HERKIMER — Six players scored in double figures to lead the Fulton-Montgomery Community College men’s basketball team to a 101-94 victory over Cayuga Community College in the semifinals of the Region III Tournament on Saturday at Herkimer College.
Darren Demmitt scored 19 points to lead the eighth-seeded Raiders, who upset top-seeded Mohawk Valley in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Chris Toussaint had 17 points for the Raiders, Dante Morgan had 15 points and Amadou Diakite finished with 13 points. Kobe Vaughan (13 points) and Jaleel Jean Jacques (10) also hit double digits for FMCC (15-10 overall).
The Raiders struggled in the first half with foul trouble, but the Raiders bench stepped up and gave the Raiders a 50-41 lead at the half.
In the second half, FM extended their lead to double digits and led 74-60 with 11 minutes remaining. The Red Barons caught fire and cut the deficit to just 85-83 with five minutes left. The Raiders answered with an 8-0 to close out the contest.
“We didn’t play our best game, but found a way to win. Our guys showed tremendous resiliency after losing the lead and went on an 8-0 run to regain the lead and then finished strong to close out the game,” FMCC coach Ed Collar said. “We need to come out with our best game tomorrow in the championship vs. Herkimer. Hopefully, we can finish off this amazing run and win a championship from the eighth seed.”
Joseph Staton finished with 28 points to lead Cayuga, while Devin Morris had 20 points. Xavier Norgbey scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Spartans, and Messiah Brown added 17 points.
Cayuga finishes its season with a 19-8 overall record.
In the other semifinal matchup, host Herkimer posted an 87-69 victory over third-seeded Onondaga Community College.
Derrick Felder scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the second-seeded Generals, while Tyres Desinor had 17 points. Musa Pough (14 points), Melad Daoud (13), Teshaun Beckles (11) and Mattson Darrah (11) all finished in double figures for Herkimer.
Tyler Sullivan scored 24 points to lead Onondaga, while Nate Cutler added 18 points.
Herkimer (24-5 overall) won both regular-season meetings with FMCC, posting an 80-72 victory at home on Feb. 8 and a 72-64 victory at FMCC on Feb. 12.
FMCC’s last Region III final appearance was in 2007 when it won the title.
The Raiders will travel back to Herkimer today to take on the Generals in the championship game at 2 p.m.
Fulton-Montgomery Community College 101, Cayuga Community College 94
Toussaint 5-7-17, Demmitt 9-0-19, Morgan 5-4-15, Jean Jacques 5-0-10, Vaughan 5-1-13, Diakite 5-1-14, Stenson 2-2-6, Jones 3-0-7. Totals 39=15-101.
Staton 9-8-28, Brown 7-3-17, Morris 6-5-20, Norgbey 7-4-18, Baynes 1-0-3, Mansam 4-0-8. Totals 34-20-94.
3-point goals: FMCC 8 (Diakite 3, Vaughan 2, Jones, Morgan, Demmitt); Cayuga 6 (Morris 3, Staton 2, Baynes).
Halftime: FMCC, 50-41.