Friday, March 19, 2010

Maple Hill boys to try again in NYS Class C title game

Maple Hill senior forward Jake Jasiewicz slashes to the hoop as Blind Brook's Brent Lavitt defends during Friday's New York State Class C semifinal game at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Jasiewicz scored a team-high 13 points for Maple Hill in the 50-46 victory. (All Maple Hill photos by Erica Miller - The Saratogian).

Maple Hill head coach Scott Hanrahan is always looking for one player to step up in any given game and Jasiewicz was it Friday afternoon.

Jasiewicz, who has been on an absolute hot streak in the postseason for the Wildcats, scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Maple Hill held off a late Blind Brook rally to advance to the New York State Class C championship game for the second consecutive season.

"This year, it’s just a new stepping stone for me," Jasiewicz said. "I’m starting. They expected me to step up a little bit more. As a team, this isn’t new to us. This is the second time. It’s just a great experience to be able to do this. Maple Hill is known for soccer, but now we’re making a new dynasty for basketball."

Saturday, the Maple Hill girls basketball team will compete in a NYS Class C semifinal against Tioga Central at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy at 2:15 p.m. The Maple Hill boys plan to stop in for support on their way back to the Civic Center.

Maple Hill's David Briggs draws a trio of Blind Brook defenders during Friday's game. Briggs, who fouled out late in the fourth quarter, finished with six points.

Jasiewicz was 5-for-8 from the field, including a three-point bucket early in the second quarter that game Maple Hill some breathing room at 17-13. He also sparked the Wildcats' defensive turnaround in the second half.

"Going into the second half, we knew they had 15 offensive rebounds in the first half," Jasiewicz said. "Our game plan was to box out and get some offensive rebounds and get some defensive rebounds and just capitalize on all the opportunities they give us. Just to do that, that was a big part of winning this game."

There were plenty of Castleton Crazies along the baseline Friday afternoon and expect many more to be there - for their second game of the day - Saturday night.

"Early in the game, I thought we had pretty good control, but Jake, he certainly made a huge effort in that second half," Maple Hill head coach Scott Hanrahan said. "He came up with a bunch of rebounds. I thought defensively everybody stepped up. We were able to get some good stops and we finally kept them off the offensive glass in the second half. I think our team defense was what stepped up most."

Maple Hill senior point guard Dominic Prinzo prepares to make a shot during Friday's game. Prinzo finished with eight points and five assists.

Prinzo was an instrumental piece off the bench a season ago and so was Maple Hill sophomore Jon Chesky in Friday's game.

David Briggs was in early foul trouble, forcing Chesky into significant second quarter action. Briggs fouled out in the fourth quarter with 1:03 to go, meaning the Wildcats were going to lean on their young forward.

Chesky missed both free throw attempts with 12 seconds left in a 48-46 game, but responded with a pair of made foul shots a few seconds later, providing the final margin in the 50-46 victory.

Jasiewicz, especially, sees much of himself in Chesky's development. A key reserve a season ago, Jasiewicz has emerged into a starter and Chesky will have to do the same next year.

"Next year he is going to be leading this team," Jasiewicz said of Chesky. "His coming off the bench is huge for us. He did it in the Hoosick Falls game for us when I was sitting on the bench with three fouls in the first quarter. Absolutely. We’re passing the torch to him just like Dominic Prinzo did in the postseason last year when Jaime Schultz and Trent Tibbitts passed the torch to him.

"He comes out and he works his butt off because he knows every opportunity he gets is special," continued Jasiewicz. "For him to do that, it helps the teams and it’s a confidence booster for the team as well. To come out and hit those free throws at the end really sealed it out. Passing the torch to him is the best thing we can do."

Maple Hill senior center Sean Danaher drives by a Blind Brook defender during Friday's NYS Class C semifinal game. Danaher scored 11 points and added 11 rebounds in the victory.

Next up for Maple Hill is the No. 1 team in the state, OTC Buffalo Middle College (22-1).

Buffalo Middle College High School has only had a team for the last two seasons - it's a magnet school in Buffalo - and played as a Class A team a season ago. Their only loss this season came against Sweet Home, a Class AA team from the Buffalo/Rochester area.

Davon Alexander, a 6-foot-2 junior, scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a 57-40 Class C semifinal victory over Moravia (20-3) late Friday afternoon.

"This was our underlying goal all year long," Hanrahan said. "We didn’t really talk about it until we finished some other goals, but this is what these guys have been thinking about this last year. This is their moment. I told them last weekend in Potsdam that this is a team with a purpose. Their purpose was to get back to this final game."

MATCHUP: Maple Hill (24-1) faces OTC Buffalo Middle College (22-1) in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C Championship game at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
TICKETS: $10, available at the door, at or calling the Civic Center box office, 518-798-0202.

No., Name, Pos., Yr., Hgt., Ppg.
3, Dominic Prinzo, PG, Sr., 5-9, 8.6
30, Chris Despart, SG, Sr., 6-0, 12.8
44, David Briggs, G/F, Sr., 6-2, 11.0
42, Jake Jasiewicz, F, Sr., 6-0, 7.6
55, Sean Danaher, C, Sr., 6-5, 13.4
No., Name, Yr., Hgt., Points in Friday's semifinal
1, Justin Stokes, Sr., 6-1, 17
2, Davon Alexander, Jr., 6-3, 22
3, Darale Young, Sr., 6-3, 10
10, Keonte Jones, Jr., 6-1, 0
11, Sean Mulhern, Sr., 6-5, 5

Friday boys basketball scoreboard
Class D semifinals
Coleman Catholic, Kingston 70, Germantown 50
Maple Grove 56, New York Mills 50
Class C semifinals
Maple Hill 50, Blind Brook 46
OTC Middle College, Buffalo 57, Moravia 40
Class B semifinals
Burke Catholic 70, Potsdam 59
Westhill 69, Batavia 53

Saturday Schedule
All games at Glens Falls Civic Center
Class A semifinals
Jamesville-Dewitt vs. Red Hook, 9 a.m.
Westbury vs. Newark, 10:45 a.m.
Class AA semifinals
CBA-Albany vs. Newburgh Free Academy, 12:30 p.m.
Half Hollow Hills West vs. Rochester East, 2:15 p.m.
Class D Championship game
Coleman Catholic vs. Maple Grove, 5:30 p.m.
Class C Championship game
Maple Hill vs. Middle College, 7:15 p.m.
Class B Championship game
Burke Catholic vs. Westhill, 9 p.m.


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