BUFFALO, N.Y.-Shortly before 11-pm Sunday night the bus carrying the New York State Class A champions pulled into the parking lot at McKinley High School.
Family members and friends of the players coaches and cheerleaders honked their horns and shouted their joy as the team got off the bus. Hours earlier the Macks had earned the first state championship in school history with a 76-73 overtime win over Burke Catholic from Section IX.
Macks head coach Zaire Dorsey told Two On Your Side's Stu Boyar "its an amazing feeling. We're on cloud nine. Its been a long day but we're definitely happy and excited." Senior Stephen Johnson told Stu "I feel thrilled, I feel great. The bus ride home made it even better. Everybody was happy, celebrating, jumping up and down and singing different songs. We feel like we're on top of the world almost."
What seemed to impress Dorsey and his players was the way the team kept its composure after seeing a big fourth quarter lead slip away. Dorsey said "we gave the lead away in the fourth quarter. We were down three with less than a minute to go and the guys just kept fighting and we won in overtime. I was impressed with their will not to quit." Senior Marcus Morris told Stu "I like how we played our game when Burke took the lead. We didn't get scared and came through to knock our free throws down."
Morris hit a three pointer to tie the game at 60 with 24 seconds to play. With just five seconds remaining another senior, Sammy Smith hit to free throws to tie the game at 62. "I just went to the line with a lot of confidence, concentrated and I knew they were going in when they rolled off my hand."
Next weekend McKinley heads to Albany to play in for the Federation championship.