And the defense remained strong all night, limiting Watervliet to 24.1 percent (14-for-58) shooting. The Cannoneers tried 25 shots from beyond the 3-point arc, but only made two of them.
On the other end, with the Cannoneers bent on containing the sophomore tandem of Kaigler and Ben Hackett, Littlejohn and Rogers combined for nine points in the second quarter, helping the Gaelic Knights go to the break with a 24-16 edge.
Eight total points from Kaigler and Hackett stretched the margin to 30-16 early in the third quarter. But when Hackett picked up his fourth foul, Watervliet started dominating on the boards - and that, combined with Ludden's rash of turnovers, led to a 10-0 run that closed the period.
From there, it turned into a tense chase. The Gaelic Knights were unable to pull away, but the Cannoneers never caught up, either, and in the end Ludden made one fewer mistake, the tiny margin that made all the difference.
Hackett, who gained 14 points in the final, earned tournament MVP honors, while Kaigler finished with seven points and joined Hackett on the All-Tournament team. Gleason led both sides with 16 points.
Ludden, who is 22-2, is not done yet. It now heads to Albany's Times Union Center for next weekend's state Federation championships, meeting the Catholic High School Athletic Association winner Friday at 5 p.m. The final is Saturday at 5:45.