Wilby -- No. 6 seed, won 65-61 over No. 3 Kennedy
In the rubber game of a three-game set between the rivals, the Wildcats pulled out a win over the Eagles in the second quarterfinal of the day inside the Reggie O'Brien Gymnasium at Wilby High School.
Dimitri Yates hit one of two from the foul line in the final seconds to seal the game. Yates ended up second on the team in scoring with 13 points.
"Basically, we just needed one," Yates said. "That definitely eased some stress off of us."
For Wilby, it was all about coming out and working hard. The start of the game didn't go their way with the Eagles jumping out to a 15-4 lead. The Wildcats battled back to 17-10 after one quarter, then rallied further for a 32-31 halftime lead.
Neither coach seemed particularly happy headed into the halftime break, but Wilby came out ready to go in the second half.
"We've always been a second half team throughout the whole season," Yates said.
That trend continued for the Wildcats, especially for Damian Grant. Grant powered his way to 14 of his team-high 18 points in the second half, including 10 over the final eight minutes.
Desire is what won Wilby this game.
"We just got to keep working," Yates said. "You can't let up, especially with these city teams. We all want to win."
Up next: No. 2 Crosby in the NVL semifinals today at 5 p.m., also at Wilby
Crosby -- No. 2 seed, won 78-60 over No. 7 Watertown
The Bulldogs didn't play particularly well in the first half against the Indians and held just a 32-28 lead after the opening 16 minutes. Things certainly changed in the second half for Crosby, which pulled away and became the first higher seed to win on Saturday. Jeremiah Kendall led a balanced Bulldog attack with 21 points. Daniel Jones had 17, Roary Jadusingh 16, Jordan Booker 11 and Daquan Sinisterra 8 for Crosby.
Up next: No. 6 Wilby in the NVL semifinals today at 5 p.m., at Wilby
Holy Cross -- No. 5 seed, won 69-55 over No. 4 Ansonia
What a difference a few days makes. The Crusaders lost their regular season finale at Ansonia, then came back Saturday to dump the Chargers in the first game of the NVL quarterfinals.
Nyzair Rountree scored 19 points to lead the way, but he had plenty of help. Justin Strielkauskas had 17 points and Jonathan Mowatt came back from injury to help Holy Cross get over the top.
The Crusaders won every quarter and earned a trip to the semifinals.
Up next: No. 1 Sacred Heart in the NVL semifinals today at 7 p.m., at Wilby
Sacred Heart -- No. 1 seed, won 84-40 over No. 8 Wolcott
The Eagles hoped to shock the world in Saturday's final game, but the Hearts quickly showed that they had other ideas. Sacred Heart steamrolled its way to another win, although it was a sloppy one. The Hearts led 38-22 at the half, then buried the Eagles in the second half.
Mustapha Heron had 28 points to pace the Hearts. Tyrn Flowers added 24, Charles Fisher 11, Mikey West 8 and Raheem Solomon 7.
Up next: No. 5 Holy Cross in the NVL semifinals today at 7 p.m., at Wilby
HERE'S HOW THOSE MATCHUPS WENT IN THE REGULAR SEASON
Wilby 79, Crosby 77, Dec. 30 at Crosby
Crosby 69, Wilby 68, Feb. 16 at Wilby
Sacred Heart 77, Holy Cross 65, Jan. 29 at Sacred Heart
Sacred Heart 101, Holy Cross 66, Feb. 16 at Holy Cross