Gary Anderson keys Bellmore JFK's Division Two title

Bellmore JFK's Gary Anderson takes a shot during Bellmore JFK's Gary Anderson takes a shot during the Division II final. (Nov. 18, 2012) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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GLENS FALLS -- Unlike others who competed at this weekend's volleyball tournament at the Glens Falls Civic Center, Bellmore JFK didn't have to think about Saturday.

After defeating Eastport-South Manor in the Long Island Championship Tuesday, the Cougars were vaulted into the Division Two title match with Lake Shore on Sunday.

One game. One chance. One championship waiting on the other side.

Bellmore JFK made good on that chance, defeating Lake Shore 3-0 in the final session of the two-day volleyball tournament.

"We knew our mindset right away," junior Gary Anderson said of the trip. "We knew what our goals were and it worked out."

Anderson, who was named MVP of the Division Two tournament, finished the 25-17, 25-20, 25-16 win with nine kills, one assist, eight digs and one ace.

The title was the first state championship in any team sport in the history of the school, according to coach Dennis Ringel.

The two opponents traded the first six points of the first game. Anderson's kill with the score knotted at three was followed by Steven Gassert's kill and a Lake Shore error. Although the opponent from Evans, N.Y would threaten, pulling to within five late in the first game, the Cougars never allowed Lake Shore to force another tie in the opening set.

"We kept our heads up and maintained a constant level of play," Anderson said of the Game 1 victory. "When (Lake Shore) got (worn down), we remained level and pushed through."

After Bellmore JFK took an 8-5 lead early in Game 2, Lake Shore methodically fought back to tie the score at 17. After the tie, five of the next six points went the Cougars' way, creating enough breathing room to take an all-important 2-0 lead.

Game 3 wasn't much different from the first. Bellmore-JFK answered any mini-run that Lake Shore had in store. Tied at 7, the Cougars scored three consecutive points and never trailed again.

Anderson was hardly the only Cougar to have a big day. Gassert had seven kills, Ron Gutman had six kills and eight blocks, Jake Sherman had 17 assists and 12 digs and Matt Murphy had two aces, four kills, and seven digs.

For Bellmore JFK, the ending to their dream season was a lot like their record -- perfect.

"We are 23-0 with a state title," Ringel said. "I don't think it gets any better than that."

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