A change in strategy helped lift a young Turner/Carroll squad to a 68-55 win over Sidney in the Class C Federation state high school basketball final Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Junior Leonard Stokes scored 37 points to earn the tournament's most valuable player award. He had nine points in the pivotal third quarter as Turner/Carroll used a 21-2 run to erase a five-point halftime deficit.
"We said we had a terrible first half but we only trailed by five points," said Chargers coach Fajri Ansari. "I knew they were holding back because of nervousness."
Sidney shot 58 percent in the first half, and had a 23-20 rebounding advantage. But the Binghamton-region school led by just 35-30.
Turner/Carroll switched to a half-court trap, after pressing most of the first half. That switch prevented the Sidney guards from passing the ball into the post to Jason Dorsey and Craig Dawson, who had combined for 21 first-half points. Sidney scored just 20 in the second half.
"After we beat Salesian to get here, I didn't think there would be too many teams here as good as Salesian," said Ansari. "They were the No. 1 team in the state."
The Chargers have been rolling since scoring an overtime win over St. Mary's of Lancaster to take the Msgr. Martin Association's Class C state playoff berth.
Turner/Carroll went on to Binghamton to take the state Catholic schools championship, and then to Glens Falls to face the public school champions in the Federation tourney, which features champions from public, private and parochial schools.
Dorsey recorded team highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds for Sidney (26-2). He also had two blocks and two steals. Dorsey scored 10 of the team's 20 second-half points.
Sidney saw its five-point halftime lead diminish as a Clyde Wofford bucket seconds into the third quarter started a 10-0 run, with most of the points coming off Sidney turnovers.
The Warriors would get only four more points the rest of the quarter, as the Chargers extended their advantage to 51-41.
In the fourth quarter, Sidney closed to within nine on Eric Miley's back-to-back three-pointers, but never got any closer.