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In upset victory, Lake George captures first basketball state championship.

The Lake George Boys Basketball team celebrates minutes after they won the New York State Class C Basketball Championship. Despite a substantial height deficit, the Warriors beat Pine Plains 55 to 45 in the finals Saturday March 16 by following through on their cklever game plan, pursing an aggressive defense that forced a lot of turnovers — and with incredible determination and heart.

The Lake George Boys Basketball team celebrates minutes after they won the New York State Class C Basketball Championship. Despite a substantial height deficit, the Warriors beat Pine Plains 55 to 45 in the finals Saturday March 16 by following through on their cklever game plan, pursing an aggressive defense that forced a lot of turnovers — and with incredible determination and heart. Photo by Thom Randall.

— “It was a matter of doing the small things coach told us to do, all year long,” he said. “box out,” play tough defense all 32 minutes — and however the game is going, never give up the fight.”

He added that all the players were unselfish on offense, and that they all contributed to achieve success.

“Nobody cares who scores the big shot,” he said, adding that Pine Plains’ height, although impressive, didn’t scare them. “We said, ‘We don’t care, we’re gonna do our thing anyway,’ and we gave it our all. This is unbelievable — it’s the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life.”

Connor McCoy, whose last-second shot a week earlier had propelled the Warriors into the state Final Four, seconded the point.

“This is amazing — it’s surreal. No one had us for Sectional champions, but we came out on top,” he said. “It shows the determination and heart of every member of the team.”

Nearby, Coach Jones was all smiles.

“Not in anybody’s wildest dreams was this imagined early in the year,” he said. “The biggest surprise is the fact we were able to keep nearly even on the boards. Also, we got a great job tonight from our interior guys. Pine Plains players were so lanky, it was difficult for us to run our sets. But our guys were dedicated, energetic, and they had the will to win.”

Joel Wincowski, who in the final minutes hit some vital outside shots as well as charging into the basket to score, deferred credit to others.

“We just out-hustled them and focused on what we knew we had to do — it was the mindset of the team.”

Lake George Coach Blake White, who had several of the basketball players on his team, echoed the point.

“They made the plays, they refused to lose,” he said.

Warrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty, an Adirondack League basketball scorekeeper for decades, said the team had an unstoppable momentum this year, and he sensed it particularly after McCoy’s last-second shot that avoided a loss in the regional win.

“The way the kids were playing at the end of the season, you could feel they were going to go all the way, that nothing could stop them,” he said. “It was a matter of destiny.”

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