History is made: Saugerties wins first-ever Section 9 title

Saugerties made history on Sunday, winning its first-ever Section 9 championship with a thrilling 54-53 win over Red Hook in the Class A final at SUNY New Paltz.

Paton Gibbs scored the game-winner for Saugerties on a pass from Darnell Edge with 1:43 remaining. Red Hook had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, in bounding the ball off a time out with 7.2 seconds remaining. Nick Michitsch’s running jump shot from the foul line bounced off the rim and time expired as both teams chased the ball, setting off a wild Saugerties celebration. Michitsch finished with a team-high 18 points.

Saugerties received a bye in the first round of the Class A state tournament and will play Spring Valley or Union-Endicott in the quarterfinals at 4 p.m. Saturday at New Paltz.

Edge came into the game needing 17 points to reach 1,000 points for his career. The milestone seemed within reach. He’s averaging 19 points per game and scored 33 in a Class A semifinal win over Monticello.

However, Edge scored just one point in the first half – on a free throw a minute into the game. Facing a tough Red Hook defense, his first field goal came with 12 seconds left in the third quarter. Edge finished with 10 points.

With Edge bottled up, Gibbs led the way with 21 points, and now needs 17 to reach 1,000 for his career. Gene Haun stepped up for third-seeded Saugerties (18-3) with eight points and Shawn Jansen had seven points and nine rebounds.

The Edge to Gibbs pass gave Saugerties a 54-52 lead. Red Hook (17-3) cut the lead to 54-53 with 48.8 seconds remaining when Dennis Hare converted 1-of-2 free throws. Red Hook beat Saugerties for last year’s Section 9 Class A title, advancing all the way to the state semifinals. The championship showdown also served as a rubber match.

Red Hook beat Saugerties 50-47 on Dec. 12 on a 3-pointer buzzer beater at the end of regulation. Saugerties defeated Red Hook 62-49 in the Mid-Hudson Athletic League tournament semifinals on Feb. 23 and went on to win its second straight MHAL title.

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