GLENS FALLS — In the beginning of the season, Northville boys’ basketball senior Jacob Frank made a promise to his coach that they’d come back this season and win the Section II championship.
Frank and the Falcons are now one win away from making good on that promise.
After their Section II Class D semifinal victory on Wednesday over Loudonville Christian, 39-30, at Cool Insuring Arena, the Falcons clinched a spot in the championship game.
“Coach asked me to promise, and now we’re just one game away,” Frank said of the promise he made to his coach, John Karbowski.
“They’ve been with me for a few years now,” Karbowski said. “We’re very senior-laden, with eight seniors, and they do the majority of the scoring for us. I think our experience is what got us over the hump [Wednesday].”
Last season, Northville fell 52-45 to OESJ in the Class D championship game. Currently in the same position they were a year ago, the Falcons are 17-5, earning the top seed in the tournament.
On Wednesday, Northville put themselves in a hole, struggling to get going on offense, with Loudonville Christian beginning the game on a 7-0 run.
“I think we needed some time to settle in,” Frank said. “We had a little bit of jitters out there with the big stage. In the second half, we started to play more of our game and got in a groove.”
“This is a tough place to shoot and can be an adjustment to play sometimes,” Karbowski said. “I wasn’t too concerned, but it took us a little longer than I anticipated.”
With the game tied 30-30 in the fourth quarter, Northville went on a 9-0 run to secure the victory.
“There were a couple possessions where we got stops, made big shots and got some foul shots is really what did it for us,” Karbowski said.
The win also secured some payback for Northville against the Eagles, who defeated the Falcons in the Section II Class D boys’ soccer championship game in the fall.
“It feels good to get back some revenge,” said senior JT Artikuski, who scored 14 points in the game. “It took us a little bit to get going, but it’s sectionals, it’s the survival of the fittest. Once we slowed it down and found our open guys, that really opened things up for us.”
“We’re excited to move on to the finals,” Frank said, who put up 13 points in the semifinal win. “We’re hungry and we want it.”
The Class D championship game will be played at 11 a.m. Saturday at Cool Insuring Arena. Northville will face either No. 2 North Warren 61-38 winners Thursday over or No. 3 Argyle.
“[Winning the title] would mean the world to all of us,” Artikuski said. “We’ve been working our tails off since Day 1, and it would be a blessing.”