Cooperstown, Lamberts sweep The Daily Star awards

Mike PerrinoCooperstown boys basketball coach John Lambert poses with his son, Jack Lambert, after the Hawkeyes won the state Class C boys basketball title on March 17 in Binghamton.  

 Postseason accolades continued to roll in for Cooperstown boys basketball and the Lambert family as Jack Lambert was named The Daily Star Player of the Year and John Lambert was named Coach of the Year.

“This season was a dream come true. It’s really been an amazing ride for not only me but my teammates too,” Jack Lambert said. “I know and the community knows it’s a team thing and I couldn’t have gotten these individual accolades without my teammates. I’m thankful for all of the people that have supported me and all of the guys this year.”

The Cooperstown senior was previously named Center State Conference Player of the Year and Class C New York Player of the Year by the New York State Sportswriters Association. He averaged 24 points per game, along with 6.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 3.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. He shot 47% from the field and 44% from beyond the arc in 27 games.

Lambert saved his best for late in the season, scoring a varsity-high 53 points on March 16 in a semifinal win over Greenport. That total was a state final four record, and the most by a Cooperstown player since Tyler Bertram scored 55 points in a regional championship loss in 2017.

The following day, Lambert scored 23 points in a state final win over Middle Early College in Binghamton, and was named the Class C Tournament MVP. He was also the Section III Class C Tournament MVP.

He capped his high school basketball experience by recently announcing that his basketball career will continue at the University of Scranton.

“I really felt at home when I visited campus and the coaches are just great guys. They really appreciated my game during the recruiting process and made me feel so welcome when I was there,” he said.

Much like the storybook season, the all-area awards are shared by father and son as John Lambert earned Coach of the Year honors for guiding the Hawkeyes to a state title in his first season at the helm. He moved up from assistant coach under Dave Bertram.

“We were so focused on the goals of winning and winning the right way as a team that we didn’t really thing about all the accolades that would come later, or to us as a father and son,” John Lambert said. “To have them come in now as a reflection of all the hard work, not just this year but as a father-son combination through Jack’s life, is beyond special.”

Cooperstown finished the season at 25-2 and as the top-ranked Class C team in the state, accompanying its Section III Class C and state titles. Sophomore John Kennedy landed on the All-State Sixth Team and senior Noah Lifgren earned an honorable mention nod, while Lifgren was named a CSC All-Star and senior Calvin Sandler earned an honorable mention from the conference.

“With this group they just played so well together and if I could get them playing together as I know they are capable, then I knew they would be a real good team and a tough out,” John Lambert said. “It being my first year, how can you say you’re not surprised if you win the state championship? A lot of breaks have to go your way, a lot of bounces. To say we didn’t have goals would be unfair, but to say I’m not surprised would also be unfair.”

The Daily Star All-Star Team was recently named for the 2018-2019 high school boys basketball season. The Daily Star sports department selected the 2018-2019 boys basketball player and coach of the year. Area players who earned all-state or first-team all-conference selections from their respective leagues received automatic All-Star honors from The Daily Star.

Player of the Year: Jack Lambert, senior, Cooperstown

Coach of the Year: John Lambert, 25-2, Cooperstown.

All-State Class B: Teddy McGraw, 11th team, Oneonta; Graham Wooden, 14th team, Oneonta.

All-State Class C: Jack Lambert, Player of the Year, Cooperstown; Andrew Jackson, second team, Unadilla Valley; John Kennedy, sixth team, Cooperstown; Dylan Jacob, sixth team, Walton; Levi Rifanburg, ninth team, Unadilla Valley; Noah Lifgren, honorable mention, Cooperstown; Conor Aikens, honorable mention, Delhi; Alex Haight, honorable mention, Delhi.

All-State Class D: John Martin, second team, Edmeston; Matt Murphy, fourth team, Morris; Wynn Williams, fifth team, Milford; Parker Robinson, seventh team, Edmeston; Seth Ashline, honorable mention, South Kortright; Gavin Bonczkowski, honorable mention, Gilbertsville-Mount Upton; Cian Hall, honorable mention, Milford; Logan Kaufman, honorable mention, South Kortright; Austin Lamport, honorable mention, South Kortright.

BOYS BASKETBALL ALL-STARS 2018-2019

Center State Conference: Jack Lambert, Cooperstown; Noah Lifgren, Cooperstown; Calvin Sandler, Cooperstown.

Delaware League: Kaeden Leach, H-T; Jason Mc Devitt, H-T; Clyde Cole, Jefferson; Cole Lapinel, Jefferson; Curtis Roberts, Margaretville; Isaac Walker, Roxbury; Seth Ashline, South Kortright; Austin Lamport, South Kortright.

Midstate Athletic Conference: Andrew Jackson, Unadilla Valley; Jason Davis, Oxford; Dylan Jacob, Walton; Conor Aikens, Delhi; Levi Rifanburg, Unadilla Valley; Alex Haight, Delhi; Cole Russell, Deposit-Hancock; Liam Matthews, Sidney; Nate Barry.

Southern Tier Athletic Conference: Teddy McGraw, Oneonta; Graham Wooden, Oneonta.

Tri-Valley League: Josh Martin, Edmeston; Parker Robinson, Edmeston; Carson Dutcher, Franklin; Wynn Williams, Milford; Nate Edwards, Morris; Matt Murphy, Morris.