GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Most people ask for new clothes, jewelry, or want to be taken out for a nice dinner on their birthday. North Warren head coach James Cuyler is a little different. He spent his special day on the sidelines at Cool Insuring Arena. The only gift he desired was a section title, and his team delivered.

“That’s the best gift that you could give somebody like me – a Sec. II, Class D championship,” said Cuyler after the Cougars’ 46-33 win over top-seeded Northville in Saturday night’s Class D championship game. “I wouldn’t ask for anything else.”

Cuyler, overcome with emotion on the sideline after the victory, was swarmed by fans giving him congratulatory hugs and birthday wishes.

“I just wanted to not take this moment for granted,” said Cuyler. “I just wanted to soak it in, and be excited for the guys.”

The win was made even sweeter by the fact that Cuyler’s son, seventh grade guard Semaj Cuyler, earned tournament MVP after pouring in a game-high 21 points.

“That’s a great feeling as a dad,” said James Cuyler. “It’s also a great feeling as a coach, ’cause he works so hard. He’s been working out; I’ve been working him out since he was a third grader. He’s been working out since he was three, four years old. And I envisioned moments like this. This is a big moment for me, and I know it’s a big moment for him.”

Semaj Cuyler explained after the game what was working so well for both he and the rest of the team offensively.

“I (just) got up a lot of shots,” said Cuyler. “We looked for our big men; we tried to take the best shots that we could.”

It took a little while for North Warren’s offense to return to the form it was in in the semifinal round when it hung 61 points on third-seeded Argyle. The Cougars scored just four points in the opening quarter Saturday night, and trailed 8-4 heading into the second frame. They were outscored 6-4 by Northville senior Evan Tamulaitis alone in the first.

But the offense hit its’ stride in the second quarter. With the score tied at 10, Cuyler dropped in a long two-pointer from the far corner to claim the Cougars a 12-10 edge. That sparked a 7-0 run, which was capped off by a wing three-pointer from senior Sean Evans with 1:04 remaining before halftime, extending the lead to 17-10.

Northville managed to add a two-point bucket in the final seconds of the quarter, heading to the locker room trailing by five points. The Falcons continued to cut into the deficit in the third quarter. Senior guard Jacob Frank cashed in a steal with a breakaway lay-up at the 1:20 mark to make it a 27-25 game.

The two sides went back and forth from there. Trailing by four midway through the final stanza, Tamulaitis scored in the paint with 3:57 to play to again draw Northville within two points.

But then North Warren broke out the defensive clamps. It held the Falcons scoreless for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, the Cougars closed on an 11-0 run – with most of those points coming at the free-throw line – to secure the 46-33 win, and the Class D crown.

Cuyler was joined on the all-tournament team by Evans and Northville’s Frank, who dropped a team-best 18 points, as well as Falcons senior guard JT Artikuski.

North Warren now advances to sub-regionals. Its’ opponent has yet to be announced.

Northville concludes its’ season as the runner-up in Class D, finishing with a 17-6 overall record.