LAKE GEORGE - The website of Lake George High School offers a clue to the legacy of the 2008-09 boys basketball squad - a level of performance the new team is seeking to live up to.
"Not rebuilding, Just Reloading," the web page says.
Seven seniors were on that deep, multi-talented 2008-09squad that thrilled the fans with aggressive, fast-paced action - featuring Warriors Jake Nelson, Nathaniel Miller, Toby Noble, Peter Gaibrois, Lucas Freihofer, Robert Mastrantoni, and Logan Place.
Whether it was the kryptonite in Mastrantoni's shoes, the clutch three-pointers from Freihofer, the offensive versatility of Miller, or the record-breaking animalistic rebounding and vicious defense of Jake Nelson, this was a talented and entertaining team.
Coach Dave Jones and several players said Monday they were ready to take over where the 2008-09 squad left off, and contend for the Adirondack League championship in 2010.
The 2008-09 team won the Western Division of the league, but lost the overall title in the last few seconds to the talented, determined Fort Ann team.
"We had a 20-4 winning season and won the league's western division, and this year we don't want anything less," said team co-captain Matt McGowan, who played center off the bench last year.
"Definitely," agreed guard Kyle Burden, the team's other captain. "We've got height and speed, and we've got power down low."
Much of that power will be provided by McGowan, who's 6'6" and learned a lot of his moves last year by being matched up with Nelson in practice, McGowan said.
"Jake roughed me up in practice, which was good for me," McGowan said.
Coach Dave Jones said McGowan was tough regardless of last year's matchup with Nelson.
"Matt has worked hard on his game," he said. " He offers promising options down under the basket," he said.
Another team weapon is one stolen back from the North Warren basketball team - Alex Hladik, 6'4", who left Lake George for a year, was a standout for the Cougars in 2008-09, then returned this year to the Warrior tribe, Burden said.
"Alex is definitely a great attribute to our team - he brings height to our outside."
Jones said the new squad had considerable potential, considering their height and a lot of varied talents on court, including speed and ball handling.
Included in the lineup are Senior Chris Kosz at 6'1", Junior Matt Stover at 6'4", Corey Yorks at 6'3", joined by Senior Cameron Dorman and Juniors J.D. Jenkins, Erik Jones, and Jeff Maldonado, he said.
"This team is well-rounded," he said. "We're just trying to build team chemistry and find out which guys work well together on the court."