Defense brought the Mohonasen boys basketball team to the Section II Class A finals.
And it was defense that brought the Mighty Warriors their first title since 1992.
Mohonasen held Scotia-Glenville to less than 30 percent shooting from the field and walked away with a 53-36 victory in Saturday's Sectional championship game at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
For the last six years that we've been here [as a coaching staff], it's always been defense, said Mohonasen coach Ken Dagostino. "They buy into the defense."
Mohonasen (17-4) took Scotia-Glenville out of its offensive rhythm so much that the Tartans (19-2) didn't score their 10th point until midway through the third quarter. By that point, the Mighty Warriors had a 28-10 lead.
"Give credit to Mohonasen. They were the better team today," said Scotia-Glenville coach James Giammattei.
Senior guard Terell Winney never found his comfort zone from behind the three-point arc. The Tartans' leading scorer made only three of his 10 shots from behind the line and finished with 14 points.
"I really believed that if you took some of the guys in the Suburban Council and put them in the Foothills, they'd put up some similar numbers to Winney," said Dagostino. "So we went through the film from the past year and looked for players similar to him. We'd point out, 'This guy is a lot like Winney,' and 'that guy is an awful lot like Winney.'"
Winney's Scotia-Glenville teammates couldn't bail out Winney, either. Guard Matt Renko made only one of his eight shots from the field, and forward Chris Zanta was 1-for-6 from the floor.
"We have taken the same shot all year long and made them," said Giammattei. "But as the clichE goes, you can live and die by the three."
Meanwhile, Mohonasen was getting contributions from all over the floor. First, it was Grant Massaroni and Jeffrey Kruzinski fueling a 15-4 first-quarter run. Then, Billy Manikas and Garrett Sisson started hitting shots in the third quarter to give the Mighty Warriors a 31-10 lead. After that, it was only a matter of time before Mohonasen had wrapped up the Class A title.