Good Morning! With the Border Country Sports Blog, I'm Keith Harrington.
I want to begin today by giving you a heads up that I will soon be switching to my summer blogging schedule. Usually during the summer months when high school sports are idle I cut down my blogging to just 3 or 4 days a week. I typically make that move after all local teams are eliminated from playoff competition.
During the summer months I will keep you up to date on summer leagues such as the TCML and American Legion, and sway away from high school sports to blog about Glens Falls Dragons baseball, car racing at Devil's Bowl Speedway and of course horse racing at Saratoga.
I hope some of you who enjoy my coverage will stop by and give me a read this summer.
A Tale of Two Route 40 Rivals
Whenever I write about an Argyle/Hartford game I call it the Route 40 Rivalry game. Sure, the rivalry is not as intense as it once was, but those of us who played in it in its prime still remember those good old days. In 2022 the once fierce opponents have given local sports fans the best stories of the year.
The Hartford girls basketball team and now Argyle's softball team have put their small towns on the map, or at least reminded people across New York that they are still on it. The Scots and the Tanagers have given all of Washington County and the Adirondack League teams to follow and something to cheer about this year after their teams have been eliminated.
The two teams took very different paths to the New York State Final Four. Hartford entered the Section II Class D basketball playoffs as the heavy favorite. After a regular season where they didn't loose to a Class D opponent, only falling twice to Corinth, once to Class C Whitehall and once to Class A Glens Falls, it would have been a stunner if Hartford did not win Class D.
The Tanagers cruised through the sectionals, defeating Spa Catholic in the Class D final then pulling away to top Boquet Valley in the regional title game. The Tanagers fell to eventual champion Copenhagen in the state semifinals to finish 20-5.
The Argyle softball team on the other hand has not had such a clear path to the state semifinals. At one point this season the Scots were 3-5 after back-to-back losses to ADK top teams Lake George and Whitehall. However, it may have been the Whitehall game that flipped the script of their season. Argyle led the Railroaders 3-0 early before falling 8-4, but the game may have proven to Lexi Nassivera's team that they could compete with the upper echelon teams.
Argyle went on to edge Salem 4-1 to win the sectional Class D crown and then nipped Section VII champion Bolton-Schroon Lake7-6 in the state regionals. They have won 7 of their last 8 including six in a row.
The Scots will now take on Section III champion Oriskany in the state semifinals Saturday at 11:15 a.m. at the Moriches Athletic Complex on Long Island.
The two small nearby Washington County towns seperated by around 10 miles may have traveled different roads to the state Final Four in their respective sports, but they have both given us all a chance to extend our seasons as sports fans. We thank them for taking us all on the ride.
Good luck to Coach Nassivera and the Scots this weekend.
With the Border Country Sports Blog, I'm Keith Harrington.