BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — This Swann song was heartbreaking.
Jaxan and Jude Swann, who have been at the core of Greenport’s basketball success all season, saw their high school careers end on Saturday as the Porters fell to Cooperstown, 108-98, in triple overtime in the state Class C semifinal at Maines Arena.
The senior brothers helped lead the Porters to their second straight semifinal appearance, and as the final moments ticked down in their final game, Greenport coach Ev Corwin said he couldn’t hold back the tears, knowing everything the pair has meant to the program.
“They are so loved,” Corwin said. “It’s the way they carry themselves, they’re special kids and basketball-wise, they’re obviously great players. I’m going to miss them deeply.”
The Swann brothers have played together on varsity for the last three years, and the two packed their stat sheets this season.
Jude crested the 1,000 point and rebounding marks in January, while Jaxan averaged 21.9 points per game. The pair didn’t miss a step in the semifinal. Jaxan, who fought through a leg injury he sustained midway through the third overtime, finished with 26 points, five rebounds and three steals. Jude was forced to the sideline after fouling out with 35 seconds left in the first overtime, but still scored 18 points and had 12 rebounds.
Neither one wanted to miss a moment of game time, something Crowin has come to expect from the brothers.
“They put so much work in and they want it,” Corwin said. “That’s how they’re built, and they’ve worked so hard all year.”
It wasn’t the finish the Swanns had hoped for, but as they walked away from the locker room with tear-stained eyes, they were met by a crowd of fans who traveled from Greenport. They were cheered as if they had won the game. That didn’t take away the sting of the loss, but Jaxan said it helped remind him of the impact they’ve had on and off the court.
“It’s not often you get to play in front of a crowd like ours and a town like ours,” he said. “They give us everything and for them, I’ll do anything.”