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Boys Basketball: Lake George vs. Madrid-Waddington

Lake George’s Mason Flatley (21) works past a defender during the Warriors' win over Madrid-Waddington at Saratoga Springs High School on March 6.

There hasn't been a feat like this since 2015.

Scotia-Glenville won 53 consecutive games over a three-year span, starting in 2013.

Lake George topped that last week, beating Moriah in a Class C regional final game, marking the Warriors' 54th straight victory and third straight state semifinal appearance.

Before Scotia, and now Lake George, the closest boys' winning streak came from 1991-92, when Watervliet won 43 in a row.

History shows there are six schools with more than 53 straight wins. Belleville won a record 104 consecutive from 1966-1971. The six other schools, Power Memorial, Pine Plains, Southampton, Boys High and Kendall all accumulated winning streaks larger than Lake George.

Since the NYSPHSAA state tournament started in 1978, however, only Scotia and the Warriors have won 50 or more in a row.

Using 1978 as the birth of modern boys basketball history, this current Lake George program holds the longest winning streak in state history.

On Saturday, the Warriors put their streak on the line against Middle Early College (21-4) in a state semifinal, with the winner advancing to the Class C championship on Sunday at noon.

A win would mark Lake George's fifth state championship appearance in seven years.

Furthermore, with three state championships in six years, winning in 2013, 2015 and 2018, the Warriors are undoubtedly one of the most successful programs in Section II history.

"It is remarkable a team has been able to do this," former state tournament director Doug Kenyon said. "I do not care what class you are playing in, because a lot of this is attributed to great coaching, and Dave Jones did that first."

Before retiring last year, coach Dave Jones built an empire. Then current coach Blake White inherited the keys to a kingdom all while Mason Flatley has been the common thread throughout.

"My hat goes off to (Dave Jones)," head of the New York State Sportswriter Association, John Moriello, said. "He walked away knowing this team had at least one more good year left."

With 360 career wins, Dave Jones' fingerprints are still all over the Lake George program and will be for a long time.

He was a master game planner and revered not only for his unmatched preparation, but also his natural ability to summon the best of his players and coaches, no matter the circumstance.

White learned from Jones and took over for him once he retired shortly after the 2018 championship.

Though things have changed inside the program, the exterior product looks the same. Lake George (26-0) continues to win big, beating teams by an average of more than 20 points per game these past two years.

Lake George fans can thank infrastructure for some of the Warriors' continued dominance. But Flatley also deserves credit as the ultimate ironman and mainstay through four varsity seasons, three Binghamton trips and two coaches.

He is the leader in career games played for the Lake George boys basketball program with 104 and counting, passing Joel Wincowski's old mark of 94.

Over that stretch, Flatley has won 91 games while only losing 13 times.

"(Flatley) embodies the way basketball should be played," longtime public address announcer and statistician Bill Wetherbee said. "He has bridged the coaching transition and shown leadership."

As a varsity player in his freshman season, Flatley has seen it all while never losing a game as an upperclassman.

Few can relate to such a winning creed.

However, Caryn Kovatch, formerly Caryn Schoff, can.

She scored 3,550 points playing for St. Johnsville High School and won three state championships in the '90s, winning 64-straight games from 1993 to 1995.

"We were on a high for three years in a row," Kovatch said. "When you are in it, we were hyper-focused. As the wins accumulated, that focus got more intense."

She hopes Flatley and this group of Warriors don't feel what is like to see such a historic streak snap. As a senior, after her sister, or "wing-man," graduated, Kovatch lost a regular-season game to a rival school and remembers how devastating it was.

"I called my sister," she said. "We were upset but we also reminisced. Same for these kids someday. They will remember this in their own awesome and unique ways."

No matter how or when the streak ends, this Lake George group will be remembered forever. History lives on in players from the 2013 or 2015 teams that paved the way. And none of this is possible without recent graduates like Caleb Scrime, Nick Hoffis, and Alex Jones, as 54 straight wins can never be taken away.

"That number speaks for itself," Moriello said. "If you won a state championship during a streak, then you've done all you can do. Multiple championships are great, but they have accomplished something no matter what."

"This sets a standard that will be very hard to surpass," Wetherbee said. "It will be the benchmark of success in Section II."

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Follow Ellis L. Williams on Twitter @BookofEllis

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