GFA cagers advance to FAA finals

The Greens Farms Academy boys basketball team had a busy week in FAA Tournament play, defeating Hamden Hall 99-58 in the quarterfinal, beating St. Luke’s 73-55 in the semifinal and coming up short to Masters in the final 61-50.
Against Hamden Hall, junior Zach Baines unleashed a season’s high scoring performance of 35 points.
Senior Matt Tate put up 17, junior Jim Djema added 16 and freshman Sunday Okeke scored nine.
Senior Brendan Bieder, senior Sam Hodge, junior Dugald Shannon, freshman Matt Smith and sophomore Pat Seegers all contributed impressive minutes.
Djema took a good shot at Tate’s single game school record for assists (13) when he handed out 12.
Senior co-captain Andrew Chase was lost for the season with a back injury.
In the semifinal against St. Luke’s, the Dragons drew on their crowd’s support and prevailed 73-55. Great scoring balance was the theme of the night. Baines had 20, Okeke 19, Tate and Djema both had 15.
In the FAA final, held at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, the setting was epic. The stands overflowed into a standing-room only crowd. Hand signals were the key for both teams as the enthusiastic noise levels could not be shouted over.
The overplayed legs of GFA’s media dubbed Iron Five starters turned to lead in the final stretch. The Dragons saw their 11 point lead dwindle and then finally disappear with 56 seconds left in the game.
Master’s hit a high pressure 3-pointer and then converted on the intentional foul shots in the final seconds to finish with a championship and a 61-56 score.
Bieder and Tate played every minute of their final FAA contest, as did Djema and Baines.
Starting Wednesday, No. 1 seeded GFA will enter the New England Prep School Championship Tournament, facing The Forman School at 4:30 at home in the first round.

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