It was remarkable enough for the Hamilton girls basketball team to rise from its no. 7 seed to earn its first-ever Section III Class D championship.
But the Emerald Knights could take it no further as Charlotte Valley, the Section IV champions, beat them 34-24 in Saturday's Class D regional final at SUNY-Utica Tech.
With that win, Charlotte Valley, which hails from Davenport, advanced to this weekend's state Class D final four at Hudson Valley Community Collge in Troy.
The sense going into this title game was that Hamilton would need two things - another fine all-around performance from junior Jordan Peterson, plus some help from the players around her.
The concern was legitimate. Charlotte Valley had emerged from a tough Section IV bracket, and the Wildcats featured its own star in Samantha Meyerhoff, who had surpassed 2,000 career points late this season.
As far as the marquee names went, Meyerhoff would prevail, getting 20 points to Peterson's 13.
The bigger story, though, was how Charlotte Valley kept any other Hamilton player from contributing in the late stages. Katie Weeks had six points, but they call came in the first half.
Combined, the Wildcats' defensive duo of Jackie Gilley and Katie Brown did an effective job denying Weeks, Peterson and any other Hamilton player a series of good looks.
The Emerald Knights finished at 15-6 this season, and its championship run might be far from done.
Just two seniors, Hillary Hanson and Jenna Whyatt, were on the roster. Peterson, Weeks and Katherine Keever lead a cast of what could be up to 11 returning players, so head coach Jessica Poole should have her tea aiming for the top again in 2010-11.