Friday, February 28, 2014

Breaking Down Saturday's Championships


It's championship Saturday in Section II and we should all be very excited and mutually promise to not use the "you can't do that" cheer in any of our respective games. Deal? Ok, good.

Now that we've all decided to come up with slightly more original cheers, let's break down the eight title games that are on the line today.

For those interested, I'll be camping out for three boys games at the Glens Falls Civic Center - Hoosic Valley/Saratoga Catholic, Voorheesville/Broadalbin-Perth and Troy/Scotia. If you want consistent updates and an inevitable review of the latte I buy from Coffee Planet in downtown Glens Falls, follow along at @LauraAmato.

Happy championships everyone!
BOYS BASKETBALL - at the Glens Falls Civic Center
Class D Final
Germantown (14-4) vs. Argyle (17-3), 2 p.m.
About Germantown: The Clippers just barely held off the upset on Tuesday night, topping Hartford  48-46 in the semifinals. Germantown out-scored the Cougars 13-to-11 in the final eight minutes, while Tyler Fuchs and Scott Scrodin both finished with 13 points.
About Argyle: Kobe Lufkin broke the single-season 3-point record, previously held by his brother Joey, on Wednesday night, sinking six from behind the arc as the Scots grabbed a 57-41 victory over North Warren. Lufkin finished with  a game-high 24.
Notables: If Lufkin gets hot from behind the arc, this game could get lopsided fairly quickly. Add into the mix a strong rebounding presence from Del Pryce and Brock Liddle and the odds are pretty good that the Scots are looking at a third straight Section II title.

Class C Final
Saratoga Catholic (18-3) vs. Hoosic Valley (18-3), 3:45 p.m.
About Saratoga Catholic: Luke Spicer grabbed a steal and sank the layup with 1:15 left on the clock to give the Saints a 51-49 upset win over reigning state champions Lake George on Wednesday night. Saratoga Catholic trailed by as many as 15 poitns, but tied the game on back-to-back treys with just over three minutes left to play.
About Hoosic Valley: The Indians used an 18-to-6 advantage in the first quarter to build a lead and never look back en route to a 61-50 victory over Wasaren League rival Greenwich in Wednesday's semifinal. Senior standout Mike Pierre drained nine from the floor and was perfect at the line to notch a game-high 23 points.
Notables: Let's all be honest with ourselves. This is not the Class C final matchup we all thought would happen when brackets were released two weeks ago. Now, Hoosic Valley had come into the postseason looking for a rematch against Lake George and while the Indians won't get that, it's important for the Valley to stay focused. Just becuase they won't get to face off against Lake George for a second straight season does not mean that this is an easy win. Hosoic Valley needs a srtrong showing across all 32 minutes if it's going to clinch its first title since 2008.

Class B Final
Broadalbin-Perth (16-5) vs. Voorheesville (20-1), 5:30 p.m.
About Broadalbin-Perth: It wasn't pretty, but the Patriots stormed thier way into the championship game with a 44-42 victory over Hoosick Falls on Tuesday night. BP held the Pnathers to just six points in the second and third quarter to grab the final victory.
About Voorheesville: The top-seeded Blackbirds cruised to a 59-47 victory over Colonial Council rival Mechanicville in Tuesday's semifinal, topping the Red Raiders for the second time this seaosn. Veterans Logan Hotaling and Noah Crawford combined for 38 points to pace the Ville's offense.
Notables: Broadalbin-Perth has been the Cinderella story this postseason. The Patriots topped upset victor Hudson in the quarterfinals an then staged their own surprise victory against Hoosick Falls earlier this week. The key for BP is Andre Taylor, a multi-sport standout who has simply been shooting lights-out all tournament. He posted 31 and 35 points in his first two games of the postseason and if he gets hot, the Patriots could be sliding on that metaphorical glass slipper.

Class A Final
Troy (17-3) vs. Scotia (19-0), 7:15 p.m.
About Troy: The Horses can't afford a second half like the one they played against Gloversville if they're gong to clinch their second straight championship. Troy led 35-18 at halftime but was out-scored 17-to-7 in the third quarter and just held on for a 59-55 victory.
About Scotia: The Tartans used a combo of incredible defense and quick offensive movements to grab a dominant 71-45 victory over Amsterdam on Thursday night. Three different Scotia players posted double digit figures for the top-ranked Class A team in the state, led by Joe Cremo's game-high 21 points.
Notables: While the Flying Horses are the No. 2 seed in the tournament, and making their third straight Section II championship game appearance, the squad is still the defnite underdog in this matchup. That may be a bit of an insult to some teams, but the Horses are relishing the title and they're going to use it to their advantage. Troy's a scrappy team and defense is going to be the key here to keep up with Scotia's quick transition offense.

Class C Final
Greenwich (15-5) vs. Hoosic Valley (16-4), 12 p.m.
About Greenwich: The Witches brought the pressure early, giving up just eight first uarter points en route to a 63-56 victory over Maple Hill. Mariah Linnett led the offensive charge with a team-high 24 points, while Alexis Case went 10-for-14 from the line and finished with 22 points of her own.
About Hoosic Valley: The top-seeded Indiand did not give up a single point in the first quarter of play and only gave up nine points in the entire second half to grab a 39-19 victory over Lake George in Tuesday's semifinal. Meanwhile, on offense both Lauren Madian and Laura McGreevy finished with 11 points.
Notables: This one is going to be good. Wasaren League rivals who have already seen each other twice this season, splitting games, you can fully expect them to be fired up heading into this one. The key for the Valley - just as it is every tme they take the court - is defense. If the Indians can hold their own on the defensive end, and shut down Greenwich's Alexis Case in the process, they could be lookign at their fourth straight Section II title.

Class B Final
Johnstown (15-6) vs. Tamarac (19-2), 1:45 p.m.
About Johnstown: The Lady Bills out-scored Watervliet 20-to-9 in the second quarter of Wednesday's semifinal, en route to a 49-46 upset over the reigning Class B champs. Hope Cerasuolo led the offensive charge with a game-high 29 points, inclduing three from behind the arc.
About Tamarac: After leading by double digits in the first half, the Bengals cooled things off a little bit and had to battle for a place in the championship, grabbing a 57-53 victory over Schalmont. Both Jenna Erickson and Adiya Henderson were double teamed for most of the night, but five other players put points on the board and that kind of balanced attack was crucial.
Notables: The Bengals are not a tall team. Adiya Henderson may be six feet tall, but even so, Tamarac is facing a serious height advantage against Johnstown. That being said, the squad is going to have to focus on what it does have and that is speed. When Tamarac gets out in transition the offense is close to impossible to stop and once they get a few baskets under their collective belts, the Bengals confdience is off the charts. If Tamarac can keep moving, they could be looking at the program's first title since 2005.

Class A Final
Queensbury (17-2) vs. Averill (18-2), 3:30 p.m.
About Queensbury: The Spartans were a force to be reckoned with on Wednesday night, never giving up and taking an overtime victory over reigning NYS Class A champs Troy High. Jillian Davis, just as she's done all season, was the driving force behind Queensbury, posting yet another double-double in the victory.
About Averill Park: The Lady Warriors gave up just 12 points in the second half, breaking out the defense in a 60-29 victory over Glens Falls on Wednesday night. Ten different AP players posted points in the well-balanced attack, while Kelly Donnelly finished with a game-high 22 points.
Notables: The biggest thing for either of these teams is to control the tempo of the game. Averill Park is at its absolute best when it can get out and run, forcing turnovers and moving the ball in transition. On the flip side, Queensbury looked solid in set plays against Troy, using height to its advantage and getting multiple looks on the offensive glass. Whoever can set the rhythm here will most likely walk away with the victory and the championship.

Class D Final
Fort Ann (17-3) vs. Fort Edward (14-2), 5:15 p.m.
About Fort Ann: The Cardinals drained 8-of-12 free throws in the fourth quarter to seal Tuesday's 48-41 victory over Warrensburg. Kayla Prosser finished with a game-high 16 points, while Danika Mulcahy sank three from behind the arc and added 10 points of her own in the victory.
About Fort Edward: The Flying Forts jumped out to a 23-to-9 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, topping Heatly 73-46 in the semifinal earlier this week. Kaicey Sardina led the attack with a game-high 18 points while Brittany Sardina racked up the stats with six points, eigh tassists and seven steals.
Notables: If you're looking for another heated, league-rivalry in a championship game, you have come to the right place with this one. This will be the fourth time these two teams have squared off this season, including a 50-29 Fort Edward victory in the Adirondack League championship. It's going to be an emotional game and whichever team can keep its head the best is going to win.


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