ELMIRA, NY (WENY) - Last season was a special one for the Elmira boys basketball team. The Express captured their first section title in program history. Now Elmira looks for another first: their first repeat as Section IV champions. 

The Express will begin their title defense on Monday night at home against Vestal at 7:15 PM. The Express finished last season with a record of 13-5, with the season culminating in a 69-56 win over Binghamton in the Section IV Class AA title game. Head Coach Ryan Johnson tells WENY the win has lasting effects. He says, "There's definitely carry over. High expectations, we set our standard high for these young men. They know what they're in store for and they know what this program's all about. Like I said, we've built a culture and kids are itching to get into this program. There's a lot of kids that aren't in that would love to be here. Again, I think we do a good job of evaluating our talent and keeping the guys that deserve to be here and that have earned a chance. It's a good feeling, looking forward to coming to practice every night and seeing what we can do."

The Express know what they need to do in order to repeat as champions. Senior forward Devin Dennard says, "Winning a sectional title last year makes us want to work harder on both the offensive and defensive ends." Senior center Trey Hawken adds, "We just gotta work hard every day. Just do the same thing we did last year and just push each other every day and get better every day."