The Newburgh Free Academy Varsity basketball team made it to the opening round of the state Class AA tournaments, where they ended their post-season on Thursday.
The Goldbacks have overcome numerous obstacles due to the COVID pandemic. The team did not play at all during the 2020-2021 season. In December of 2022, nearing the end of their regular season, the team did not play for 22 days due to a spike in COVID cases.
Throughout the season, the Goldbacks went undefeated in league games, boasting a 9-0 record in OCIAA Division 1. In the Class AA semifinals, Newburgh defeated Pine Bush 67-52. They went on to clinch the Section 9 title in a 71-61 win over Middletown.
Newburgh faced Mount Vernon, the Section 1 winner, in the opening round of the Class AA tournament at Kingston High School on Tuesday evening. Newburgh bowed out to Mount Vernon 63-46. Newburgh played hard, enjoying an 11-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
By the conclusion of the game, Newburgh’s Jah’Lakai King was able to sink two 3-pointers, scored 26 points, grabbed four rebounds, and had two steals. Newburgh’s Deondre Johnson racked up six points, grabbed ten rebounds, and made five blocks. Andrew Crosby added seven points for Newburgh with five rebounds and four steals.