There was no semifinal disappointment for the Schenectady Christian boys basketball team this time.
Jake Bowman and Matt McCarty made sure of that.
The two seniors combined to score 44 of their team's 51 points to lead the Falcons past Hoosic Valley 51-45 in Monday's Section II, Class CC semifinal game in Glens Falls.
Schenectady Christian (21-1), the top seed in class CC, advances to Saturday's final against defending Section II champion Stillwater, which edged Cambridge 60-58 in Monday's other semifinal.
The obvious thing is their size. The smallest guy they will start is probably equal to our biggest guy, Schenectady Christian coach Chad Bowman said of Stillwater, the No. 2 seed. "Plus, they have championship game experience."
Jake Bowman and McCarty carried the Falcons to their first championship game on their backs. Bowman scored 25 points, and McCarty contributed 19 points including a halfcourt three-pointer as time expired in the first half, which gave Schenectady Christian a 29-23 halftime lead.
"We've had good (scoring) balance this year, and that's probably the key to having a good year," said coach Bowman. "But clearly, Matt and Jake are our go-to guys."
Schenectady Christian's defense also came up big when it needed to. After Hoosic Valley cut the Falcons' lead to two points at the end of the third quarter, Schenectady Christian limited the Panthers to nine points in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.
"That was probably the best defensive team we've played in probably two years," said Bowman. "We knew we weren't going to score a lot of points, so we needed to work on our defense in order to win this game. It was probably our best defensive effort of the season."
The boys basketball team will now try to give Schenectady Christian its second Sectional title of any kind. The girls basketball team won the school's first title last year.