Two years ago, as a freshman, Schuylerville’s Orion Anderson suffered a frustrating loss in the state Division II 99-pound wrestling final.

Anderson let his defensive-minded opponent dictate the match, and waited too long to strike. He took that lesson to heart, and has won two state championships since — including Saturday at 120 pounds.

“That helped me a ton to train harder to come back the next year,” Anderson said. “I wish I was more offensive, like I am now. I didn’t hold anything back, and I’m more aggressive this year than I was last year.”

“(The 2015 final) changed him because he knew that you can’t just go out and do what you do every time — you have to be a step better,” said Schuylerville head coach Buck Anderson, Orion’s father. “I tell him all the time, we’re not training to beat the kids we already can beat, we’re training to beat the one kid we can’t.”

— Pete Tobey

From the start

Queensbury juniors Austin Gordon and Patrick Williams have been buddies for a very long time — back to the dawn of the Queensbury ice hockey program, in fact. Patrick’s father, Dean, has been the Spartans’ head coach since the program’s inception 17 years ago.

Gordon, who scored twice in Queensbury’s Division II sectional championship victory over the Tri-Falls Rivermen on Thursday night, reflected on that fact after the game.

“Me and the coach’s son, Patrick, we’ve watched every single Queensbury game since we were 1,” Gordon said. “We always dreamed of winning a sectional championship and it finally came true.”

Pete Tobey

Key return

The Salem girls basketball team benefited this season from the return of senior Malina Morris from a knee injury.

Morris suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament late last basketball season, and missed several months of athletic competition while recovering. She did not return for the Generals until Jan. 12, but her impact was soon felt.

After relying on Hailey Vincent and Jessi Vidal for most of their points, Salem was able to have more of an inside presence with Morris back in the lineup. Down the stretch, Salem won five of six games before Friday’s 54-35 Class D quarterfinal loss to Fort Ann — in which Morris finished with 15 points and double-digit rebounds.

“She brings a lot of heart,” Salem coach Naomi Jarvis said of Morris. “She’s aggressive in the post, which makes her a scoring threat. Tonight she definitely came to play.”

Pete Tobey

Rare company

When Schuylerville wrestling coach Buck Anderson looked across the mat during Saturday morning’s state semifinals, he admitted that he felt a little nervous.

Not about his son, Orion, wrestling Phoenix’s Cahal Donovan, whom he defeated in last year’s state final.

No, Buck Anderson was looking at one of the coaches in the opposite corner — none other than Gene Mills, a New York state wrestling legend and national wrestling Hall of Famer. The former Olympian and World Cup champ has tournaments and camps named for him.

“That makes me nervous,” Buck Anderson said. “When you’ve got one of the best coaches in the world in the other corner, it’s a little intimidating.”

— Pete Tobey

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