It’s a big state, and there are plenty of good high school boys basketball teams in New York. Greenport definitely was one of them, but it was the Porters’ misfortune to run into an even better one in the state Class C semifinals.
Greenport enjoyed a tremendous run last season. It was the ending, though, that the Porters weren’t crazy about.
The end came in the cold Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in snowy Binghamton, where Greenport was outplayed by undefeated Lake George in the semifinals, 73-58.
“We thought we could get through this team and they just outshot us, outplayed us,” Greenport forward Tyrus Smiley said. “They are a really tough team.”
Lake George (28-0) shot out to a 20-8 lead and never looked back. The Warriors brought a lot in the form of 6-7 center Chris Becker (23 points on 9-for-11 shooting, 13 rebounds, three blocks, two steals), 6-5 forward Mason Flatley (20 points, nine rebounds, four steals, three assists), Alex Jones (14 points) and Caleb Scrime (13 points, five assists).
Greenport’s only lead came from a Jaxan Swann layup off the game’s opening tipoff.
Ahkee Anderson had 19 points for Greenport (23-4), which also received 17 points and six assists from Jaxan Swann and eight points and 14 rebounds from his brother Jude, who received a sportsmanship award.
Lake George went on to win its second state title in four years, edging Northstar Christian Academy (25-2), 66-65.
It was quite a season for Greenport. The Porters won their fourth regional title and first since 2009 with a 78-63 victory over Alexander Hamilton in the Southeast Region final at Pace University in Pleasantville. Anderson (game-high 28 points, nine rebounds, six assists, four steals, two blocks) and Jude Swann (22 points, 17 rebounds) powered the Porters.
Earlier, League VIII champion Greenport beat Stony Brook, 71-41, for its first county championship since 2010 and 11th overall.
“They’re an easy team to root for,” coach Ev Corwin said of his Porters. “They’re all for each other, really. It’s a great thing when you have talent and also unselfishness and chemistry. It’s a beautiful combination. It doesn’t happen all the time and when it does, it’s just fun to be a part of it.”
Photo caption: The Class C champion Greenport Porters. (Credit: Garret Meade)