Posted at: 03/07/2014 8:32 PM
By: Stephen Bond
Greece Athena Basketball simply wasn't ready yet. A roster full of underclass, the Trojans lost to Bishop Kearney in the state qualifier. Kearney went on to win it all. A year later, Athena dispatched their demons, beating Bishop Kearney. Still young, but more experienced, the Trojans are three wins away from a state championship.
Following their season ending defeat to Bishop Kearney last year, the Greece Athena Trojans knew they were one step away from glory. A year later and the Trojans are just concerned with the next step.
Jim Johnson, Greece Athena Head Coach, said, “Our whole theme this year was called “next step” and that's what we really wanted to do was to go. Our goal is to get to Glens Falls. You know it is right there for us this year. We felt we were the best team in the area this year and we proved that and now we have a chance to take the next step.”
Jay Sarkis, Greece Athena guard, said, “During the game, if we get into a critical spot in the game or a serious spot in the game, we play great, we overcome it together as a team then we get the job done. We accomplish it.”
Most of the Trojans have been marching on this journey since middle school. Their next step to completing the story is in the state tournament.
Deion Hamilton, Greece Athena guard, said, “We're definitely not satisfied yet, we still have a lot more work to do. Still a lot of things to clean up and still have games left and just have to focus on the next one.”
Zac DiSalvo, Greece Athena guard, said, “Ever since we were little kids in 3rd, 4th, 5th grade, we always grew up saying, 'what if we win a sectional title, that'd be real cool.' And most of the guys on this team already have two and now we really want that state title because there's no one in the state that works as hard as us.
Athena is over the hump and just a few steps away from matching John Wallace's 1992 state championship winning team. Athena plays Jamestown in the regionals Saturday in Buffalo.