes, with the Eagles trailing by one point, drove the lane and had his shot swatted away by Mulson. Colonie junior star Isaiah Moll added a foul shot, and the Eagles missed a half-court shot at the buzzer, allowing the top-seeded Garnet Raiders to slip out of Hudson Valley Community College with a 64-62 triumph in a Class AA quarterfinal.
"It kind of came down to willing out that win," Mulson said. "We needed a stop. We hadn't gotten stops. I will do anything for this team. My season was not going to end. He drove at me, and I knew I had long enough arms. I was lucky enough to block it."
No. 1-seeded Colonie (18-3), winner of 13 straight contests, returns to action Tuesday night at Glens Falls Civic Center for semifinal play against No. 5 Schenectady (17-5). The Patriots put together an impressive showing at both ends of the floor to beat Saratoga, 68-51.
Marcus Friend hit a fade-away jumper in the lane with 31.3 seconds left to provide Green Tech (10-10) a 62-61 lead, but Moll answered back for Colonie by driving to the basket and getting fouled with 18.9 seconds remaining. The junior hit both foul shots to put Colonie up 63-62.
After a time out, Holmes drove to the basket and was denied by Mulson.
"One of the greatest games I've coached in," Green Tech coach Jamil Hood Sr. said. "A No. 9 seed vs. No. 1 seed couldn't get any better than that. Both teams played fantastic."
Green Tech used a 15-5 surge to take a 27-22 lead to intermission.
"I am not happy with the first half. Not at all," Colonie coach Ken Dagostino said. "We deviated from the game plan. Whatever the game plan was the last 12 days, we did not do in the first half. ... Green Tech played unbelievable. All credit to them."
For Schenectady, senior standout T.J. Jenkins pointed to a regular-season Suburban Council loss against Saratoga as one of the season's low points. If that is true, than Saturday's victory over the Blue streaks might be the Patriots' best moment.
Schenectady seized command immediately and held off a second-half push by the No. 4 seed.
John Ryals led Schenectady with 23 points and 15 rebounds. T.J. Jenkins produced 15 points, Elijah Nisbitt delivered 10 points and four blocks and Cameron Coles chipped in nine points and eight assists.
The Patriots' win gives the program its first AA semifinal appearance since 2006.
"We were on a mission," Jenkins said. "This was a much different game than the first time we played them. Everyone did what they needed to do."
"Our defense was a big thing," Schenectady coach Eric Loudis said.
Adam Anderson paced the Blue Streaks with 18 points, but 11 came in the fourth quarter.
"Schenectady came out fired up. They played great," Saratoga coach Matt Usher said. "They hit big shots, and unfortunately, we were a little sloppy."
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