GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — For Amityville, there were no long faces or short tempers.
“We still got the state championship and we are holding our heads high,” senior guard Josh Serrano said after the Warriors’ wondrous season ended Saturday with an 86-61 loss to Park School of Buffalo in a state Federation Class A semifinal at Cool Insuring Arena.
“We had a great, great, great season,” Amityville coach Gordon Thomas emphasized to his team in the postgame locker room.
It was a season that did not include a Federation championship, but it did include six other titles. Here is Amityville’s impressive 2017-18 resume of championships: League VI, with a 16-0 record; Suffolk Class A, Suffolk small school, Suffolk overall, Long Island Class A and state Class A (public schools).
“It’s over now, but it’s all good,” said Serrano, who scored 20 points in his final high school game but shot only 1-for-10 on three-pointers, a problem all afternoon for the Warriors, who shot 8-for-29 from downtown and 19-for-65 overall (29 percent).
“We had no energy in the beginning,” Serrano said.
Amityville hit only 25 percent of its first-half shots (8–for-32) and was outrebounded 34-12 in the half against a front line that included 6-10 Ebuka Quentin Nnagbo (14 rebounds), 6-8 John Ese Orogun (11 rebounds) and 6-6 Julian Eziukwu (eight rebounds). For the game, Amityville was beaten on the boards 51-32.
“But as bad as we played, we were only down eight points,” Thomas said of his team’s 39-31 halftime deficit. The Warriors twice cut their deficit to five in the third quarter, at 41-36 on Jayson Robinson’s three-pointer and 43-38 on Robinson’s slicing reverse layup. “I loved our energy then,” Thomas said.
But after Amityville twice missed opportunities to cut into that five-point deficit, the Pioneers put the game away with a 16-0 run to close the third period. Daniel Scott was the culprit, nailing a trio of treys and a runner in the lane during the burst. He finished with 24 points and seven rebounds.
“It was like playing a college front line,” Thomas said. All season, Amityville’s slender but nimble and relentless leapers, Myles and Julius Goddard (13 points, six rebounds) and Braden Tannis, got rebounds using their athleticism. The Park School, however, had bulk to go with height and out-positioned Amityville.
“Boxing out has been our [Achilles’] heel all season,” Thomas said. “They were huge and they just wore us down.”
It was the end of the road, but not before Amityville returned to the Federation tournament for the first time since winning the Class B title in 2003.
Said Thomas, “I’ve enjoyed the ride.”