By Charlie Cornacchio

TROY - The excitement was there, the student population was there, in fact it looked as though the entire town of Pine Plains was there, the only thing missing was the accurate shooting and stingy Bombers defense that we saw throughout the sectionals and regionals.

Pine Plains picked the wrong time to have its worst quarter of the season, but it happened in the first eight minutes of the State Final Four Semi Final game against Northern Adirondack. It wasn't supposed to be this way, but there it was. Northern Adirondack came into Hudson Valley Community College as wide eyed as Pine Plains. The Bobcats had never been here before either. And when you sized up both teams in warm-ups, Pine Plains had a distinct height advantage. Not one Northern Adirondack player stood more than 5'9" ; The Bombers had a 6'3" , 6"1, 5'10", and 5'9".

But when the whistle blew and the opening tip went off, Pine Plains might as well have been a collective 5'2" because the basket seemed miles away. The Bombers had great looks to the basket but their shots just weren't falling. Three pointers that were slicing through the net with ease in previous games, were rimming out in the first 8 minutes of this one. Easy layups were looping up one side of the basket and drooping off the other side.

Meanwhile Northern Adirondack played a hard nosed, aggressive defense and fast paced offense. The Bobcats outscored the Bombers 16-1 in the first quarter and never looked back. In fact, the only time Pine Plains got this to under a double digit deficit was late in the game when it was too late to run a rally. The Bombers had a tremendous post season, and didn't play all that bad in quarters 2,3,and,4 of this game, but oh to have those first 8 minutes back. 49-39 the final. Northern Adirondack lost to Cooperstown in the Championship game on Sunday 61-34