PLATTSBURGH — The Northern Adirondack girls’ basketball program has seen some difficult times over the years.
The Bobcats experienced a near nine-year losing streak in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference play, including a winless drought in nonleague action from December 2007 to January 2013.
Northern Adirondack’s association with losing, however, is over.
Behind Jillian Scott’s 14 points, the Bobcats (14-6) defeated Seton Catholic, 37-27, to claim their first Section VII Class C championship at the Plattsburgh State Field House Friday.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls,” Northern Adirondack coach Jessica Barnhart said. “Four years ago, I literally talked to them about setting the tone and changing what the program is here. We’re the only (Northern Adirondack) team without a banner in our gym, and I used to say to them four years ago, ‘You can be the change.’
“They used to look at me a little crazy-eyed, and I think they really get it now. They’ve stuck together. All 11 of them really give heart. They did a great job.”
The Bobcats, facing a 22-21 deficit at the end of the third quarter, closed out the final frame on a 14-2 run to solidify the victory.
“(That) was absolutely huge,” Barnhart said. “The last five minutes were really important, and we stepped up our defense. That’s what kept us in it, and that’s what got us the win.”
Scott, who finished with a team-high 14 points, converted two of her four 3-pointers during the closing stages of the game.
“I think we wanted it more in our hearts,” Scott said. “Just because of our school and where we come from and everything, we wanted it.
“We don’t have much for size in the inside, so a lot of our guards have had to shoot a lot. I just got in that mindset that I needed to do this for my team. The bench got me up. They had the intensity that put the wind in our sails.”