“No Dance…” Newburgh, NY 1•March•12

Jason McAllister (#42) of NFA falls to his knees after their 64 – 53 loss to Middletown in their Section 9 Class AA Semifinal game at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY on Thursday, March 1, 2012. Middletown will face Kingston for the Class AA Championship on Saturday at SUNY New Paltz.

For as long as I’ve been covering basketball up here at the paper, Newburgh Free Academy has owned the Sectional Playoffs and even the State Tournament up in Glens Falls. (They were the Class AA State Champions back in 2009, and returned to the finals the following year to defend their crown, but fell woefully short to CBA of Albany. Last season they were eliminated by a grueling Mount Vernon team in the State Regionals in White Plains, before even having a chance to make their hotel reservations upstate.) That’s been 5 years of Newburgh basketball for me. Similar to the runs that Monroe-Woodbury football has had those same few years, where I’d made trips to the Carrier Dome up in Syracuse for their State Championship games. Last night was tough to watch and at times, worse to photograph. It’s difficult sometimes to stay keyed-up on a big game when your favorite team just doesn’t have it that night. Not to say that Middletown didn’t “Bring-It” or have comparable and talented players. They truly were the better team last night. Their hugely talented point guard Kendrick Ray is a player and the kid at right, Hasahn French (#50) is only an eighth grader. Boy, did he step it up for the Middies. So now Middletown will face another scrappy local school Kingston in tomorrow morning’s Sectional Championship game up at SUNY New Paltz.

Incidentally, my day began by installing our four Dyna-Lite strobes in that college gym (right) for this weekend’s schedule of championship games, before hustling back here for the big game last night. (I was fortunate enough to be able to still light up the smaller college gym here in town – top photos – with four camera strobes, and work the game with my usual arsenal of three cameras, etc.)

If I have the time, I’ll try to upload a slideshow here of a few more images of the game last night. Stay tuned & thanks for playing along.  ~cg.

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