Championship streaks continued, some won big for the first time in decades and records fell as part of a monster Section II winter postseason.
The last of the sectionals were held Saturday, when Saratoga Springs earned its first boys’ basketball title in 31 years with a 69-58 win over Bethlehem. Earlier Saturday the Mechanicville girls copped their first area championship since 1989 with a 56-43 win over Fonda-Fultonville. Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons ended a 30-year title drought in girls’ hoop, as well, when it edged North Warren Friday 39-36.
Here a 10 more cool numbers from Section II postseason competitions.
Milestone win total reached by wrestlers Jake Stangle (Ballston Spa), Liam Mooney (Colonie), Cole Edwards (La Salle) and Brendan Covey (Whitehall/Fort Ann) at the Section II division championships. At the Section II class championships the week before, Jared Bentz (Canajoharie/Fort Plain), Vincent Santilli (South Glens Falls), Alec Richards (Corinth) Devon Shader (Coxsackie-Athens) and Dylan Winchell (Warrensburg) got their 100th wins.
Seconds it took Niskayuna seniors Victor Schingo, Bryan Liu, Scott Ward and junior Mark Lipkin to complete the 200-yard freestyle relay, when they won with a Section II record at the area swimming championships. Their 1:26.30 topped a 1:26.47 clocked by Shaker in 2016. The Niskayuna foursome broke their area record (with a 1:25.56) at the state meet and won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association title.
Points produced by Glens Falls basketball star Joseph Girard III in an 88-70 Section II Class B semifinal win over Watervliet. It was not only a Section II tournament record, but the third-highest total ever in Section II behind his 69 last month against Schuylerville and Rich Campoli’s 67 for St. Joseph’s-Albany in 1964 against Bolton Landing.
Games won in a row by the Lake George boys’ basketball team after its late rally against Hoosick Falls in the Section II Class C final. Tournament MVP Chris Becker scored 16 points in the 48-45 victory, which extended the state’s longest current streak. Lake George is 24-0 this year, and went 28-0 last year to tie the Section II one-season record for wins. The defending state champions have not lost a game since bowing to Moravia in the 2017 NYSPHSAA title game.
Points piled up by Catskill senior Justice Brantley in an 89-79 sectional basketball win over Voorheesville. Junior Jon Kempf of Hoosick Falls generated 41 points in a 77-58 sectional win over Canajoharie. Junior Jackson Atty of Fonda-Fultonville notched 40 points in a 69-56 playoff win against Catskill. Atty nailed seven 3-pointers in that game, a total matched by Fonda-Fultonville 11th-grader Abby Lombardoni in a 52-41 playoff win against Tamarac.
Seconds into the Section II Division I hockey final when Bethlehem junior Mike Bievenue scored the first of his three goals in an eventual 4-2 win over Shenendehowa. The Capital District High School Hockey League’s Player of the Year boosted his season goal total to 52 with the hat trick.
Consecutive Section II gymnastics titles accumulated by Saratoga Springs after Laura Eberlein, Ava Dallas and Sophia Damiano sparked another team triumph. The three gave Saratoga a sweep in the all-around, and helped the Blue Streaks win their 25th overall championship with season-best score of 175.075.
Teams that successfully defended their team championships at the four Section II indoor track and field meets, including the Shenendehowa boys and girls, who both won Division 1 titles for the fourth year in a row. The Niskayuna girls (D2) and Greenwich girls (D4) also won their fourth straight titles. The Columbia boys (D2), Albany Academy boys (D3) and Mohonasen girls (D3) repeated.
Consecutive Section II Class A girls’ basketball titles won by Averill Park after the Warriors beat Queensbury 50-41 behind MVP Kelsey Wood’s 14-point, 14-rebound effort. Averill Park has won nine area titles in 10 years, and 11 in the last 14 years.
Competitive cheerleading teams that won Section II titles, including Shenendehowa, which added a fifth at the state meet in the Division 1 Large Division. The other Section II champions and state-meet representatives were Shaker (D1 Small), Scotia-Glenville (D2 Small) and Guilderland (Co-Ed).