GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — The Long Island Lutheran boys basketball team fell short of winning its first state Federation Class AA title Saturday night, losing to Abraham Lincoln, 80-63, at Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Crusaders led 17-16 after the first quarter, but Lincoln’s full-court pressure forced Lutheran’s hand offensively after that.
Harrison Warnock scored 13 points and Donatas Kupsas had 12 for Lutheran. Freshman Andre Curbelo provided a spark off the bench in the second half with 11 points and Chris Coalmon added 10.
Donald Flores scored 22 for Lincoln.
“Their pressure really got to us,” Lutheran coach John Buck said. “We turned the ball over at an incredible rate tonight, and you just have to give credit to Lincoln . . . Their guys were tough. They were relentless.”
Lincoln built its lead in the third quarter. Othello Smith, Kclejuan Brown and Jasiah Lewis made baskets at the onset of the quarter, extending the lead to 45-29.
Lutheran’s Esam Mostafa made one of two free-throw attempts, but Lincoln’s Mike Reid was fouled while shooting a three-pointer from the right corner on the next possession. He made all three free-throw attempts to push the lead to 48-30.
Reid converted a putback on the next possession for a 20-point lead with 4:54 left in the quarter. Lincoln led 55-38 after three.
“It was definitely frustrating because we could barely get the ball past halfcourt,” point guard Brandon Jacobs said. “For some reason, we just weren’t on the same page tonight.”
Lincoln entered halftime with a 39-29 lead after neither team could really gain an advantage in a spirited, back-and-forth first quarter.
Flores took control of the final minutes of the first half. After stealing the ball on the perimeter and dribbling the length of the court for an uncontested layup and a 28-27 lead, he made both ends of a one-and-one for a 30-29 lead and the game’s final lead change.
Flores made a three-pointer from in front of the Lutheran bench and then was fouled while attempting a three-pointer from the top of the arc a minute later. He made all three free throws, and added another three-pointer from the left wing with 11 seconds left in the half.
“I was proud of how they fought,” Buck said. “I was proud of our season. To make it to the state final game, it was a great year.”
Class AA Semifinal
Mary Louis Academy 59, Baldwin 49
South Shore 58, Long Island Lutheran 53
Class A Semifinal
Yesterday: Jamesville-DeWitt 62, Kellenberg 31
Class AA Semifinal
Long Island Lutheran 67, Mount Vernon 57