Woodlands Advances to State Final Four for Second Straight Year

We are part of The Trust Project
The Woodlands Boys basketball team hoisted the Gold Ball after winning the Section 1 Class B Title, at the County Center. On Saturday, the Falcons beat Southampton, 68-58, in the Regional Finals to advance to the NYS State Final Four.  Lonnie Webb Photography
The Woodlands Boys basketball team hoisted the Gold Ball after winning the Section 1 Class B Title at the County Center On Saturday the Falcons beat Southampton 68 58 in the Regional Finals to advance to the NYS State Final Four Lonnie Webb Photography

The Woodlands Boys Basketball Team has advanced to the Class B New York State Final Four for the second consecutive season.

On Saturday, March 14, the Falcons shut down Section 11 Champ Southampton High School, 68-58, to capture the Class B Regional Title.

This is the second straight year the Falcons have won the Class B Regional Title. Moreover, it is the second year in a row that they beat the same opponent, Southampton, in the Title game.

Woodlands trounced the Mariners in the Regional Final last season, 73-47. Despite the previous blowout, Falcons Head Coach Robert Murphy was not worried about his team being over confident going into this year’s Title game. “We do not have any over confidence issues. We are just going to do what we do,” said Murphy, after practice, on Friday, as the Falcons prepared to leave for Long Island.

And the Falcons (21-3) surely did what they have done all this season in the Regional Final game, at Farmingdale State University. Falcons standout senior Jamil Gambari scored 23 points and snatched 16 rebounds. His counterpart Brandon Johnson had a game-high 24 points with seven steals and seven assists and Ross Joseph added 13 points.

The Falcons advanced to the Class B Regional Title game by defeating Section 9 Champs Marlboro High School, 57-49, in the Regional Semifinals, on Wednesday, March 11, at Purchase College.

To say the least, Gambari, the heart and soul of the Falcons, did not have his best game against the Dukes in the Regional Semifinals. The Woodlands’ star forward shot 1-of-13 from the field and scored only four points.

However, Murphy stated that he was not concerned about Gambari’s focus going into the Regional Final game three days later. “I am not worried about Jamil, as he never really plays back-to-back two games below par,” said Murphy. “But the thing about this team is when Jamil is not playing well somebody else will pick it up for him.”

Both of Coach Murphy’s insights on his team were confirmed when Gambari dropped 23 points in his next game in the Regional Final, while Ross Joseph and Brandon Johnson picked up the slack against Marlboro, scoring 20 points and 19 points respectively in the Regional Semifinal game.

With all the offense Murphy’s Falcons have generated on their road to Glen Falls, what he is most impressed with is his team’s lack of turnovers.

“What I am most impressed with is that we had only four turnovers against Marlboro in the Semifinal game,” said Murphy. “You show me another high school team in Westchester County that played a game of that magnitude and only had four turnovers; that is astronomical,” emphasized the Woodlands Head Coach.

Woodlands will challenge Section 10 Ogadensburg Free Academy, in the NYS Class B Semifinals, at the Glenn Falls Civic Center, on Friday, March 20, at 8:30 p.m. for a trip to the State Championship Game.

We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.