ONEONTA — Lee Fisher took Davenport to another level Saturday at Oneonta State.
So his boys basketball team returned the favor after beating Southern Cayuga, 39-32, in the Section Four Class D championship game.
“Oh my gosh! I thought I was in heaven,” Fisher, 73, said of being lifted onto the shoulders of his players while celebrating the Wildcats’ ninth sectional title and first since 2007 in front of a raucous Davenport fanbase that witnessed his 536th career victory. “I’ve got to make sure my Social Security is paid up. If I get hurt, I’m in trouble.”
Fisher appeared to be in good hands, though, as his second-seeded Wildcats (20-1) spent the majority of the night taking care of the ball.
Davenport committed a mere 13 turnovers and incessantly drove to the basket to challenge Southern Cayuga big man Justin Schneider, who had 19 points when the fifth-seeded Chiefs (10-9) knocked off No. 1 seed Edmeston, 61-56, in a sectional semifinal Thursday at O-State.
Schneider didn’t come close to that Saturday, finishing with six points as the Wildcats seemed anything but terrified of the 6-foot-6 center.
“All week, coach has been telling us we had to get to the rim,” said Davenport senior guard Corey Hartman, who scored nine of his team-high 14 points in the vicinity of Schneider. “They had a kid who was a foot taller than me, but coach said don’t be intimidated and just take it to the rim.
“We’ve played teams like Stamford who had size, but nothing that tall,” he continued. “Coach kept harping on us, ‘Take it to the rim! Take it to the rim!’ to get them in foul trouble. And in the first quarter, we got one of their main players (SC starter Logan Clark) with three fouls. That gave us good momentum and coach just kept saying, ‘Take it to the rim and we’re all set.’ “