Thursday, March 5, 2009

Section II girls basketball championship predictions

2008-09 Section II Class D championship
Saturday, March 7, 3:30 p.m.
Hudson Valley Community College

No. 1 Germantown (22-0) vs No. 3 Argyle (14-8)
I haven't seen either of these teams this year, but you can't get me to pick against an undefeated Clippers squad.
Predicition: Germantown 53, Argyle 42.

2008-09 Section II Class C championship
Friday, March 6, 6 p.m.
Hudson Valley Community College
No. 1 Maple Hill (21-1) vs No. 2 Greenwich (17-5)
Maple Hill's Alyssa Filkins is the team's lockdown defender and she will have her hands full with Greenwich's dangerous freshman Dani DeGregory in Friday's Class C championship game.

This should be a great game, as Greenwich has quietly put together a fantastic season. The Witches trailed Hoosic Valley and Stillwater all season long in the Wasaren League - but did hand Hoosic Valley its only defeat of the season.
Dani DeGregory, a freshman, has scored almost 15 points per game for Greenwich and when I saw her play against Hoosic Valley in the rematch earlier this year, shge buried four three-pointers in a 47-29 defeat.
Still, Maple Hill has steamrolled its way into another Class C championship game. The Wildcats defeated Schenectady Christian 30-19 a season ago and fell to Watervliet in the CC/C playoff.
Prediction: I think Greenwich is really going to give Maple Hill a game (Wasaren League basketball!) but the Wildcats just have too many weapons and too strong a defensive philospohy to fall prey. Maple Hill 39, Greenwich 32.

2008-09 Section II Class CC championship
Friday, March 6, 7:30 p.m.
Hudson Valley Community College

No. 1 Hoosic Valley (21-1) vs No. 2 Voorheesville (17-5)Hoosic Valley's Carolyn Houston drives the baseline in a game at Tamarac High School earlier this season. (J.S. Carras - The Record).

Like the Maple Hill/Greenwich game, I think Voorheesville had a quiet season hiding behind Holy Names, Lansingburgh and Watervliet and will give the Indians a real test on Friday night. Houston, above, scored 18 points in a semifinal victory over Wasaren League rival Hoosick Falls, but lamented the Indians' defensive effort in the 44-33 victory.

“I actually think it was the worst defensive game we’ve had,” Houston said. “We just need to really work on our defense (on Thursday). We shot fine offensively, but I think defensively that was one of our worst games. Giving up 12 points in the first quarter was too many.”

I have not seen the Blackbirds play this season, so I'm not sure what they do, but they hung tough in the Colonial Council and held off a talented Stillwater team in the semis to advance.

Prediction: The Indians are looking to make it four Section II titles in a row and I don't see anyone stopping them, assuming the defense comes to play. Wednesday's wake-up call may have lit a fire under them. Hoosic Valley 35, Voorheesville 29.

2008-09 Section II Class B championship
Saturday, March 7, Noon
Hudson Valley Community College

No. 1 Watervliet (16-6) vs No. 3 Johnstown (20-3)Tierney McGlynn (20) slashes her way through the Lansingburgh defense in a Colonial Council game played at Lansingburgh on Jan. 3, 2009. (Tom Killips - The Record).

The Lady Cannoneers earned the No. 1 seed and the only first round bye in the 15-team Class B field and were put to the test in the quarters, needing two overtimes to defeat Schuylerville. Watervliet rallied with a victory over Colonial Council rival Mechanicville in the semis to head back to a Section II title game for the third straight season.

McGlynn and Jen Gates provide the senior leadership for the Cannoneers, but Lashana Tolliver's 14 points and 13 boards in Tuesday's victory over the Red Raiders was especially impressive considering she's only an eighth-grader.

Johnstown hasn't faced much of a challenge yet, rolling to victories over Coxsackie, Cohoes and Hudson Falls.

Prediction: Big advanatge, however, to the Cannoneers, who have postseason experience and the hometown crowd at HVCC. Watervliet 49, Johnstown 41.

2008-09 Section II Class A championship
Saturday, March 7, 1:45 p.m.
Hudson Valley Community College

No. 1 Mohonasen (20-2) vs No. 2 Averill Park (15-7)
Sisters Brittany O'Shea (l, a junior) and Brooke (r, a freshman) have led the Lady Warriors to the Section II Class A championship game this season, where they will meet Suburban Council South Division rival Mohonasen. (J.S. Carras - The Record).

It's no surpirse that four Suburban Council teams are left standing in the Class A and AA finals, providing a pair of interesting rematches. Mohonasen has defeated Averill Park twice this year - by a combined two points. Averill Park's Katie Duma joined Mohonasen's Nicole Adach on the Suburban Council first team and they will both be relied on in this one.

Averill Park defeated Mohon 55-26 in last year's final, but this is not the same Mohon team.

I think Averill Park has a lot to prove after a disappointing end to the regular season and should do well in front of the Rensselaer County crowd at HVCC. Although most of the team is still in the junior class, they have plenty of experience and poise, which goes a long way.

Prediction: It's hard to beat a team three times, especially when you barely beat them. Averill Park has all the motivation in the world to repeat as the Section II let's say Averill Park 50, Mohonasen 49.

2008-09 Section II Class AA championship
Saturday, March 7, 5:15 p.m.
Hudson Valley Community College

No. S1 Shenendehowa (18-4) vs No. S2 Bethlehem (17-6)Shenendehowa's Marisa Ray puts up third quarter shot over Colonie's Ashley Loggins (30) during Class 'AA' high school girls semifinal basketball action Wednesday, March 4, 2009 in Edward F. McDonough Sports Complex at HVCC in Troy. (J.S. Carras - The Record).

Another Section II rematch, Shenendehowa outlasted Bethlehem 36-29 in the 2007-08 Class AA championship game.
In their only meeting this season, the Eagles won by 10 points over the Lady Plainsmen and it looks like the tables could be turned this year.

Bethlehem's Meg Olsen was the 2008-09 Suburban Council Player of the Year and Alex McCullough was a first team selection. (Shen's Marisa Ray and Allie Setter were named to the second team.)

I know Bethlehem has had its share of ups and downs this year - I saw Shaker hand right with them until the end in early January and the Eagles had some surprising defeats and unlikely close games.

Prediction: The Lady Plainsmen play a slower-tempo style and like to control the pace with their defense, but Bethlehem's stars are going to make up for last season's championship shortfall. Bethlehem 46, Shenendehowa 39.



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