Despite all that talent and all that effort, the Greenport High School boys basketball team fell short in its dream of a first state championship.
Not that the Porters didn’t put their time in.
Greenport and Cooperstown battled through three overtimes in a record-setting New York State Class C semifinal. It was a record-setting, 53-point performance by Jack Lambert that put Cooperstown over the top in a 108-98 shootout at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton. The combined 206 points is a state tournament record, easily eclipsing the 179 produced in a Traditional-Hutchinson game in 1982.
After the epic contest, the Porters were exhausted, in every way. Some of them held their heads in their hands, looking down. Some cried and were consoled by coaches or teammates.
Greenport coach Ev Corwin, wearing a reddened face when he emerged from the locker room to meet the waiting media, said of his players: “It’s tough. I feel for them.”
Ahkee Anderson, who led Greenport with 30 points, said: “It was an historical game … Win or lose, we know we played hard. Everyone played so hard.”
Cooperstown (26-2), which went on to win its first state title the following day against Middle Early College, used a 14-1 burst to surge ahead, 102-95, with 52 seconds left in the third overtime.
“It feels like we just played 10 games,” said Corwin, whose 21-3 team lost in a state semifinal for a second straight year.
Greenport (1-6 in the state final-four games) reached a state final once, a four-point loss to South Kortright in 2009.
“I thought this was the year they were going to get their true reward,” Corwin said. “I really, really felt that, but it’s a gauntlet. It’s tough. It’s a long, long process. We ran into a buzz saw.
“I’m just more upset for my guys,” he added. “They’re a great group of kids. I just really feel awful for them.”
Photo caption: Jude Swann defended in the post. (Credit: Jeff Miller/file)