A year after losing in the state finals, Burke Catholic took home the New York State Public High School Athletic Association title Saturday night with a 62-52 win over previously unbeaten Potsdam at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Located in Goshen, Burke Catholic (22-2) returned three starters from a team that defeated Potsdam (25-1) in the semifinals last season.
In a game of momentum swings, Burke Catholic got off to a strong start, leading 14-6 after the first quarter and 29-17 at halftime.
Dante Cowart, the tournament MVP, scored six of the first eight points for Burke Catholic and finished with 22 points and seven rebounds.
The second half featured two runs by Potsdam, the first tying the game at 34-34.
Burke Catholic responded, stretching the lead to 48-40 before an 8-2 run by Potsdam pulled the Stoners to within two at 50-48.
In a knockout blow, Burke Catholic answered back, scoring 12 of the last 16 points to secure the victory, highlighted by a thunderous two-handed Brendan Miller slam following a steal with a little more than a minute remaining.
Besides the strong effort from Cowart, Burke Catholic got a stat-stuffing performance from Zach Rufer, who turned in a line of 14 points, eight rebounds, five steals, and three assists.
Zach Adams scored 19 points in the losing effort for Potsdam, which also received 17 points from John Coleman.