North Warren edges Schroon Lake at buzzer, 57-56

Mar. 11—PLATTSBURGH — As the buzzer signaled the game over, Schroon Lake/Newcomb watched helplessly as the ball bounced around the rim, and then towards the floor.

What was set to send a wave of euphoria for the Wild Husky faithful, instead went the way of the Cougars. North Warren would survive and advance to the Class D boys basketball Final Four.

Schroon Lake/Newcomb would fall, 57-56.

"It was a decision whether to call a timeout or not," Wild Huskies coach Lee Silvernail said. "Logan (Bush) had the ball in his hand so I let us go and wanted him to attack.

"We talked about that previous timeout like hey, if they score we're coming right into attack. and you know he did a great job of attacking and drawing the defense, made the right pass to Austin (Hartwell) and you know, right there to win the game."

Hartwell took a pass in the waning seconds as he stood under the basket. He caught the ball and immediately turned to release a contested jump shot that bounced around the rim and off rather than in.

It ended a wild game that saw 11 lead changes and three ties. The largest lead for the Cougars was a six point lead in the second quarter. The Wild Huskies held their largest lead of four at 53-49 in the final minutes of the game.

"I mean, it's a great game to watch if you're a fan," Silvernail said. "We know them. We know what things they like to do.

"We knew it was going to take 32 minutes to win the game and be really locked in. Whatever team you know was more locked in for 32 minutes is probably going to win and you know they won tonight so they were just a little bit better than we were."

The teams met earlier this season on Feb 11, when the Cougars traveled to face the Wild Huskies. SL/N won the contest 55-53. So, people knew this could be a good game.

The anticipation was met with a competitive game where teams gave it their all. The Forrence Center was packed with fans for both schools that helped keep up the intensity as the game wore on. Each basket was followed by cheers and chants from their respective section.

While the game stayed close, Schroon Lake/Newcomb lost their momentum late in the game.

"We had a tough stretch here at the end of the fourth where we turned the ball over twice and gave them four points, which was huge momentum in their direction," Silvernail said.

Tied at 55 with under a minute to go, Bush stepped up to the line and hit one of his two free throws.

North Warren would retake the lead 57-56 when eighth grader Semaj Cuyler sprinted down the court and laid it in with 12 seconds to go.

Bush took the inbound pass and ran down the court, saw Hartwell near the basket and sent the ball his way.

The rest as they say is history.

Even in defeat, the Wild Huskies have nothing to hang their head about. They started the season 3-5, before turning it around to finish 16-8 and win the section.

"We had a tremendous amount of growth during the season," Silvernail said. "Early in the season we weren't playing really good basketball with losses and teams we felt we should have beaten.

"They didn't give up, they kept working hard and kept coming to practice every day wanting to get better film sessions wanting to get better. and it certainly paid off. Throughout the year we saw a lot of improvement. and then the second time around beat a lot of the teams that had beat us the first time. I'm just really happy to coach that group of guys."

North Warren 57, Schroon Lake/Newcomb 56

North Warren (57)

Cuyler 8-0-16, Horge 2-3-7, Hitchcock 1-1-3, Swartz 0-0-0, Tyrell 7-0-14, Jennings 6-0-17. TOTALS: 24-4-57

Schroon Lake/Newcomb (56)

N. Melville 4-0-10, J. Melville 4-0-11, Bush 10-7-29, Hartwell 2-0-6, Deslauriers 0-0-0, Ma. Armstrong 0-0-0. TOTALS: 20-7-56

Halftime- North Warren, 27-24

3 point goals- SL/N (9) J. Melville 3, N. Melville 2, Bush 2, Hartwell 2. NW (5) Jennings 5