10 high school boys basketball teams woke up Saturday morning with the chance to win a Section III title, and 5 were able to call themselves champions.
In Class AA, Henninger dominated Utica Proctor, holding them under 40 points in their 60-34 victory. It is Henninger's second title in the last three years.
"We put a lot of pride and focus on our defense in our program, and I think this is one of our best defensive teams, and they've just taken it to a whole new level," Henninger head coach Erik Saroney says.
Henninger plays either Green Tech or Troy from Section II on Saturday at 2 p.m. at OCC.
In Class A, Bishop Ludden added a Class A title to go with last year's Class B title with their 57-44 victory over New Hartford. And both head coach Pat Donnelly and his players say moving up a class meant they had something to prove.
"I think they moved us up because people thought, maybe we wouldn't win," Donnelly says. "But to these kids credit, they battled all year long."
Ludden plays either Scotia from Section II or Massena from Section X on Saturday at 8 p.m. at OCC.
In Class B, Westhill played not only for a championship, but for their classmate Anna Pullano, who was killed on Saturday when her car was hit by a CENTRO bus. The Warriors came out hot, and did not let up, leading them to a 63-51 emotional victory over Skaneateles.
"We all felt pretty bad, the game was for her," Westhill guard Jordan Roland says. "We all wore ribbons somewhere, I put one on my shoe, others put them on their warmups. It was a sad day for everybody."
Westhill plays Norwich from Section IV at 6 p.m. on Saturday at OCC.
in Class C, Mohawk's Carson Murphy scored 35, but fell short of an epic comeback against Beaver River, who built up a big enough lead throughout the game to eek out a 69-65 victory. Beaver River plays Moravia from Section IV on Saturday at Binghamton High School.
In Class D, New York Mills not only earned a Section III Championship but also the 500th win for longtime coach Michael Adey in their 60-35 victory over Cincinnatus. New York Mills plays Marathon from Section IV at 4 p.m. on Saturday at SUNY Oneonta.