Jared Young generated 12 of his team-high 13 points in the fourth quarter in sparking the Larries to their victory over defending champion Brushton-Moira.
“We were nervous at the start but we picked up the intensity in the second half,” Young said. “We came out thinking that we were not losing tonight.”
With the win, the Larries advanced to the state tournament for the first time since earning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013. They are scheduled to travel to Plattsburgh for a game Tuesday, March 7, to take on the yet-to-be-crowned Section 7 champion.
“This definitely feels different than the other two wins,” said SLC coach Joe Reome. “Those first two teams were mostly players that were already playing varsity when I took over. This group of kids has been with me since the sixth grade. This is something that we’ve been building toward for seven years now. It’s a great feeling.”
“Give credit to Brushton. They played like defending champions. They gave us everything we could handle,” he added. “Our kids deserve a lot of credit, too. We had a tough first half and could have rolled over and quit.”
Sophomore Kolby Perkins gave the Larries their first lead of the game with a putback 14 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Young took over from there, converting on a free throw before going on to reel off another 11 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers. The second three came with 1:52 left in regulation and put the Larries ahead to stay at 43-35.
“We’ve had different players step up for us in every game all year and that was the case again tonight,” Reome said. “Our defense kept us in the game and our perseverance got us over the hump in the second half.”
The Panthers finished 9-13
“I am proud of my boys. They stuck with the game plan, but we just made some mistakes, some young mistakes,” said Brushton-Moira coach Randy Todd II.