When it mattered most, Monte Buckingham rose to the occasion.
Cold all night from the floor and the free throw line, plus in foul trouble from almost the opening tap, Buckingham nailed a three-pointer from the top of the circle with :28 left to break a 61-61 tie, spurring Henrico to a 68-63 win over Armstrong in the T-DIT semifinals at Randolph-Macon College.
Buckingham, who also survived a scare in the fourth quarter, coming down awkwardly on his left knee, played the entire fourth quarter with four fouls, and overcame losing two opportunities for three-point plays in the final stanza to finish with 18 points.
Matthew Wallace had 14 points for Henrico (5-0), while Ryan Pearson had 11.
The Warriors advance to the tournament final Monday at 8:30 at the Siegel Center where they'll face Benedictine, who defeated Highland Springs 60-53. Inexplicably, with 1:18 to go, the Springers opted not to foul, and Benedictine ran out the final 78 seconds. Robert Johnson led the Cadets with 23 points.
In girls action, Highland Springs raced out to an early lead and easily defeated Hermitage 80-53 to advance to a girls final showdown with Cosby, who defeated Patrick Henry.
The Monday Tournament schedule:
9AM: 7th Place Girls: Collegiate vs. Meadowbrook
10:30AM: 7th Place Boys: St. Christophers vs. Matoaca
12Noon: 5th Place Girls: St. Catherine's vs. Glen Allen
1:30PM: 5th Place Boys: Trinty Episcopal vs. John Marshall
3:30PM: 3rd Place Girls: Patrick Henry vs. Hermitage
5PM: 3rd Place Boys: Armstrong vs. Highland Springs
6:30PM: Girls Championship: Cosby vs. Highland Springs
8PM: Boys Championship: Henrico vs. Benedictine