The locker room doors remained closed for some time. When the players and coaches finally emerged, it was a picture of mental and physical exhaustion.
Greenport had been down after a 73-58 loss to Lake George in the 2018 Class C state semifinals, but this triple overtime loss to Cooperstown was a low blow.
“It’s tough. I feel for them,” said a red-faced coach Ev Corwin, taking a few seconds to regain his composure. “It’s really about them because I know the work they put in all year. I thought this was the year they were going to get their reward. I really, really felt that. It’s a gauntlet. It’s tough. It’s a long, long process. We went right into a buzz saw.”
Junior guard Ahkee Anderson, who led the Porters with 30 points, nine assists, seven steals, and six rebounds, said he’s hungrier to make it to the state final next year.
“This is a tough one,” he said, still dwelling on the fresh taste of defeat. “I have to get back to the gym and just work even harder to finally get to a state championship game. That’s all I want. That’s my only goal.”
Greenport graduates nine seniors, including brothers Jaxan and Jude Swann, who were at the heart of the Porters team this season. Senior starting forward Reese Costello and center Zach Riggins will also graduate.
“They gave me so much joy over the last couple of years,” Corwin said of his team. “This group has taken me on a ride here. All I could say to them in the locker room was, ‘Thank you.’”