WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Byram Hills High School boys basketball coach Ted Repa and his group of seniors have been on a four-year journey that brought the team from lackluster to perennial championship contender.
On Sunday, that journey reached its conclusion.
The top-seeded Bobcats fell to third-seeded Poughkeepsie, 56-47, in the Section 1 Class A championship game at the Westchester County Center. Poughkeepsie won its first section title since 1999.
“It’s been magical every second,” said Byram Hills senior Jeff Lynch of his time with the Bobcats. “We’ve had come-from-behind wins. We’ve had miracle shots. We’ve had everything. Every year I feel like we bond and we created a sense of family. I’m going to hopefully play in college but nothing will ever match this.”
The wheels came off for Byram Hills in the third quarter as Poughkeepsie outscored them, 16-6. Both Andrew Groll and Ryan Golden got into early foul trouble and were not on the floor for much of the quarter.
“It’s tough to not play with your best players on the court,” Repa said before he later added, “All I know was when they called the fouls I was like, ‘No. Please, no.’”
It only got worse for the Bobcats, who trailed by 11 entering the fourth quarter and by 16 minutes later.
But Byram Hills refused to go away quietly as they went on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 47-42. Poughkeepsie would go back up by 10, but the Bobcats would again cut the lead to 53-47 with 1:08 left. Byram Hills then could not come up with a defensive stop or timely basket to get any closer.
Lynch, in particular, put up a fight in the fourth quarter as he came up with multiple steals and baskets to try and keep Byram Hills alive. He scored most of the Bobcats’ final points and was all over the court as he hustled for the ball.
If he were going to go out, he would do so fighting.
“I mean this is my last year. There’s really nothing more I could have done,” Lynch said. “I gave it my all. We all gave it our all. It just wasn’t our day.”
After the game, Lynch, who made the All-Tournament Team, sat on the bench and put his arm around a teammate. He hugged him and uttered a few words. The tears flowed for him a few moments later but only after he performed one last act of leadership.
He and his fellow seniors have no more basketball left to play but they went out with pride.
“I think all the seniors wanted to do everything they could,” Repa said. “Just came up a little short.”