This has been a long time coming for Blue Devils basketball.
Griffen Hopkins scored 15 points and Garrett Clar added 12 as Victor romped to a 56-38 Class AA championship win over North Rockland in Glens Falls Saturday night. It’s the first state title in program history.
“We’ve been playing with each other since second and third grade,” Clar said. “I always thought we had the potential to go all the way, but to finally actually do it, it just put our dreams into reality, honestly.”
“That’s our travel program, our modified teams, our JV, everything,” head coach Tyler Roberts said. “All the people behind the scenes. Our athletic director. Everything. Literally our bus drivers, everybody, are all in. And that’s what we knew it would take. We thought we could maybe get a sectional title if we did those things. Here we are, top of the state.”
Victor led by 10 at the half and by 12 after three quarters. They won all four periods in the game and were never threatened for the final eight minutes.
Neither team shot the ball very well. The Blue Devils were 4-19 from three point range. North Rockland missed 15 of 18 from deep. The relative cavernous Cool Insuring Arena can be a difficult optical adjustment for high school players used to a backboard 10 or 15 feet in front of a wall. Scores for the state final four are often fairly low.
AJ Queri had nine points for Victor and Nick Leonard fell just shy of a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.
“I feel great relief right now,” Leonard said. “I know this team is amazing. We’ve been to so many 6am workouts, so many travel tournaments, so many AAU tournaments. To finally pay off on the biggest stage possible. It feels amazing.”
Victor has now won ten straight and improved to 24-2 on the season.
Next up for the Blue Devils is the Federation Tournament next weekend which includes champions from New York City’s public schools and other private schools that do not participate in the NYSPHSAA championship. Victor will face Long Island Lutheran Saturday morning at 11am back in Albany.