HAMMOND, N.Y. (WWNY) - Like the South Jeff and St. Lawrence Central girls’ basketball teams, the Hammond Lady Red Devils didn’t get a chance to make a run at a state championship on the hardwood this season due to COVID-19. Its an unfortunate set of circumstances the Lady Red Devils will never forget.
The Hammond Lady Red Devils made it back to the Girls State Class D playoffs for the first time in 7 years after beating Heuvelton 64-35 in the Section 10 Class D Championship game on February 29th. They were primed to make a run in the state playoffs when their season came to a halt due to the coronavirus.
It was an end to the season Hammond Coach Shawn Dack says was stunning to say the least.
“Very disappointed, it’s something that unfortunately the way it ended they’ll remember forever. But it’s also something that they didn’t go through that they will always remember forever because it’s just unfortunate the way things happened, how they happened and you know the memories they could have made,” said Dack.
The Lady Red Devils were legitimate contenders to come home with their first state title since they won back to back championships in 2007 and 2008.
Hammond had won 22 straight games before losing to Canton 74-58 in the Section 10 overall championship game.
They were ranked 3rd in the state in the New York State Sportswriters Poll behind Brookfield, the team they were set to meet in the opening round of the states at the SRC Center in Syracuse.
But the abrupt end to the winter sports championships left the Lady Red Devils with a final record of 23-2 and wondering what could have been.
“We were scouting every team that was left and not looking ahead, but preparing for the one that was in front of us and keeping track of the other teams that were possibly headed to the final 4. And you know, over the years Section 10 has given the New York State Basketball Championship a good effort and has made it to the finals and or has won it and believe me I know these girls could have won that this year,” said Dack.