LAKE GEORGE - The local high school basketball players broke through a barrier this week as they advanced in the opening rounds of the Class CC Section II Boys Basketball Tournament.
Although the team ended their season with a loss in the sectional quarterfinals Monday night, the earlier sectional games will never be forgotten.
Feb. 25, the team defeated Cambridge 53-36, then followed the victory on Saturday by beating Voorheesville 50-45.
In these accomplishments, the Lake George Warriors set aside what had been almost a hex on the team: for several years, they had lost in the opening game of sectionals, despite having talented and determined squads those years.
In the earlier game, the Warriors overcame a slow start to defeat Cambridge 53-36 with a tenacious defense.
Warrior offensive leader Nathaniel Miller said he was pleased that his team had finally put the tradition of first-round sectional losses behind them.
"It was good for us to get rid of the jitters," he said after the Cambridge game. "We've got our confidence back, and it feels good."
Trailing 7-1 midway through the first quarter, the Warriors fought back to lead Cambridge 8-7 at the end of the first quarter, then outscore them 15-5 in the second stanza.
The second half score advantage, hovering around 15 points, allowed for some risk-taking, including players passing behind their backs, fancy dribbling, no-look passes, and airborne ball interceptions.
"It was a fun atmosphere out there tonight," Jake Nelson said.
Even Cambridge caught the spirit, as freshman guard Will Brominski several times dribbled behind his back as he advanced down the floor.
Despite the fun, the teams played serious ball, Miller said.
With relatively few fouls being called, the Warriors stepped up their physicality, crashing through arms to put the ball in the hoop.
"We were playing as hard as we could out there," Miller said.