By Keith Harrington
EDITOR’S NOTE: The writer has been a part of Section II athletics for more than 40 years as a team manager, player, coach, broadcaster and sportswriter. He has seen nearly every one of the area’s best basketball players in person. This week he is recognizing a group of the best players ever to take the hardwood in northern Section II. Narrowing down to a Top 5 seemed like an impossible task at times, he said, because so many of them have been outstanding.
The criteria used to try to provide a small measure separation between these of recognition, however you may wish to rank them. They are not only some of the area’s best ever, but New York state’s as well.
- Tony Traver
Playing for his father, legendary coach John Traver, Tony Traver was the Jimmer Fredette or Joseph Girard III of
his era. Traver starred at Greenwich from 1976 to 1980. In his varsity career he poured in 2,189 points. At the time that made him the leading scorer in Section II history, a mark Traver held until 1990. Without the benefit of the 3-point line Traver averaged 24.3 points per game. Traver was efficient at driving to the basket and drawing contact, making more than 700 career free throws. He led the Witches to a 64-7 record over his final three seasons. Traver was named All-State at the end of the 1978-1979 and 1979-1980 seasons.
After graduating from Greenwich, Traver went on to play Division I college basketball at William and Mary. In four seasons Traver played in 106 games, scoring 904 points. His best year for the Indians came during his sophomore campaign in 1982-83 when he scored 317 points in 29 games for an average of 10.9 points per contest and was the team’s third leading scorer.
Traver finished his career at William and Mary with an average of 8.5 points per game, an 80.3 free throw percentage and 49.5% from the field. William and Mary won 66 games and one ECACS championship during Traver’s tenure.
- Kobe Lufkin
Kobe Lufkin had an outstanding career for the Argyle Scots. In his senior campaign against Northville in the
Section II Class D semifinals Lufkin nailed a 3-pointer to pass Joel Wincowski to become the leading scorer in Section II history with 2,618 points.
Lufkin finished his career with 2,678 points and held the mark until Glens Falls’ Joseph Girard III passed him in 2019. He currently ranks fourth on New York State’s all-time scoring list. He was the 2017 state Class D Co-Player of the Year and made the 2016 Second Team when he averaged 32.3 points per game.
In his junior year Lufkin broke the Section II All-Time record for 3-pointers when he hit 12 in a game against Fort Edward and 127 for the season. He also broke the state record for treys with 344, passing Joe Lacata of Williamsville South.
After graduation from Argyle Lufkin moved on to play for Division III Utica College. This past year Lufkin had a breakout season. He had high games of 22 against SUNY Poly and 21 against Cazenovia. He averaged 10.9 points, hit 104 3-pointers and handed out 41 assists. He ranked third in scoring for the Pioneers.
- Joel Wincowski
At Lake George Joel Wincowski was a four-year varsity letter winner for the Warriors. He was the 2013 and 2015
New York State Class C Tournament MVP, and Player of the Year. He was also a 2014 Max Preps All-American. Wincowski amassed 2,617 career points, breaking Jimmer Fredette’s Section II record. He led the Warriors to the 2013 and 2015 Class C state championships.
After transferring to Indiana Tech from UMBC, Wincowski played in 34 games his junior year, averaging 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. He was named WHAC First Team All-Conference and All-Defensive Team.
In his senior year Wincowski appeared in 14 games, starting all of them before being sidelined with an injury. He averaged 13.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists a game. He was named WHAC Second-Team All-Conference, WHAC All-Academic Team and NAIA Scholar-Athlete. Wincowski also was honored as part of the WHAC Champions of Character Team and was the Indiana Tech Ultimate Warrior winner for the second year in a row.
Appeared in 14 games as a senior, starting all of them before missing the rest of the season due to injury…, 2.0 steals and 33.4 minutes per game…shot 59.4% from the field, 41.0% from three-point range and 79.4% from the free throw line.
4.) Joey Lufkin
Joey played his high school basketball at Argyle. Lufkin was a three-time Adirondack League Player of the Year
and two-time Post Star Player of the Year. He was the 2013 Class D MVP, 2013 first team All-State Class D andd Albany Times Union Small School Player of the Year. He was Argyle’s all-time leading scorer at the completion of his career. He led the 2013 Scots team to the Class D state title. He finished his high school career with 2,146 points.
After graduation Lufkin continued his playing career while attending Division III Hartwick. At Hartwick Lufkin was named the ECAC Upstate Rookie of the Year, Empire 8 Rookie of the Year and D3 Hoops All-East Rookie of the Year. Lufkin was twice named to the Empire 8 All-Conference Second Team twice and received Empire 8 Honorable Mention recognition one season. In 2017 he earned the Harry Mosher Memorial Award was named the Hartwick team Most Valuable Player and was a three-time Hartwick “Hawk of the Week.”
Lufkin finished his career with the Hawks with 1,636 points.
5.) Joe Greco
During his career at Whitehall Joe Greco was one of the premier players in the area. At the time of his graduation
in 1971 Greco was the Section II career scoring leader with 1,983 points. He is still ranked in the top 10 and is the Railroaders’ all-time leading scorer. Greco became the section’s all-time leading scorer by passing Ted Schoff of St. Johnsville when he scored career point 1,858th against rival Granville in a 90-43 win.
After his stellar career with the Railroaders Greco went on to play at the University of Vermont. He played on the Catamount’s freshman team his first year and varsity the next three. Greco is one of 29 Catamounts in the 500-point, 500-rebound club as he totaled 945 career points and 527 career rebounds in 66 career games. Greco averaged 19.1 points per game during his first year on the UVM main squad in Burlington. He averaged 12.7 and 12.1 the next two years for a career average of 14.1.
In his junior year Greco became just the third Catamount all-time and the first in 50 years to be named a captain for the team more than one year.
In the Conversation: Dave Carlisle (Hudson Falls) Tyler Mattison (Fort Ann) Alpha White (Fort Ann) CJ Bolster (Fort Ann) David Frank (Argyle) Terry Kollman (Warrensburg) Jim Casey (Lake George) Steve Purcelli (Lake George) Eric Wilson (Granville) OJ Lescault (Corinth) Bob Berger (Salem) Steve Ludd (Salem) Dan Ryan (Fort Edward) Shea Bromirski (Cambridge)