Dad bests son as Lilacs meet for first time

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HOOSICK, N.Y. — The first time a father and son matched up on the basketball sidelines in Section II was Mike Lilac Sr and Mike Lilac Jr. in 1997. It was Mike Jr.'s first season leading Hoosick Falls, while his dad was finishing up a Hall of Fame career at Stillwater.

During a TV news interview after Mike Jr.'s Panthers topped his dad's Warriors, Mike Sr. talked to reporters with his 3-year-old grandson, Alex, in his arms.

Fast forward to Friday, and Alex, now 24, and in his first year leading the Hoosic Valley varsity, faced off against his dad.

"Time flies by awful quick," said Mike Lilac. "He's had a dream to be an educator and have a positive impact for young men and help them through basketball, so to see him doing what he wants to do is very rewarding."

On this day, however, the father bested the son as Hoosick Falls won 54-33.

"It was something, just a great experience for us tonight," said Mike Lilac. "I went through it 22 years ago and now we're doing it again. It was good to have my dad here to see it and I'm proud of what Alex has become as a young man and as a coach."

Alex Lilac said he practically grew up in the Hoosick Falls gym.

"Obviously it's special coming in here, I feel like I grew up in this gym, I sat over on [the home] side of the bleachers since I was five years old as a manager, and through 18 being a player. It's sublime in a way coming back here with the kids I got."

Before the game, Alex was asked who he thought was more nervous, himself or his father. Without skipping a beat, he said: My mother.

"It's a big basketball family and my mom doesn't get enough credit," said Lilac, talking about his mother Katy. "My dad took care of us on the court and my mom was raising the family. Everyone had a hand in making this night possible."

Mike Lilac said he and Alex sat side by side on Wednesday during the snow day to go over each other's scouting reports.

"When I faced my father, I had coached JV for seven years already, so I was out of the house," Mike Lilac said. "Alex still lives with me, so we'll go home together tonight and rehash the whole thing. It's unique and a memorable experience."

The game, between Mike's 8-0 Panthers and Alex's 5-6 Indians, had Hoosick Falls, winners of 47 Wasaren League games in a row, ahead throughout.

Hoosick Falls took a 12-6 lead after one quarter and put the foot on the accelerator in the second, outscoring Valley 19-6 in the frame.

The Panthers scored eight of the first 10 in the quarter and after a steal and basket in transition made it 20-8, Alex Lilac called a timeout.

Hoosick Falls finished the quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 31-12 lead into the break.

"We came in knowing what was in front of us and our mentality coming in, we're here to slay the giant," Alex Lilac said. "We came up short, but hopefully we can see them again the crossover for the league."

The Panthers extended the lead to 23 heading into the fourth before Valley outscored them in the fourth for the final margin.

"We know these teams are going to be sky-high for us and we're going to see their best shot," Mike Lilac said. "We have to keep answering the bell."

Kempf led all scorers with 17 points, including 7-of-9 from the foul line. Tristan Williams added 14 for the Panthers, who improve to 9-0 on the year. The leading scorer for Hoosic Valley was Derek Eddy with eight points.


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