From left, Smithtown Christian coach Daniel Skaritka and players Nehemiah...

From left, Smithtown Christian coach Daniel Skaritka and players Nehemiah Yuen, Isaiah McCarter and Lorenzo Crilly celebrate their win oiver South Kortright Central in the New York State Class D Southeast Regional final on Saturday at Farmingdale State College. Credit: Neil Miller

For the first time ever, the Smithtown Christian boys basketball team will be playing in the state Class D semifinal game.

The Knights, who won the 2020 state Class D regional semifinal before the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly ended their season, have been waiting for the opportunity to advance to the Final Four in Glens Falls.

On Saturday, they got that chance.

Smithtown Christian showcased how deep its roster is in a 64-46 win over Section IV’s South Kortright Central in the state Class D regional championship at Farmingdale State.

“We have multiple weapons that can score whether its three-pointers, drives or posting up,” coach Daniel Skaritka said. “It’s tough to guard a team that has four to five strong players.”

The first half remained tightly contested with the Knights leading 22-19 at halftime. Junior guard Lorenzo Crilly (19 points) opened the third quarter with three consecutive three-pointers as Smithtown Christian (19-4) began to build a double-digit lead.

“I got the hot hand and [my shots] started to fall, then they started focusing on me and that’s when everyone else got open and started scoring,” Crilly said. “We're not a one-man show. Everyone can score the ball and play.”

“That’s just how Lorenzo is as a player, he doesn’t hesitate with his shots,” said Isaiah McCarter, who also added 19 points. “If you tell him to shoot it, he shoots it.”

South Kortright Center (22-3) made a 7-0 run at the end of the third quarter, and Connor Quarino (31 points) scored 12 of the team’s 13 points in the fourth quarter, but Smithtown Christian would not be denied.

Duke Rancy added six of his 12 points in the fourth and Nehemiah Yuen scored 10 points for the Knights.

“They wanted to make this year something special losing the past two years,” Skaritka said. “It was motivation to them to work hard in the offseason and come out prepared.”

Smithtown Christian will face the winner of North Warren Central/Schroon Lake in the state class D semifinal on March 16 at 9 a.m. at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls.

“I can’t even put into words how good this feels,” McCarter said.“We’re just happy to finally move on and show more of what we’re capable of.”

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