Monday, March 1, 2010

Section II basketball semifinal capsules - girls and boys Class C

We continue our preview of the Section II semifinal games. For the large school boys post, click here.

Boys Basketball
Class C
(2) Voorheesville vs. (2) Hoosick Falls
Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.
Glens Falls Civic Center
About Voorheesville: The Blackbirds certainly ride senior center Ethan Mackey – all 6-feet-6 of him – who scored his 1,00th career point in a quarterfinal victory over Canajoharie. Chris Castern, Joe Keenan and Connor Cashin make up an alliterative trio of three-point shooters. The Blackbirds finished a game behind Watervliet and Lansingburgh for the Colonial Council regular season title this year, not bad for a Class C school.
About Hoosick Falls: The Panthers, like Voorheesville, rely on a big-time senior, in their case, Kevin McMahon, who also recently broke the 1,000-point barrier. Sophomore point guard Alex Lilac, the son of head coach Mike Lilac, Jr. and grandson of Section II basketball committee chairman Mike Lilac, Sr., is having a wonderful year behind the arc with 51 three-pointers made so far. The Panthers lost just once in Wasaren League play, dropping a one-point decision to Hoosic Valley. Their other two losses came to Vermont rival Mt. Anthony.
What to watch: How will the Panthers counter Mackey? Will they be content to let McMahon and Mackey duel it out? What happens if McMahon wants to live on the perimeter, where he is dangerous with a good long-range jumper?

(5) Schoharie vs. (1) Maple Hill
Wednesday, 8 p.m.
Glens Falls Civic Center
About Schoharie: The Indians put together a 9-3 record in WAC play and carry a 15-5 tally into Wednesday’s semifinal. Jacob Karker has scored the majority of Schoharie’s point and he is a dual inside-outside threat.
About Maple Hill: The Wildcats have won a pair of Section II playoff games in as many days because their opening round opponent, Berne-Knox, was trapped under four feet of snow for a week. Patroon Conference champions for the second consecutive season, Maple Hill lost just once this season, to Class A rival Ichabod Crane. Sean Danaher is a force on the inside and Dominic Prinzo sharply runs the offense at the point, but the trio of forwards – David Briggs, Chris Despart and Jake Jasiewicz – really exemplify the Wildcats’ selfless style of play.
What to watch: What happens if any of the Wildcats run into foul trouble? Can someone from the Maple Hill bench step up? Will the Castleton Crazies make the trek up to the Civic Center and how will that rattle the Schoharie players?

Class D
I have not seen any of the Class D teams remaining as they all play outside our coverage area, so I can't comment on them.mso 10]> Best of luck to the remaining squads.

(1) Argyle vs. (5) Fort Edward
Tuesday, 5 p.m.
Glens Falls Civic Center

(2) Germantown vs. (3) Sharon Springs
Wednesday, 5 p.m.
Glens Falls Civic Center

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GIRLS BASKETBALL
Class AA
(B1) Catholic Central vs. (S1) Shenendehowa
Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Hudson Valley Community College
About CCHS: The Lady Crusaders won their first Big 10 regular season title since the 2005-06 season. They also avenged a 2008-09 quarterfinal loss to Bethlehem, topping the Eagles 49-34 on Saturday afternoon. Maria Foglia is CCHS’ leader on and off the court and first-year head coach Audra DiBacco likes to mix and match the lineup with her choices on a deep bench.
About Shen: The Lady Plainsmen have been solid as a rock all season long, with losses to Class A schools Averill Park and Mohonasen the only blemishes on their record. Emily Weber leads the team in scoring, but it’s a balanced attack all around for this defensive-minded, grind-it-out type of team. Head coach Ken Strube recently became the all-time winningest coach – boys or girls – in Section II history.
What to watch: It’s a battle of experience here, really. CCHS finally got the monkey off its back with a victory over Bethlehem in the quarterfinals, but can they find a way to defeat a top-tier Suburban Council team in the semis in front of a big crowd at HVCC? If Shen negates Foglia, who else will step up for CCHS?

(S1) South Colonie vs. (S3) Shaker
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Hudson Valley Community College
About Colonie: The Garnet Raiders scored the Suburban Council upset of the season, defeating Averill Park by a single point in the final game of the regular season schedule. Colonie, however, lost to Averill Park by 40 points in the first meeting between the teams. Tehresa Coles is a legitimate Division I prospect, according to many coaches, but freshman Sydnie Rosales is an big-time up-and-comer.
About Shaker: The Blue Bison have flown under the radar all season, unable to score a victory over the top teams in the league – Averill Park, Shen or Colonie. Shen needed a buzzer-beating shot to defeat Shaker on Jan. 29. Shaker certainly has a height advantage over any team, with Lauren Woods and MacKenzie and Madison Rowland clogging up the lane. Erica Houle and Adrianne Devine provide some weapons on the perimeter.
What to watch: Can the Blue Bison finally make a statement and score an upset win? Will Woods and the Rowlands be able to stay out of foul trouble and play a ton of minutes? Which Colonie team will show up in front of a packed house at HVCC for a postseason rivalry game – the one that beat Averill Park by a point or the one that lost to Averill Park by 40?

Class A
(3) Academy of the Holy Names vs. (6) Ichabod Crane
Tuesday, 6 p.m.
South Colonie High School
About Holy Names: Holy Names is still undefeated, but their road to the final will be tough without Kierra Moore, who is out for the remainder of the postseason with an injured knee. Still, Holy Names defeated Colonial Council rival Lansingburgh by 22 points in a quarterfinal round game. Holy Names last won a Section II Class A title in 1994.
About Ichabod Crane: The Riders scored a major quarterfinal round upset, topping Mohonasen of the Suburban Council, 51-47. Ichabod always tends to have a rough time in sectionals because they play mostly Class C and B schools during the regular season in the Patroon Conference. This could be the precursor to a budding Colonial Council rivalry with Holy Names, as Crane will join the conference next season.
What to watch: Will Holy Names, the No. 2 team in the state, continue its march to a long-awaited showdown with No. 1 Averill Park? Can Ichabod slow Holy Names down enough to keep the game at a relatively slow pace?

(1) Averill Park vs. (4) Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
South Colonie High School
About Averill Park: The Lady Warriors stumbled into the postseason with a one-point loss at Colonie in their regular season finale, but bounced back after a first round bye, topping No. 8 Glens Falls, 64-27, in the Class A quarterfinals. Katie Duma and Brittany O’Shea are the leaders of a very strong senior class, but Brooke O’Shea and Bridget Carney (sophomores) also factor in on the inside.
About Burnt Hills: The Spartans earned the No. 4 seed in the postseason despite a 4-14 regular season record. BH-BL topped Rte. 50 rival Scotia-Glenville in the quarterfinals, 43-37. Maria Allocco, also a great volleyball player, paces the Spartans in the paint.
What to watch: Averill Park won the regular season meeting between these teams, 48-21. Will Burnt Hills make this one interesting, at least?

Class B
The quarterfinals will be played Wednesday, so I'll hold off on the semifinal previews.

Fonda-Fultonville quarterfinal pod
Wednesday, March 3, Fonda High School
(6) Johnstown vs. (3) Mechanicville, 6 p.m.
(7) Hudson Falls vs. (2) Fonda, 7:30 p.m.

Watervliet quarterfinal pod
Wednesday, March 3, Watervliet High School
(13) Ravena vs. (5) Cohoes, 6 p.m.
(8) Schuylerville vs. (1) Watervliet, 7:30 p.m.
(This same matchup was an instant classic last season - click here to read the story).


Class CC
(2) Hoosic Valley vs. (3) Albany Academy for Girls
Tuesday, 6 p.m.
Rensselaer High School
About Hoosic Valley: The Indians, unusually, are not the No. 1 seed this season. Hoosic Valley lost Wasaren League games to Schuylerville and Greenwich this year, also dropping a non-conference game to Class AA opponent Queensbury by a single point. Taylor Sullivan is the team leader, but like many of the Hoosic Valley superstars in the past, her main skills are defense and ball movement. Freshman guard Cassidy Chapko is Hoosic Valley’s main threat behind the three-point arc.
About Girls Academy: The Bears had a nice season in just their second year in the Colonial Council finishing a 9-9 in a two-way tie for sixth place with Voorheesville. Amanda Cioffi and Jill Verde are the team leaders, but they do not have a lot of playoff experience.
What to watch: Obviously, the Indians are looking to lock down on defense, and this will likely be a low-scoring affair. Still, will Hoosic Valley relatively young team handle the pressure in a neutral gym? Will Chapko adjust to the weird angles and unbalanced sets of bleachers at Rensselaer High?

(1) Maple Hill vs. (5) Schenectady Christian
Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Rensselaer High School
About Maple Hill: The Wildcats are the No. 1 ranked Class C team in the state and they have ridden junior center Katie Roth all the way there. Anna Racz cleans up the rest inside and Kristen DerGurahian and Jessica Dailey do most of the damage around the three-point arc. The Wildcats have won the last two Section II Class C titles, but this is their first year in Class CC.
About Schenectady Christian: The Falcons own a 13-5 record and put together a 9-3 campaign in the WAC South Division. Monica Compton and Heidi Frazer take care of most of the scoring for the Falcons. Schenectady Christian is just one of six Section II teams to have sent both its boys and girls teams to the semifinal round. Shen, Ichabod, BH-BL, Maple Hill and Argyle are the other. The Class B girls remain to be seen – Fonda, Johnstown, Watervliet could also make the cut.
What to watch: If the Falcons gang up on Roth, who else will step up for the Wildcats? Does Maple Hill get a serious homecourt advantage with the Castleton Crazies in a Patroon Conference gym in Rensselaer?

Class C
The only team I can comment on here is Greenwich, but best of luck to all the teams involved.

(1) Greenwich vs. (5) Duanesburg
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Scotia-Glenville High School
About Greenwich: Dani DeGregory is only a sophomore, but she is a playmaker that can do it all. She is dangerous is driving to the rim or picking three-pointers off around the perimeter. With her, the Witches score points in bunches as her teammates are left open.

(2) Berne-Knox-Westerlo vs. (3) Lake George
Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Scotia-Glenville High School


Class D
(3) Heatly vs. (1) Whitehall
Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Adirondack Community College, Queensbury
About Heatly: Sophomore Melissa Heffern, born into a basketball tradition on Green Island, was perhaps the third-best player in the CHVL this season behind Germantown’s Taylor Race and Waterford-Halfmoon’s Jackie Sorensen. Adriana Brown and Stasha Cuzdey also contribute in the scoring for the Hornets, who defeated No. 5 Harford by seven points in a quarterfinal victory at Whitehall High last Friday. The Hornets last won a Section II Class D title in 1998.
About Whitehall: The Railroaders, currently undefeated at 19-0, last won a Section II Class D title in 2002.
What to watch: Whitehall’s Brittany St. Clair has been a prolific scorer this season, not finishing in single digits a single time this season. The question is: can the Hornets find a way to slow down the 6-foot-1 senior? Can Heffern keep driving to the rim and get her in early foul trouble?

(2) Argyle vs. (2) Germantown
Tuesday, 6 p.m.
Adirondack Community College, Queensbury

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