PLATTSBURGH — It had been a long time coming for the AuSable Valley Patriots.
The last time AuSable Valley had captured a Section VII championship was in the 1994-95 season.
The Patriots wasted little time making sure that the drought would end.
AuSable Valley jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game and never looked back as it knocked off Ticonderoga, 53-24, to capture the Class C title Saturday at the Plattsburgh State Field House.
The Patriots receive a bye into the regional finals and will take on the winner between Section II’s Lake George and Section X’s St. Lawrence March 9 at the Plattsburgh State Field House.
“I’m feeling good. I am really happy with the kids played,” AuSable Valley coach Jamie Douglass said. “When we were beat by Saranac last year the kids really felt the pain. They worked very hard and definitely bought into the system.
“They really understand the team concept and everyone has bought into their roles.”
The Patriots used a strong shooting touch from the outside and multiple second-chance opportunities provided from rebounds to pull out to a large lead.
Shane Douglas poured in 15 points, six rebounds and six steals to lead the charge for AuSable Valley. Austin Depo added six points and six rebounds, while Zach Cosgrove chipped in with eight points.
“I’m on top of the world,” Douglas said. “Our hard work has paid off. The game plan was to play hard defensively and to turn our defense into offense.
“You try to get everyone involved and everyone has worked hard every day in practice. When you work hard you get what you deserve.”
The Sentinels had their opportunities throughout the night, but couldn’t find their shooting range.
Ticonderoga coach Joe Defayette, though, wasn’t blaming the cold shooting on the Field House.
“We came out and had a plan to let them hurt us from the outside,” Defayette said. “I thought we did a good job defensively to start the game, but we just gave them too many offensive boards and put backs.
“Offensively our biggest problem was we weren’t moving together and we were slow moving with the ball. We struggled on offense … that was the story (Saturday).”
Michael Graney led the Sentinels with five points. Mark Donohue added four points, while Anthony DuShane pulled down 10 rebounds.
“(Saturday) we came out with a lot of intensity, and that’s the type of intensity we will need to advance (in the next round),” Douglass said. “They are both good teams, but I think we are pretty good too. We aren’t going to roll over; we are going in expecting to win,”
AuSable Valley 53, Ticonderoga 24
Denno 1-0-3, Nielsen 1-0-3, Chapman 0-1-1, DuShane 0-0-0, Graney 2-0-5, Cook 1-0-2, Donohue 2-0-4, Hughes 0-0-0, Fuller 1-0-2, Afzal 1-0-2, Manning 0-0-0, Tierney 1-0-2. Totals: 10-1-24.
AuSable Valley (53)
Cosgrove 3-0-8, Casey 0-6-6, Douglas 5-3-15, Goodnough 3-0-6, Depo 2-1-6, Facteau 1-0-3, Brooks 2-0-4, McDonald 1-0-2, Peck 0-3-3, Sikindar 0-0-0, Doyle 0-0-0, Taylor 0-0-0. Totals: 17-13-53.
Ticonderoga 4 9 9 — 24
AuSable Valley 18 14 15 6 — 53
3-point goals: Ticonderoga (3) Denno, Nielsen, Graney. AuSable Valley (6) Cosgrove 2, Douglas 2, Depo, Facteau.