BINGHAMTON — Whether it be Westhill, General Brown or Center Moriches, the Lowville boys basketball team has taken every playoff challenge in stride.
Between comebacks and blowouts, the Red Raiders have found ways to win and keep their season alive.
And it has all built up to today and an opponent that poses a threat unlike any other.
When the Red Raiders tip off today at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in the state Class B final, they’ll be doing so with Glens Falls standing across from them. And that means Joe Girard III.
The prolific scorer has averaged 49 points a game this season, earning him New York’s Mr. Basketball award. Soon Girard will be wearing Orange when he joins Syracuse University next fall as a freshman point guard.
Lowville’s been waiting for this moment. The team has talked about how cool it would be to play New York’s all-time leading scorer.
They’re confident in their teammates but know whom they’re up against. “Our defense has been lock-down these last couple of weeks, so we just have to keep going,” Lowville’s Chad Bach said. “He’s obviously a good player, so we’re going to have to do all we can to shut him down.”
Aidan Macaulay said the goal will be to try and neutralize the weapons around Girard.
“There’s only so much we can do with him, he can shoot from anywhere,” Aidan Macaulay said. “Our goal, I feel like, keep somebody as close as we can to him at all times and try to limit the other guys. He’s going to get his no matter, but if we don’t let the others beat us, we can hold our own I think.”
In practice all week, the objective was to prepare for Center Moriches. But Red Raiders coach Zach Shambo kept the possibility of playing Girard in mind.
“We try not to look ahead, but obviously as coaches we do,” Shambo said. “We have a good scouting report on him and are trying to figure out how we’re going to limit him.”
It’ll be a quick turnaround for both Glens Falls and Lowville, leaving the Red Raiders little time to prepare solely for the Indians, who defeated Olean 83-63 in Friday’s other semifinal.
“These kids are probably pretty tired,” Shambo said. “It might be best to try and rest up and maybe go somewhere (today) to try and shoot around and try to talk a little bit about what we want to do.”