LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - This weekend was originally set to be championship weekend on the hardwood for the New York State Basketball Championships.
A weekend by all indications the Lowville Boys Basketball Team should have been making their 2nd straight appearance in the State Class B Championship game in Glens Falls. Instead of being on the hardwood, the Red Raiders find themselves left on the sidelines wondering what could have been due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last season, the Lowville boys basketball season finished in heartbreak with a 75-74 last second loss to Glens Falls in the State Class B Championship game.
This season, the Red Raiders season ended in heartbreak as well, despite a 71-50 win over Solvay to capture back to back Section 3 Class B Championships. The Red Raiders never had a chance to make it back to the state title game with the winter sports championships postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“You know, it’s certainly a disappointment to not be able to keep going and just to see how far we could have taken things after last year. You know, we felt pretty good about ourselves coming into this year with all the experience that we’ve gained. You know, it’s awful for the seniors, for the kids that aren’t coming back. But we certainly understand what’s going on big picture wise and yeah, it’s just sad,” said Lowville Coach Zachary Shambo.
The Red Raiders lose 7 seniors off this year’s squad, including Chad Bach and Brett Myers, both key players in the Red Raiders sectional repeat. The duo now left to wonder what could have been in a season that held so much promise.
“Yeah, it’s definitely heartbreaking especially because I’m a senior and because I can’t come back next year and us guys we’ve put in a lot of work. Us 5 guys on the starting group and all the guys on the bench just cheering all the time put in a lot of work. So it’s definitely, definitely heartbreaking for everyone,” said Myers.
“Just thinking about like the what if. Like, what if we got to play the rest of the season? Would we have gone to where we were last year? Would we have won it? I guess you really never know. The season ended but it wasn’t on our own terms,” said Bach.
The Red Raiders finished the season 22-1, winners of 20 straight and the top ranked team in the state in Class B in the New York State Sportswriters Association poll.
And while there will be no official state champion for the 2019-2020 season, the Red Raiders proved night in and night out they were the best team in the state in Class B.
“But we’re happy with what we accomplished. If we can’t continue to play, we know what we got done and what that means to us and our community. So if it has to end here, with all our seniors, you know at least we left a mark on our community one more time,” said Gavin MaCaulay.
“We’ve always said all year after we win sectionals everything else is bonus so we were just starting to get into what we thought could be the biggest challenge for us and our biggest goal for the year,” said Aidan MaCaulay.
With the MaCaulay brothers and Aiden Zehr returning for their senior seasons in 2020, the Red Raiders should have a chance to 3-peat for a sectional title and make a run at the state title that has eluded them the past 2 seasons.
And while the Lowville Red Raiders didn’t get a chance to fight for the state title this year, we take a look back at the 2018-2019 season, where another north country team earned the title.
One year ago Sunday, the Harrisville Boys Basketball Team won their 1st ever state title on the hardwood, beating Oppenheim-Ephratah in the State Class D title game at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton.
Watch the video above for Rob Krone’s recap.