... To the South Kortright Central School boys basketball team, which won the Class D state basketball championship this past weekend.
It's the first state title for the boys team and only the second team title in any sport for the school.
This area has been fortunate to see a plethora of quality teams and star players this high school basketball season, but at the end, only one team ended up undefeated. That team was the Rams, at 26-0.
In the championship game, a 47-43 victory over Greenport, the team showed a team effort, with three players scoring 10 points or more, and each garnering a different honor. Rashawn Harrington, a tournament All-Star, had 15 points, while Sportsmanship Award winner Tanner Metzko had 11 and championship game Most Valuable Player Eric Burns had 10.
There are other congratulations to be offered to two other area teams that had outstanding seasons.
The Oneonta High School girls fell one game short of matching SK's 26-0 record, losing in the Class B final Saturday. That team, with its star player, Madie Harlem, and several strong supporting-cast members, excited Oneonta all season with its play while evoking memories of state title teams from 1997 and '98. While it could not prevail in Saturday's final, the team still can be proud of its Class D Section Four and Southern Tier Athletic Conference titles.
Last but not least, the other basketball team from South Kortright had its own thrills. The girls team, which lost in the Class D state semifinal Saturday, finished 22-4 and had close victories over Schenevus and Sackets Harbor to advance to championship weekend.
While high school sports are just a segment of the school experience, it is encouraging and exciting to see such effort, dedication and teamwork pay off for these three teams.
q ... To the winners of the 49th annual Daily Star Cook-off and Recipe Contest, which took place March 14 at the State University College at Oneonta.
The dozens of submitted recipes were whittled to nine finalists, and those people came in and prepared their dishes for the four judges and numerous community members in attendance.
The top three winning recipes were potato leek soup by Gina McAteer, of SUNY Oneonta, in the college category; Benny's Frutti di Mare by Bennett Privitera, of Oneonta, in the community category; and Key lime yogurt cheesecake by Colette Martin, of SUNY Oneonta, in the dessert division.
Even as Americans are squeezed for time, and more people eat prepared or fast-food meals, the contest is an annual reminder of the rewards and pride that can come from home cooking.