Glens Falls in grips of March mania as hometown basketball team makes Federation debut

March 22, 2019 05:36 PM

GLENS FALLS - They've been here often, but Glens Falls boys basketball team has never made it this far.

The team won the state public school championship last weekend in Binghamton.

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The dramatic overtime victory earned them a spot in the Federation Tournament of Champions held this weekend at Cool Insuring Arena.

The best public, Catholic and independent schools come to Glens Falls every March to determine the best of the best.

This is a first for Glens Falls and their coach who was born and raised here.

"It's a dream come true for me, but for the kids, they're still in dreamland," said Rob Girard, the Indians' 4th year head coach.

Athletic Director Chip Corlew organized an assembly Friday morning at the high school to congratulate the team and cheer them toward another win. The Pep Band played and the team heard from state legislators Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman Dan Stec.

"This basketball team has created such a positive stir in our community," said Corlew, who is also director of the Federation Tournament.

Glens Falls plays Saturday afternoon at 3.

"We'll sell out Saturday and if Glens Falls wins tomorrow afternoon, we're pretty confident that Sunday will be another big afternoon," said Jeff Mead, general manager of the arena.

Glens Falls Mayor Dan Hall said the Glens Falls game is the hottest ticket in town. "I know people who have hoarded tickets because they're afraid they wouldn't be able to get in."

For those who can't get it into the game, restaurants and bars will be streaming it.

Talk of the Town, a popular local restaurant owned by Glens Falls High grads, had to stop taking reservations.

"Everybody downtown is so excited about it, the businesses. For both reasons, the community pride sense and then the business part of it," said Paul Bricoccoli, who is an owner with three other Glens Falls natives of Talk of the Town and The Bullpen Tavern.

Glens Falls isn't the only Capital Region team playing this weekend. Albany Academy plays Saturday at 10:45, which should give another big attendance boost.

Federation tournament organizers changed the weekend admission policy after they'd already sold roughly 1,500 all-day tickets.

People who purchased those tickets are being required to leave the arena at the end of the morning session and re-enter at about the time people arrive for the afternoon session which begins with Glens Falls' game at 3.

"We're not going to start the Glens Falls game until everybody's situated so we expect it to be a pretty smooth process, knowing not everybody will be thrilled with the process, but we'll be ready to handle all situations," said Mead.

If Glens Falls wins Saturday, they'll play for the championship Sunday afternoon at 4.


Mark Mulholland

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