They truly have gone where no North Tonawanda basketball team has ever gone before.
And they don’t plan on stopping their journey anytime soon.
Tonight, the Section VI Class A champion Lumberjacks will face Section V Irondequois in the Class A Far West Regionals with the winner moving on to the NYSPHSAA Tournament next weekend.
Originally slated to take place at Rush-Henrietta High School, the game was moved to Genesee Community College after storms caused power outage at Rush-Henrietta HS. Tip-Off will take place at 6pm.
Defeating Williamsville South to win the Class A-1 title, the first in NT history since the 1960-61 team won the Class AAA. But this year’s squad has out done that legendary team because the 1961 team did not have the chance to advance beyond Section VI because of a 45 year ban on the state tournament New York had imposed. The ban was lifted in 1978.
Even though the ’61 team did not have the chance to advance they may have inspired this year’s team to greatness.
“Monday I took them out to the hallway and we looked at the North Tonawanda Basketball Hall of Fame,” NT coach Ryan Mountain said.
“I said guys these are the best players, best coaches and best teams that have ever been through NT and this is a program that is almost a hundred years old. We all touched that wall (Tuesday before Class A title game v.Amherst) to get their power.”
The Jacks power will be tested as they face an Eagles squad that has two 6-foot-6 players
including Jeremiah Zitz, Jr.
But with seniors Rory Farkas and Alex Johnson down low along with fellow seniors Patrick Milbrand, Zack Woodard and Brandon Casterline the Jacks have size and grit.
Mix their aggressive 2-3 zone with the ball handling of Vinny Tripi and shooting of Trevor Book the Jacks pose a formidable opponent.