Monday, March 1, 2010

Section II boys basketball semifinal capsules - large schools

Since the Class C and D semifinals are still waiting for their final participants, with a pair of quarterfinal games being played tonight, here are game capsules for the large school boys basketball semifinals set to be played this week.
Look for the small school boys caps and girls previews coming soon.

2009-10 Section II boys basketball semifinal playoff preview capsules

Class AA
(S1) Shenendehowa vs. (B2) Bishop Maginn
Tuesday, 6 p.m.
Times Union Center, Albany
About Shen: The Plainsmen, guided by Suburban Council MVP Matt Miner, cruised to postseason victories over Catholic Central and Schenectady by a combined 46 points. Shen is gunning for its first Section II large-school title since the 1995-96 season.
About Maginn: The Golden Griffins are back in the semifinals in head coach Orlando DiBacco’s first season as head coach. Maginn has a number of play-makers in Jerel Scott, Mike Petruccione and Shavar Fields, while Chris Jeffers and John Scurry are strong in crashing the boards.
What to watch: Shen went toe-to-toe with CBA in the Class AA semifinals a season ago and can they reach the next level against an athletic and experienced Maginn squad? Can Shen’s outside shooters adjust to the backdrop at the TU Center?

(B1) Christian Brothers Academy vs. (B3) Albany High
Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Times Union Center, Albany
About CBA: The Brothers have appeared in seven straight Section II large school title games and are looking to make it eight with a victory over Albany Tuesday night. Senior forward Kam Ritter and junior guard Galal Cancer are excellent in attacking the rim.
About Albany: One of a few teams to really light up the scoreboard during the quarterfinal round at HVCC, Albany steamrolled Queensbury 82-43 thanks to a stirring 29-point performance by Amari Gaddy.
What to watch: Can Albany possibly compete with CBA in a high-scoring back-and-forth battle? Will the Falcons be able to survive if senior point guard Jeremic Bennett runs into early foul trouble again?

Class A
(6) Gloversville vs. (7) Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
Thursday, 6 p.m.
Glens Falls Civic Center
About Gloversville: The Dragons used 31 points from Malcolm Mathias to topple Averill Park in the quarterfinal round. Gloversville went to the line 33 times in that game, making 23 freebies.
About BH-BL: The Spartans upset No. 2 South Glens Falls in the quarterfinals as Phil Neumann connected on a three-pointer as time expired for the 28-27 victory.
What to watch: Will BH-BL be able to counter Mathias if he starts scoring at will or do the Spartans have to make this another defensive struggle?

(1) Lansingburgh vs. (5) Ichabod Crane
Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Glens Falls Civic Center
About Lansingburgh: The Knights are headed to Glens Falls for the first time in head coach Guy DiBacco’s seven years at the helm. 6-foot-10 senior center Tyler Hammett is certainly a force to be reckoned with, but he Lansingburgh offense is centered around junior forward Sajae Pryor, a dangerous player with inside and outside skills. Point guard Alex Drake isn’t a flashy player, but he always seems to be in the right place at the right time and gets the ball to Pryor and Hammett when they’re open.
About Ichabod Crane: The Riders finished one game behind Maple Hill in the Patroon Conference regular season standings and delivered a mild upset over No. 4 Scotia-Glenville in the quarterfinal round. Chris Larm is a beast in the paint and Josh Ingham and Derick Horn provide a spark on the perimeter.
What to watch: In a classic postseason mismatch of styles, which team sets the tone early? Can Lansingburgh make it an up-tempo fast break type of game or will the Riders will able to slow it down in the halfcourt and keep the score low? Will Hammett stay out of foul trouble a be a factor for the majority of the 32 minutes? Does the big gym in Glens Falls rattle either of these teams? Will this game set the tone for a budding Lansingburgh vs. Ichabod rivalry in the Colonial Council?

Class B
(2) Watervliet vs. (6) Schenectady Christian
Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
Glens Falls Civic Center
About Watervliet: The Cannoneers shook off a sluggish start Sunday against Broadalbin, rallying for a 89-72 victory in the quarterfinal round. Freshman sensation Jordan Gleason rocked the rim with a pair of dunks and outscored his brother, junior point guard Devonte Gleason, 19-17. If the Gleasons and Nick Durocher take care of the scoring and Kevin Pontore and Griffin Kelly clean up on the glass, the Cannoneers will be hard to beat. This will be Watervliet head coach Walter Bowden’s first trip to Glens Falls with the Cannoneers as the man calling the shots. The Cannoneers were knocked out in the quarterfinal round each of his first two seasons.
About Schenectady Christian: The Falcons made just eight of 24 free throws attempts in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s quarterfinal against Schuylerville, yet held on for the 39-35 victory.
What to watch: Can Schenectady Christian possibly counter Watervliet’s athleticism and pressing defense? Will the Cannoneers need to make an adjustment going from Harry Tucker Gymnasium to the Civic Center? They fared pretty well at HVCC…

(1) Fonda-Fultonville vs. (5) Johnstown
Tuesday, 8 p.m.
Glens Falls Civic Center
About Fonda: The Braves are the only undefeated team in Section II, posting a 20-0 record. Brandon Mercado, an All-Tournament selection in Class B a season ago, is a dangerous senior scorer.
About Johnstown: The Sir Bills put all of their eggs in Ian Yost’s basket and the 6-foot-3 senior center does a solid job of putting the ball in the basket, too.
What to watch: The Braves play more of a team-centered game and Johnstown relies heavily on Yost, so which style prevails? Will the crowds turn out for a regional rivalry game many miles away in Glens Falls?

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