Bay Shore's Christian Smiley gets 2 at New York State...

Bay Shore's Christian Smiley gets 2 at New York State Public High School boys basketball state championships Class AAA final where Bay Shore lost to Green Tech 79-63 at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls, New York on March 17, 2024 Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

GLENS FALLS — The team lined up together on the court to pose for the cameras during the postgame ceremonies. Sad faces filled the photos.

In the big picture, this was a season of Bay Shore boys basketball brilliance. Lengthy title droughts were extinguished — first Suffolk championship since 2004 and first Long Island championship since 1981.

The Marauders showed up Sunday at Cool Insuring Arena in search of the program’s first state crown. They had 25 wins to show for their first 25 games.

But on the last day of the season, they fell one game short of perfection.

Final score for the state Class AAA championship game: Section II champ Green Tech 79, Bay Shore 63.

Final score for the Marauders’ season: 25-1.

“It hurts, but in the back of our mind, we’ve still got to think we made history,” junior point guard Carter Wilson said after holding his team’s state finalist plaque during the photo op, which followed a game in which he topped Bay Shore with 20 points.

The Soaring Eagles from Albany were the ones flashing the smiles. They finished 20-6 and looked every bit the part of a champion. It was the program’s first state title since 2014 in AA and second overall.

“I’m just happy for the kids,” coach DJ Jones said. “It hasn’t really set in for me yet. These guys put in the hard work. Thirty-two minutes for the rest of their lives. Now they can relax and call themselves state champs.”

They were a handful for Bay Shore with a pair of towers down low and three guards who could really shoot from deep, including a junior who put his NBA range on display.

Haisi Mayben hit five long-distance threes and scored 23 points. Ramere Brown also made five threes and scored 21. Indavier Barnes nailed a trio of threes and scored 12.

Green Tech went 14-for-25 from three-point range. And those two bigs, 6-8 U’Mier Graham and 6-7 Olivan Owens, totaled 17 rebounds, 11 by Graham.

“I knew before this game started that they were a very good team,” Marauders coach Ken Parham said. “I knew that we would have to play one of our better games to win this game. We didn’t play the best game we could play. But even if we played our best game, they were very good.”

Bay Shore trailed 21-19 early in the second quarter. Then the Soaring Eagles took off.

Brown hit a foul-line jumper and a 20-6 run was in motion.

Mayben stood out in the crowd by swishing three shots from well beyond the three-point arc. His back-to-back treys opened the advantage to 16 at 41-25.

“That’s what he does,” Jones said.

The Marauders were looking up from a 44-30 hole at the intermission.

They started the third quarter with a three-point play by Christian Smiley, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Brown countered with a three from the left corner. Then Bay Shore scored six straight to cut it to 47-39.

Barnes and Brown responded by knocking down back-to-back threes from the left side to inflate the cushion to 14.

The Marauders sliced it to nine. But after Mayben drove for a late basket, Green Tech had a 62-48 lead to bring to the fourth quarter. The margin never slipped under 10 from there.

“I’m proud of our community, our team,” Parham said. “The kids really worked hard. They never quit. We gave it the best we could. We left everything on the court, and I have no problems with the way we ended our season. We had a great season.”

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