Lowville boys happy to be back on the hardwood

Lowville Red Raiders basketball

LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Lowville boys’ basketball team made it to the state final two years ago, but the last two years postseason play has been interrupted by COVID-19.

The team returned to the court for the first time in almost a year on Tuesday night and picked up right where they left off last season, beating Beaver River 69-39.

The two-time defending Section 3 Class B champs are once again a veteran group loaded with talent.

“Our senior leadership is as good as it can get,” coach Zach Shambo said. “We have two kids that have been on here since freshmen, another kid that’s been here since sophomore year, so we got some great seniors. I would say the strength of us is just our speed. We have really 10 or 12 kids that can really press and play fast and move the ball. This is a good group, good group of athletes.”

The team is led by that senior trio of Aidan and Gavin Macaulay and Aidan Zehr, who won’t get a chance at a three-peat as sectional champs.

Those players say despite that, they are happy to be back on the court and looking forward to what lies ahead, even if it is only an eight-game season.

Yeah, it’s pretty tough,” Aidan Zehr said. “It’s just we know what we could have done and having that taken away, especially like it’s me and the twins’ senior year, it’s just like hard to take.”

“It’s pretty tough,” Gavin Macaulay said. “Obviously, every competitor wants a chance to make a deep playoff run and obviously a shot at a championship at the end of the season, but honestly with the way things have been over this last year we’re just fortunate and I always say we’ll take what we can get no matter the circumstances. Everybody’s just happy to be out on the court and everybody’s going to give it their all every game.”

“While that’s in the back of our minds about what could have been, we’re just focused on now and me and my brother especially, we’re focused on getting these guys ready for the rest of their careers, these younger guys, ‘cause they got, they’re going to have a normal career coming up at some point, “Aidan Macaulay said, “so we’re trying to help get them ready for that.”

Getting them ready for that along with getting ready for games has been quite a challenge with COVID protocols in place during practice.

Shambo says being efficient during practice has been one of the main things he’s been focusing on this season.

“We only have an hour, 15 minutes with 10 of those minutes being able to go live, so being efficient as far as doing our drills and our one-on-one stuff has been huge,” the coach said. “If we can keep doing that way we’ll try to get it to be as successful as we can be.”

Success is something the Red Raiders have become accustomed to over the past few season and that will continue this season, no matter how different the season looks.

Thursday’s local scores

Girls’ high school basketball

Copenhagen 71, Beaver River 16

Lowville 48, Harrisville 26

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