BINGHAMTON – The one thing that eluded Joseph Girard III during his illustrious basketball career at Glens Falls is now his legacy.
Girard drove past two Lowville defenders and hit a layup as time expired in overtime to give Glens Falls a 75-74 victory in Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B tournament final at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
Girard pulled out all the stops for the Indians. The Syracuse University-bound senior dropped 50 points against Lowville – none more important than the layup that gave Glens Falls its first state basketball title in school history.
Girard scored 18 points in the third quarter to give Glens Falls a 52-46 lead. Lowville stormed back and grabbed a 63-60 advantage late in regulation before Girard nailed a three-pointer to send the game into overtime.
Lowville pushed its way into a four-point advantage in the extra period. Girard trimmed the deficit to 74-72 and then made the first of his two free throws with five seconds remaining on the game clock to make it a one-point deficit. However, Girard was called for a lane violation on his second attempt, giving Lowville the ball back.
On the ensuing inbounds play, Lowville was called for an offensive foul, which put the ball in Glens Falls’ hands. Girard was on the bench, though, as Indians’ head coach Robert Girard did not want him to collect his fifth foul. Glens Falls tried to get Girard on the court for the inbounds pass, but the referee ruled he hadn’t gotten to the scorer’s table in time to check in before the play. The Indians caught a break when Trent Girard’s inbounds pass bounced off the hand of a Lowville player to allow them a second chance to get JG3 into the game.
On the ensuing play, Trent Girard found his older cousin open. JG3 collected the pass, swung past his defenders and laid the ball off the glass and through the basket for the championship-winning shot.
Trent Girard contributed 11 points, and Brendan Quirk added 10 points for Glens Falls. Aidan MacAuley netted 30 points for Lowville, the Section 3 champions.
Glens Falls advances to the New York State Federation Tournament next weekend at the Cool Insuring Arena. It will be the last time the Federation Tournament is held in Glens Falls, and it will be JG3’s last game before heading off to college.