When Aquinas won the Class AA boys basketball New York State Public High School Athletic Association state title last weekend, it ended a long run in Section II.
Glens Falls, about 50 minutes north of Albany, hosted the final four weekend for 36 years. The NYSPHSAA awarded the basketball final-four weekend to Binghamton in Broome County for the next three.
Section II boys basketball committee officials plan on bringing the tournament back to Glens Falls. That will be no dunk, ask Section V boys basketball committee members. Section V hosted the state tournament from 1978-80, and the final four has not returned to the Rochester region since.
The last run made by Section V to host the state final four was in the 1990s, and it included free airline flights for Long Island teams, in order to overcome concerns about travel and expenses.
“And it still didn’t win,” Section V boys basketball committee chairman Jack Purificato said.
A couple of conditions need to change in order for Section V to consider hosting again, according to Purificato, who by no means made demands or requests during a conversation with the Democrat and Chronicle.
There is a surcharge of $1.25 per ticket sold that goes to the City of Rochester, Purificato said. The NYSPHSAA seemed to turn away from venues with surcharges during the latest bidding to host the state final four. It would be ideal for the sanctioning body to keep ticket prices at $10 each. Purificato said that Binghamton’s or Section IV’s successful bid included no required surcharge for tickets at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
A decision by the NYSPHSAA to move the final-four weekend around the state also could put Rochester back in the mix. It has been Purificato’s experience that sections in the eastern half of the state are leery of sending teams to the western half. Those sections stick together, and vote to keep the state final four in their half of the state.
Their concerns are understandable Purificato said, the further teams travel, the higher expenses are for districts, schools and spectators.
“If things stay the same, it would be a wasted effort,” Purificato said about a bid by Section V to host.