What a long way the Northern Adirondack girls basketball team has come. And what a pleasure to see this group of teens have a day in the sun.
Teams from several local schools had a good run this year, with only the Moriah boys basketball team still in the running for a championship after a gritty win last weekend against Madrid-Waddington. We wish the Vikings the best of luck in the final four this weekend.
The North Country can feel great pride for all the local teens who competed this year and especially for those athletes who excelled in all aspects of their lives — on the court, in classes and with admirable off-court behavior.
But you have to feel a special tug at the heart for the NACS girls basketball team, who captured the first Section VII title in school history.
It must have been difficult, over the years, being neighbors and friendly rivals with the historically powerful Northeastern Clinton girls basketball program, which perennially turned out championship teams and star players.
But, this year, it was the NAC Bobcats’ turn.
In all honesty, it’s been a long time since going to Ellenburg Depot, the home of Northern Adirondack, for girls basketball has scared anybody. Their teams traditionally have played hard but have often been undermanned, with more of the girls focusing on their first-rate cheerleading program.
We recall when some visiting coaches used to require their players to pass the ball a certain number of times before taking a shot, so as not to embarrass the hard-pressed NACS girls by running up the score.
Let’s remember that Northern Adirondack is one of the smaller school districts in the region.
Yet, here it was this year, representing the entire North Country in a state tournament.