Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Abraham Lincoln Railsplitters Reading Material

Bishop Maginn crushed Niagara Falls in the NYS Public High School Athletic Association class AA final to advance to the Federation Tournament. The Federation Tournament pits winners from the NYSPHSAA against New York City area leagues Public School Athletic League (PSAL) and the Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA). The Association of Independent Schools (AIS) also sends a representative to the class A and class B brackets.

Check out all of the Federation matchups here.

The Griffins (25-1) defended their #1 state ranking
against then No. 2 Mount Vernon. They'll get the chance again, as Lincoln has shot up to number two after capturing the PSAL crown.
Maginn plays Lincoln on Saturday March 29 at 3:45 pm. The game is at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
CHSAA winner Holy Cross is ranked No. 4 and earned a bye into Sunday's final against the winner of Maginn/Lincoln. Sylven Landesberg paced the Knights with 29.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game, earning Gatorade New York basketball player of the year.

Lincoln High is a basketball factory - NBA stars Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair are former Railsplitters.
The Splitters have made the Federation Final every year since 2003 except for 2005. That's five out of the last six years they have been at least one of the top two teams in the state.
This year's team features Lance Stephenson - arguably the greatest high school player in the nation.
A little more about the one they call "Born Ready"

Stephenson has his own channel on the Internet - which is worth a look.
And an "official" MySpace page.
A 92 overall rating on
Features on as well as
The Daily News
And a plethora of highlight reels on YouTube.

A Google search for "Lance Stephenson" returns nearly 26,000 hits.
A Google search for "Bishop Maginn," on the other hand, returns a paltry 16,200 results.
Oh yeah, he's a high school junior.

Lincoln's Lance Stephenson perfects the game face.

A Maginn victory in the Federation semifinals would be an upset of monumental proportions - a basketball earthquake epicenter, Glens Falls.
But, the Griffins knocked off perennial powerhouse Mount Vernon in the state semis. They destroyed Niagara Falls, another stronghold, in the state final. They've got a virtual homecourt advantage at the Civic Center.

However, Section II has never fared well in the Federation games. The Albany area has sent only five teams to the Federation tourney final, ever. Again, Lincoln has been there five out of the last six years, playing against NYC competition all season long.
Watervliet won the class C title in 1991, beating Buffalo's Turner Carroll 82-63.
In 1988, Stillwater fell in class C, Rensselaer in the Cs in 1990 and Schenectady dropped the 2001 class A title tilt.

Lincoln's best player is more well-known than the Bishop Maginn school. History leans in the Railsplitters' favor.
In a NYC Hoops poll, the Griffins barely get a nod. (Lincoln and Holy Cross are 1&2)
Lincoln is 15th in the nation in this poll. (Maginn's 28th)
ESPN ignores the Griffs, but USA Today scoots over to make room at No. 24.

To everyone outside Albany, the Federation final is already set.
On March 28th, we will see what the Griffins, now the little guys, have to say about that.

--Will Montgomery

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