The Poughkeepsie High School boys basketball team enjoyed “one shining moment,” claiming its first state championship in 24 years.
Facing a relentless defense, the top-seeded Pioneers trailed for much of the game before pulling off a fourth-quarter rally to take down No. 5 Pittsford Mendon 59-69 for the Class A New York Public High School Athletic Association title on Saturday, March 16.
Poughkeepsie started off hot, taking an 18-13 lead to end the first quarter before the Vikings battled back to take a lead they wouldn’t give up until late in the final frame. The Pioneers were able to stay in the game, rallying to tie the game 55-55 with 3:13 left in the championship.
Led by senior guard Jamik Carter’s 17 points, the Pioneers took over from there, going on a 12-4 run in the final 2:40 of the game to take the team’s first title since 1995. Niyal Goins, Jaquan Pearson and Davontrey Thomas each scored in the double digits. Goins and Thomas also finished with a combined 23 rebounds, helping the Pioneers to a 42-28 edge on the boards.
When the team arrived home - accompanied by a police and fire escort - and stepped off the bus following their championship triumph, they were met by a mob scene of friends, family and congratulatory fans.
With their first state title in more than two decades behind them, Poughkeepsie will continue their historic season in the state Federation championships against the Frederick Douglass Academy on Sunday, March 24 in Glens Falls. The victor will face the winner of The Park School and Albany Academy in the finals.
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