Davenport’s Ray Preston tied the record for victories by a girls basketball coach in New York state with his team’s 30-16 Delaware League victory at Downsville on Tuesday night.
Preston, in his 34th season, earned his 619th victory. That put him even with former Red Hook coach John Kuhn, who retired after the 2009-10 season.
Preston’s first chance at becoming the state’s all-time winningest girls basketball coach will come Friday in the Delaware League championship game against unbeaten South Kortright. That game starts at 5:30 p.m. at SUNY Delhi.
“He’s always been one of the dominant coaches around,” said Downsville coach Courtney Hoyt, who also played against Preston-coached teams for the Eagles in the mid-2000s. “As a player, I always enjoyed playing against him, because his teams were always competitive. They were definitely games I looked forward to playing.”
Preston guided the Wildcats to their 26th Delaware League division title this season. His teams have won 11 league championships, eight sectional titles, appeared in four state semifinals and two state championship games. Davenport is still searching for its first state championship in girls basketball.
In 2011, Preston was inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame. Two years earlier, he earned induction into the Section Four Hall of Fame.
On Tuesday, the Wildcats (15-2) played without leading scorer Sarah Haight. Hoyt said Haight was on crutches with what she believed to be an ankle injury.Sam Maidens, who hit two three-pointers, scored seven of her game-high 13 points after halftime when Davenport outscored the Eagles, 17-8.
Downsville had two players out because of illness and another fouled out early in the third quarter, leaving Hoyt with five healthy players.
Courtney Jennings had 10 points for the Eagles (8-9), who will play at South Kortright in a Section Four Class D first-round game Tuesday.