NEW YORK MILLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - After a 21 year drought, the NY Mills Marauders are back in the state final four.
"It's been awhile for everyone here, the seniors." said sophomore center Matt Welch. "It'd be nice to see them win. It would be a nice college story, as they get older to say they won a state title in high school basketball."
Saturday's 68-35 win over South Kortright in the regional final was a big accomplishment for Mills, because it paid back last year's loss in the same round, and because of how badly they beat the Rams.
"I think they were overwhelmed a little bit. Who really expected, I didn't expect to win a regional game by almost 30 points. That's scary. Our whole week of practice we were practicing game situation buzzer beaters," said senior guard Jeremy Miller.
"It felt like a weight was lifted off our shoulders. They ended our season last year. Beating them felt great, i'm not going to lie," added junior forward Fred Russ.
But the regional win over South Kortright is now a distant memory. The Marauders are now focusing on the state final four, where they haven't been since 1989. They'll face Maple Grove from Section VI in the semis Friday morning at 11:45 a.m. at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Head coach Mike Adey believes that success will come if the Marauders stay focused. "We really have to just play. That's what we're stressing this week. We just have to play our game, it's worked for 23 games. So we don't want to change a whole lot right now."
If Mills wins, they'll have a chance to play for a championship, which they haven't won since 1982. Miller and his teammates understand how big that would be. "They remember you forever. If you win a state title, you become one of those guys and that's something nice."
Mike Levin will be going to Glens Falls to cover the semifinal game with Maple Grove. He'll be bringing back highlights for NEWSChannel 2 Sports at 6 and will have a report from Glens Falls for Sports Express Friday at 11.