Lake George nearly did not make it to this game.
The Warriors’ regional semifinal opponent, Ticonderoga, missed a go-ahead 3-pointer at the buzzer and Lake George escaped with 46-44 victory on Thursday.
But as Lake George coach Dave Jones said after the game, a win is a win.
“Some of the things we talked about was making that third or fourth pass in our offense or reversing the ball better and we never got to that,” Jones said. “It was a focus of ours coming in to (the game), and it is unusual for this group to not take a game plan and follow through with it.”
Up next, the Warriors play St. Lawrence Central in the Class C regional final at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday at SUNY Canton. The winner of that game plays in the state final four in Binghamton.
The Larries (12-10) are the Section X champions and won their section final game 52-43.
The Warriors team that played Thursday did not look like the typical undefeated Lake George team that is outscoring opponents by more than 25 points per game this season.
Jones said cleaning up the Warriors offense is a priority. For the first time all season, Lake George’s 3-pointers did not drop as the Warriors shot 20 percent from deep against Ticonderoga.
Caleb Scrime, Mason Flatley and Alex Jones all average around 15 points per game, but had trouble shooting on Thursday. Instead, Scrime scored 10 points and Jones was held to just three points on one of six shooting.
Lake George did not make a substitution in Thursday’s win. Starters Scrime, Flately, Jones, Chris Becker and senior forward Nick Hoffis played all 32 minutes.
After the game, Dave Jones said the decision to not go to his bench was largely dictated by the game’s flow and on-court matchups.
“We could not play without Nick’s defense so that was one of the reasons we stuck with him,” Jones said. “We really haven’t rotated the other guys that much this season so that is not unusual for us.”
Due to weather, Lake George’s regional semifinal, that was originally scheduled for Wednesday, was moved to Thursday. Because of this, the Warriors had only one day between games rather than two.
Now with one day of preparation, the Warriors continue their run to a state championship with a regional final game against the Larries.
“I would’ve like the extra day but if we are lucky enough to win Saturday then they run those games back-to-back in Binghamton,” Jones said. “So maybe it will be good practice if we get there.”