Donovan Fields, Newburgh (Player of the Year)
Anthony Gaines, Kingston
Mike Coffey, Burke Catholic
Aaron Ray, Middletown
Paul Burke, Monroe-Woodbury
Pat Dorrian, Kingston
Justin Powell, Pine Bush
Jack Dwyer, Burke Catholic
Ja’kwan Jones, Newburgh
Austin Stoeckel, Washingtonville
Brad Nilsen, Minisink Valley
Isaiah Boissard, Valley Central Coach of the year: Matt Brown, Newburgh
Ian Schupp, Goshen (Player of the Year)
Paddy Parr, Red Hook
Patton Gibbs, Saugerties
Darnell Edge, Saugerties
Kevin Salis, Cornwall
Devin Williams, Monticello
Jason Ramirez, Goshen
Tyler Banks, Marlboro
Bobby Rukaj, Port Jervis
Dean Grinder, Wallkill
Sha-Shawn Drayton, Monticello
Joe McConville, Cornwall Coach of the Year: Matt Hayes, Red Hook
Malik Chambers, James I. O’Neill (Player of the Year)
Jefferson Espinal, James I. O’Neill
Ahmad Shomo, Fallsburg
Justin Etts, Spackenkill
Derek Lo, Spackenkill
Bo Garcia, Highland
Malik Johnson, James I. O’Neill
Jeremiah Fannings, Fallsburg
Jameson Morton, Onteora
Ryan Merget, Highland Coach of the year: Terry Feeley, Spackenkill
Nelson Fernandez, S.S. Seward (Player of the Year)
Lawrence Young, Chester
Dino Celadon, Coleman
Bray Curreri, Eldred
Elias Oquendo, Chapel Field
Rob Taurino, Roscoe
Brandon Sadlier, Chester
Jake Kinley, S.S. Seward
Micah Simmons-Smalls, Coleman
Danny Collins, S.S. Seward
Nik Dilles, Eldred
Sam Tingley, Tri-Valley
Alex Brown, Tri-Valley Coach of the year: Rob Gravelle, S.S. Seward
John A. Coleman Catholic
Booked its third trip to Glens Falls since 2010 with a 73-46 win over Long Island’s Shelter Island in the quarterfinals last Saturday.
Coleman Catholic lost in the Class D state championship in each of its last two trips to Glens Falls. Maple Grove put away the Statesmen 43-38 in 2010 and New York Mills defeated Coleman Catholic 47-42 a year later.
This edition of Coleman Catholic is 16-4 with its losses coming to Class A schools Marlboro and Saugerties and Class B teams (Highland and Ellenville). The key to Coleman Catholic’s success has been its up-tempo style, balanced scoring and team defense.
Four Coleman Catholic players average double-figures – forwards Dino Celadon (21.3 points) and Doug Terrone (12.3) – and guards Micah Simmons-Smalls (18) and Kevin Davis (10.7). Davis scored a career-high 19 points against Shelter Island, hitting five 3-pointers.
* Stay tuned for much more Coleman Catholic coverage this week online on varsity845.com and in print in the Times Herald-Record.
The Buffalo-area champion is similar to Coleman Catholic in that both teams like to run.
“It will be an entertaining game to watch,” said coach Cory Emory of Sherman’s meeting with John A. Coleman Catholic in the Class D state semifinals. “It’s one of those things where both teams are like ‘Hey, this is what we like doing.’ For both teams, this is the way our kids play. This is the best chance we have to win. It should be fun.”
Not only can Sherman run, it can gun. The Wildcats hit 13 3-pointers in a 57-52 win over Batavia Notre Dame in the Class D state quarterfinals last Saturday. Sherman led 40-20 at halftime.
Swingman Ryan Robson had 22 points for Sherman, including five 3-pointers, and guard Andrew Graham added 14 points with four 3-pointers. Graham averages 15 points per game and Robson is second on the team with 13. Jake Card, a 6-2 forward, averages 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Sherman is 21-1 with its last loss coming to Randolph, a Class C school, 71-55 on Jan. 23. The Wildcats, who have won 10 in a row, last played in the final four in 2002.
New York Mills
Has won 16 games in a row since losing to Norwich, a Class B state qualifier, 48-45 in the Stop-DWI Holiday Classic in Binghamton on Dec. 30
New York Mills (21-1) is playing in the state tournament for the sixth straight season and has made 14 appearances overall. Coach Mike Adey is a member of the state basketball hall of fame and is 522-164 in 33 seasons, including 16 at New York Mills. Senior swingman Nick Comenale leads the Syracuse-area power with 24 points per game and has 1,200 for his career.
He’s hit 58 3-pointers this season and 128 for his career. New York Mills defeated Coleman Catholic 47-42 for the 2011 Class D state championship and lost to eventual champion Argyle in last season’s state semifinals.
Starts three sophomores, including 6-foot-6 center Adam Jaquish, who averages 18.1 points, 12.7 rebounds and five blocks. Jaquish is a two-year starter – he averaged 12 points as a freshman.
Taylor Slattery, a 6-4 guard, and guard Noah Gilbo join Jaquish in the starting five. Slattery averages 8.9 points per game and Gilbo adds 8.1 points. Moriah’s first player off the bench, Jarrod MacDougal, is also a sophomore.
He averages 6.8 points per game. Moriah (21-2) defeated Madrid-Waddington 51-41 in the Class D state quarterfinals to earn its first trip to Glens Falls since 2003.
Class D state final four schedule
(at Glens Falls Civic Center)
10 a.m. John A. Coleman Catholic (16-4) vs. Sherman (21-1)
New York Mills (21-1) vs. Moriah (21-2)
Semifinal winners at 5:30 p.m.
Delaware Valley (Pa.) senior 132-pounder Jalen Palmer recorded his 161st win of his career, defeating Pottstown’s Bryant Wise in a Pennsylvania state AAA second-round consolation Friday (March 7) at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.
Palmer’s victory clinched his second straight state medal (top eight). He faces Franklin Regional’s Tyler Smith in a third-round consolation Saturday morning. If Palmer, who took eighth last year, wins that match, he’ll finish no lower than sixth in the state.
Palmer (161-42) entered Friday tied with his brother, C.J., for most win by a Delaware Valley wrestler. He lost a 4-2 decision to Manheim Township’s Matthew Grossman in a quarterfinal.
JOHNSON CITY – It was a rough night for Section 9 basketball, as local teams went 1-6 in the opening round of the state tournament.
The Red Hook boys were the only winners from Section 9, defeating Maine-Endwell 68-57. Check out the video below for some highlights and interviews.
I also saw the girls’ game between Wallkill and Maine-Endwell prior to that one. Wallkill started the game on a 6-point run, but dug itself a big hole as Maine-Endwell opened the second half with 12 straight points.
Wallkill, ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the season, finished at 20-1.
Kingston, as expected, was in for a handful against defending state Class AA champion Ossining, losing 77-47.
In Class B, Highland made a fourth quarter rally but fell to Woodlands, 49-42.
Like Wallkill, the Tri-Valley girls also lost for the first time this season, as Haldane beat the bears, 53-27.
Check out all the coverage in Wednesday’s Times Herald-Record and Varsity845.com.
I’ll be back tomorrow evening with a video from the Newburgh Free Academy boys’ game against Mount Vernon.
Flash back to March 11. 2006 at Pace University in Pleasantville. It’s when the rivalry that is Newburgh vs. Mount Vernon all began.
The two state powers met in the quarterfinals of the Class AA state boys’ basketball tournament and it was a classic. The rivalry will be renewed when Newburgh and Mount Vernon play in the first round of the Class AA state tournament at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at SUNY New Paltz.
Newburgh and Mount Vernon, both 20-1 this season, have met five times in the state tournament since 2006. Three games were classics, one was definitely entertaining, with only one being a blowout. Mount Vernon leads the series 3-2.
With Newburgh vs. Mount Vernon, Part VI brewing, we decided to look at the previous five showdowns.
Class AA state quarterfinals, 2006: Mount Vernon 62, Newburgh 60
Some fans figured Mount Vernon would blow Newburgh out of the gym. However, that never happened. The Goldbacks were in the game the whole way.
Newburgh’s Sam Clark had a chance to tie the game at 62 with 3.2 seconds left, but missed a fade away 10-foot jumper from the baseline. Star Justin Rutty grabbed the rebound for the Goldbacks, but couldn’t convert a desperate shot with his back to the basket.
Newburgh had missed another chance to tie just a few seconds before Clark’s shot. Rutty drove the length of the floor, but unsuccessfully tried to take it to the basket between three guys. Teammate Milton Myrie and Mount Vernon’s Brently Pearson each got a hand on the rebound, which was called a jump ball. Newburgh had possession.
“When I got the ball under the basket, I felt a push on the back,” Clark said after the game. “I put it up. It looked like it was going in, but it missed. Rutty grabbed the rebound and was fouled, but the refs didn’t call it.”
Newburgh led 28-27 at halftime. The loss snapped Newburgh’s 12-game winning streak.
Class AA state quarterfinals, 2007: Mount Vernon 58, Newburgh 56
Newburgh’s ticket to Glens Falls seemed punched. The Goldbacks led Mount Vernon, the defending Class AA state champion, by 14 points with 4:49 left in the third quarter at SUNY New Paltz.
However, when it came for the post-game ceremony, most of the Newburgh team was long gone, having stormed off the floor and out of the gym.
Trailing by five points with 3:12 remaining, Mount Vernon pulled off the comeback.
“We had them. I can’t express it any other way,” Newburgh’s Justin Rutty said after the game. “They just took it away from us, like taking candy from a baby, they took it right out of our hands.”
The game-winner came off a big-time play from start to finish. Kevin Jones set a pick at the top of the key for Rutgers-bound Michael Coburn, then kicked off to the right. Coburn threw the ball back to Jones, who hit a high jumper from just inside the 3-point line 24.2 seconds left. Jones finished with 25 points, Coburn 14.
Newburgh had one final chance, on an inbounds play with 4.1 seconds left in front of the Newburgh bench. Terry Coleman passed to Jeff Ryan, who dribbled and leaned into Jones, and lost the ball. It kicked to the right, to Curtis Dieudonne, who lofted a Hail Mary from about 25 feet that bounced off the backboard at the buzzer.
“I should have just pulled up, but I fumbled it,” Ryan said after the game. “No excuses. We played hard. They played hard. They came out the victor.”
Newburgh (21-2), which had its 19-game winning streak snapped, opened the game on a 9-0 run.
Class AA state quarterfinals, 2009: Newburgh 71, Mount Vernon 70
Mount Vernon appeared poised to hand Newburgh another devastating two-point loss in the state quarterfinals.
Then came “The Shot”, hit by Newburgh guard Will Bouton. Bouton’s 55-footer as the buzzer sounded gave Newburgh the amazing win at Pace University.
“Luckiest shot ever!,” Bouton said amid the wild celebration. “I just wanted to throw it up. Throw it up and wish for the best.”
Asked if it felt good when it left his hands, Bouton said: “I thought it was good.
The play for the ages was designed for Newburgh’s Mike McLeod to inbound to point guard Marcus Henderson. Henderson was supposed to get the pass and immediately find Bouton. But Henderson couldn’t get open and McLeod fired a pass to Bouton, standing about eight feet shy of halfcourt along the right sideline.
Newburgh went on to win the Class AA state title.
Class AA state quarterfinals, 2010: Newburgh 62, Mount Vernon 53
Newburgh led Mount Vernon by as many as 15 points late in the third quarter, but the lead shrank to just four with 1:40 left.
However, Newburgh survived the showdown at West Point in front of 4,000 fans. Mike McLeod led Newburgh with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Fourteen of those points came in the first half, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave Newburgh a 39-28 halftime lead. The Goldbacks came into the game with a chip on their shoulder, with some fans calling the 2009 win over Mount Vernon “lucky.”
“We played hard to show it wasn’t a lucky shot (and) that we are a better team than Mount Vernon,” McLeod said after the game.
Newburgh lost to Albany-Christian Brothers Academy in the Class AA state semifinals.
Class AA state first round, 2011: Mount Vernon 72, Newburgh 49
This was a rare clunker between the rivals. Mount Vernon guard Jabarie Hinds broke down Newburgh with an assortment of smooth jump shots and drives to the basket. He finished with 20 points and eight assists.
“It means a lot to beat Newburgh after losing the last two games to them,” said Hinds after the game. “It was a good win for us, it was big. It was a little scary with the last few games we had with them, but we came out and played hard. It was an important win.”
Brandon Clark and Jonte Rutty each had 10 points for Newburgh.
A group of four Section 9 champions – Kingston, Wallkill, Highland and Tri-Valley – will play opening round state tournament games on Tuesday. Here’s a quick look at each of the games. Check out Monday’s paper for more.
Kingston's Lyric Blanch (#4) brings the ball up court during the Section 9 Class AA Girls Championships at SUNY New Paltz. March 1, 2014 (Edward Diller/For The Times Herald-Record)
Kingston (16-5) vs. Ossining (20-2), 5 p.m., Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh
About Kingston: The Tigers were the No. 2 seed in the Section 9 tournament, upsetting then-undefeated Monroe-Woodbury (19-0) in the final, 57-46. It was a bit of an offensive explosion for the Tigers, who have struggled at times to score points in recent years. Kingston scored 18 points total in the 2013 Section 9 final, a 29-18 loss to M-W. The Tigers had 18 points by the end of the first quarter on Saturday afternoon. It was a balanced scoring attack for Kingston, as Logan Brennan led the way with 11 points. Meghan McCardle added 10 points, Grace McComb and Lyric Blanch had nine points apiece and Sianna Van Dyke scored eight points. McComb and McCardle hit a pair of 3-pointers apiece and Kingston scored most of its points on mid-range jumpers, not relying too heavily on threes or driving to the rim.
It’s been a great season for Kingston. The Tigers lost twice to Monroe-Woodbury in OCIAA Division I play and also lost twice to Oneonta, the state’s No. 1-ranked Class B team in a home-and-home non-league series. Kingston’s other loss came at the hands of the state’s No. 1-ranked Class A team, Wallkill.
About Ossining: Ossining has been the class of large-school girls’ basketball in the state over the past few seasons. The defending Class AA state champs, Ossining sent Saniya Chong to UConn this fall and she’s had a big impact as a true freshman for the Huskies.
Ossining probably has some more D-I talent on the roster this season. Jalay Knowles, a 6-foot junior center, already has 1,000 career points and was recently featured in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd.
A team that rarely has any problem scoring, Ossining averages 71.9 points per game and allows just 46.8. Ossining has lost twice this year, falling to Spring Ford (Pa.) in a tournament in the Bahamas and Long Island Lutheran in the annual Slam Dunk Tournament in White Plains.
Prediction: If Kingston was the underdog in the Section 9 final against Monroe-Woodbury, they’ll have even longer odds in this game. That’s no knock against the Tigers, it’s just that Ossining has been one of the best teams not just in New York, but in the nation, over the past few seasons. It’s going to be tough for Kingston to keep up with Ossining in a fast-paced high scoring game and Ossining, with its trio of 6-footers, might give Kingston trouble in a slower half-court game, too. Last year in the state playoffs, Monroe-Woodbury played one of its best games of the season and still fell by a final score of 79-50. So Kingston is probably in line for something similar, but the Tigers have already surprised us once and might be able to ride that momentum into Tuesday’s game.
Up next: The winner plays Section 4 champion Horseheads (16-3) on Saturday at SUNY Binghamton in a state Class AA quarterfinal. Game time is TBA.
Video: Check out the video below for highlights and interviews from Kingston’s Section 9 title game win.
Wallkill's Chelsea Murphy (#22) brings the ball up court as Cornwall's Renee Briggs (#12) applies pressure during the Section 9 Class A Girls Championships at SUNY New Paltz. March 1, 2014 (Edward Diller/For The Times Herald-Record)
Wallkill (20-0) vs. Maine-Endwell (16-2), 6 p.m., Johnson City High School
About Wallkill: The Panthers are the state’s No. 1-ranked team and would need to win four more games to make it official.
But let’s take it one game at a time.
Wallkill defeated Cornwall in the Section 9 final on Saturday, 41-26. Give Cornwall credit for taking away what Wallkill likes to do best, run the floor and shoot threes. Wallkill settled for three 3-pointers in the game, as Chelsea Murphy made two and Rachel Simon made one. Murphy did score some points on the fast break, as she finished with 14. Still, it was a bit of a slower-paced, physical game – and Wallkill can excel in those situations as well. I spoke with Wallkill center Heather Kiczek after the game and she reiterated what she had told me after Wallkill’s season-opening win over Pine Bush. The Panthers enjoy running and scoring points in quick bursts, but they also don’t mind settling down into a halfcourt game, either. That slower grind can wear on the opposing defense and might lead to more opportunities at the foul line. To me, that’s what playoff basketball is all about – one team and its system clashing against another team with a different style of play. What makes this Wallkill team special is that it can adapt and adjust and alternate between enforcing its will and taking opportunities afforded by the other team’s system. Not every team can do that and it’s a huge plus for Wallkill at this time of year.
About Maine-Endwell: Like Wallkill, Maine-Endwell returns four starters from last year’s team as well as some key pieces off the bench. That means there will be some familiarity when the teams take the court on Tuesday evening. Maine-Endwell knocked out Wallkill in the opening round in 2011 at Mount Saint Mary. In last year’s state quarterfinal round at Binghamton High School, Maine-Endwell beat Wallkill by four points.
Sophomore point guard Daniella Dean and 5-foot-11 senior forward Julie Yacovini are two M-E players to watch. As I recall from last year’s playoff game, M-E matches up pretty well with Wallkill, so there won’t be any big mismatches either way. On paper, it’s a pretty even game going in.
Maine-Endwell plays some Class AA teams during the regular season, so that should have helped toughen up the team for the postseason, even as they dominated in the Section 4 tournament. Tuesday’s game will be played on a neutral court, but M-E is a stone’s throw away from Johnson City, so there will probably be some home court advantage in Maine-Endwell’s back pocket as well.
Prediction: It’s really tough to guess what might happen here. Wallkill has a short turnaround – and a longish road trip – after getting caught in a very physical game against Cornwall in the Section 9 final. Walkill will have a bunch of players not quite at 100 percent, so expect some frequent substitutions from head coach A.J. Higby in this one. The Wallkill bench will play a huge role.
Maine-Endwell won in blowout fashion in the Class A final last week. Wallkill endured a nailbiter in the Section 9 semis against Marlboro and a battle against Cornwall in the finals, so the Panthers might have a little bit more confidence, momentum and sharpness heading into Tuesday game.
It’s a real toss-up to me. Will Wallkill finally break its skid against M-E? Or are the Panthers too beat up to win a game like this on the road with two days’ rest?
Up next: The winner gets Section 1 champion Peekskill (18-4) at 4 p.m. on Saturday at New Rochelle High School in a state Class A quarterfinal. Wallkill defeated Peekskill with a buzzer-beater in the opening round of the 2013 state playoffs. Here’s the video from that game, if you’re interested.
Video: Check out the video below for highlights and interviews from the Wallkill-Cornwall game.
Highland's Katie Boesch (5) puts up a shot during play in the section 9 class B girls basketball championships at SUNY New Paltz on Friday, February 28, 2014. (John Meore/for the Times Herald-Record)
Highland (13-7) vs. Woodlands (12-10), 8:15 p.m., Westchester County Center
About Highland: The Huskies were the No. 7 seed in the Section 9 tournament, but that had more to do with the way the section makes the seeds than Highland’s talent or regular season resume. John S. Burke Catholic and James I. O’Neill had higher seeds based on better division records, but the Huskies survived an incredibly tough road to win its first Section 9 title since 2012.
Highland beat No. 2 John A. Coleman Catholic, a six-time defending Section 9 champion, in the quarterfinals and No. 3 Onteora in the semis, winning both games on the road. In the final, Highland topped No. 5 Millbrook in the final to complete its underdog run.
The Huskies have an interesting mix of veterans and young players. Senior forward Shannon Ward is the team leader. Allie Rozzi is a 3-point specialist. Rozzi’s younger sister Brianna, a 7th grader, played some significant minutes at point guard off the bench. Tianna Pittman, who missed the 2012 season with a knee injury, is a force on the glass. Pittman has 14 rebounds in the win over Millbrook.
What Highland does best is focus on the defensive end. It’s what made the Huskies Section 9 Class B champions for four straight seasons between 2009 and 2012. They’ll mix up man and zone looks to confuse opposing teams, trying to slow the game down and force turnovers or poor shot selection. As Allie Rozzi said after the Section 9 final, “The point isn’t to outscore the other team, it’s to keep their scoring down and take good quality shots.”
About Woodlands: Woodlands was also the No. 7 seed, making an underdog run of its own through the Section 1 brackets. Woodlands also rallied from an 18-point deficit in the Section 1 final against Dobbs Ferry, so they can score points in bunches.
Imani Tilford, Woodlands’ Georgia Tech-bound point guard, scored 30 points in the Section 1 final and earned tournament MVP honors.
Dobbs Ferry helped out Woodlands in the semifinal round, knocking off four-time defending state champion Irvington.
Prediction: If it’s a low-scoring game, Highland is more than likely in the driver’s seat. That has to be the gameplan for the Huskies in this one. If Rozzi can hit some threes, that’ll be a big help, but the County Center has traditionally been a tough place for Section 9 shooters, as the lighting and sightlines make it unlike any gym in this neck of the woods.
If Tilford is anywhere near 30 points, that’s going to be bad news for Highland. They’ve got to find a way to bottle her up somehow. Highland certainly has the potential to do that, having held Millbrook without a field goal through nearly the first 10 minutes of the Section 9 final. The Huskies will need to have that type of performance – or better – to hang with Woodlands.
Up next: The winner plays the Long Island champion (Oyster Bay, Section 8 vs. Hampton Bays, Section 11 play in another first round game) in a state Class B quarterfinal at 2 p.m. on Saturday at New Rochelle High School.
Video: Check out the video below for highlights and interviews from Highland’s Section 9 tournament title win.
Tri Valley's Katlynn Greffrath (#11) brings the ball up court against Pine Plains at the Section 9 Class C Championships at SUNY New Paltz. February 27, 2014 )Edward Diller/For The Times Herald-Record)
Tri-Valley (18-0) vs. Haldane (14-6), 6:30 p.m., Westchester County Center
About Tri-Valley: First things first with Tri-Valley: the Bears have a really special player in senior point guard Katlynn Greffrath, one of those scorers that can take over a game at any time. Greffrath is averaging just over 22 points per game and she’s been very consistent since setting a career high with 43 points (on nine 3-pointers) on Jan. 16. In her eight games since, she’s scored between 14 and 28 points in each game, hitting the 20-22 window in six of those games.
Greffrath isn’t a ballhog either, no matter what some student sections might chant. She can pass when necessary and get things going on the fast break as well. The ball finds her because she does great things with it.
That said, the Bears have plenty of other weapons as well. Sabrena Smith scored 17 points in Tri-Valley’s Section 9 final win over Pine Plains, taking 10 free throws in the second half, making five. Caroline Martin, the Bears’ other captain, is Tri-Valley’s top player in the paint. Martin had eight points and 10 rebounds in the Pine Plains win.
I might have missed a short substitution here or there, but Tri-Valley didn’t have to dig deep on its bench in the Pine Plains win, using seven players despite five of them ending the game with at least three fouls apiece. The rest of the Bears also hit the glass hard and make plays in transition, as I had all seven Tri-Valley players with at least two rebounds and one steals apiece in the win over Pine Plains.
Tri-Valley is 18-0 and ranked No. 3 in the state, but I don’t think they played a soft schedule by any stretch. With S.S. Seward, Chester and Tuxedo – 10-win teams all – as their rivals in OCIAA Division V, Tri-Valley got six tough division games. The Bears also own wins over Class AA teams Middletown and Minisink Valley, which is a tough task for any Class C school to pull off.
About Haldane: The one thing about Tri-Valley is that the team doesn’t have much height at all. The Bears’ starting lineup goes: 5-foot-4, 5-foot-6, 5-foot-6, 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-7, so they can have trouble with taller forwards. That won’t be the case in this game, as Haldane is a similarly fast-paced, generally short in stature squad.
Junior guard Allie Monteleone, at 5-foot-8, is one of Haldane’s tallest players. She averages 18.2 points and 6.9 rebounds.
Greffrath might not be matched up on Monteleone defensively, but this might wind up being one of those games that pits one big scorer against another. That could be awfully fun if the game plays out that way.
Prediction: Haldane and Tri-Valley have a bit of history, as Haldane knocked the Bears out of the last playoffs after their last Section 9 championship in 2011. In fact, Haldane has dominated Section 9 teams in the state playoffs historically, going 16-2 against Section 9 champions since 1989.
The 2011 Tri-Valley game was the last time the schools met in the state playoffs.
This, of course, is a new generation of Tri-Valley players, so it’s not totally fair to go by the series history.
The key in this game will be how Tri-Valley adjusts to the County Center, which can be tough on shooters. If the Bears can make good use of those 15 minutes before the game to get used to the sightlines and the lighting, that could help them get off to a fast start. Haldane, of course, already has some experience in that building, so they have a leg up in that department.
Tri-Valley’s other key will be foul trouble. The Bears really like to keep the seven players at the top of the rotation on the court as much as possible, so having to deal with starters on the bench would be a big blow. If Tri-Valley can hit some jumpers and stay on the floor, they should be able to give Haldane a game at the very least.
Up next: The winner plays the Long Island champion (Friends Academy, Section 8 vs. Pierson-Bridgehampton, Section 11) in a state Class C quarterfinal at Noon on Saturday at New Rochelle High School.
Video: For highlights and interviews from Tri-Valley’s win over Pine Plains on Thursday, check out the video below.
NEW PALTZ – Section 9 played four championship basketball games on Saturday, March 1 at SUNY New Paltz.
Check out Sunday’s paper and Varsity845.com for the game stories and take a look at the videos below for some highlights and interviews.
Class AA boys:
Newburgh Free Academy 72, Kingston 60. Donovan Fields scored 36 points – 18 in each half – to lead the NFA to its first Section 9 Class AA title since 2010.
Class AA girls:
Kingston 57, Monroe-Woodbury 46. The Tigers had struggled offensively at times this season, but were firing on all cylinders in this one, knocking off No. 1 and undefeated Monroe-Woodbury in the process.
Class A girls:
Wallkill 41, Cornwall 26. The Green Dragons kept Wallkill’s high-powered offense in check, but Cornwall just couldn’t score enough points to keep up as the Panthers won a second straight Section 9 Class A title.
Class A boys:
Saugerties made a late rally with some clutch 3-pointers, but Red Hook finished off this MHAL battle at the free throw line.
NEW PALTZ – At one point in the third quarter of Saturday’s Section 9 Class A girls’ basketball final, Cornwall head coach Chris Miller stomped his foot, turned to me and said, “Will, I want a quote!”
So I obliged him. We didn’t have room in the paper with so much going on yesterday – four basketball finals, state wrestling, track and swimming finals, all the pro sports – but I thought I’d give it some room online.
Here’s the deal, in raw, objective numbers.
Second half fouls in Saturday’s game: Cornwall players drew 10 whistles after halftime. Wallkill was called for seven second half fouls. Cornwall attempted nine second half free throws, making four of those. Wallkill attempted eight second half free throws.
I went back and found my scoresheets from the 2013 Section 9 Class A final between Cornwall and Wallkill. Again, raw numbers: Cornwall 10 second half fouls. Wallkill players called for 11 fouls. Cornwall attempted 10 second half free throws. Wallkill attempted 15 free throws after halftime.
Let’s take it back to the 2012 Section 9 Class A final between Cornwall and Red Hook. Second half fouls on Cornwall players: eight. Second half fouls on Red Hook players: nine. Second half free throw attempts for Cornwall: eight. Second half free throw attempts for Red Hook players: 13.
So there is the second-half officiating history in the Section 9 Class A girls’ games over the last three years, but here is what Miller had to say after the game:
“John Skivington (spelling?) reffed an amazing game. John Skivington did a great job tonight. We’ve been here for three years. OK, now. They can call me the crybaby because everyone knows it and I’ll be the one to say it. The system needs to change. The 2-for-1 and 1-for-us, all that stuff needs to change. I’m not sure this is going to help me, but it can’t get much worse. We’ve been here two years and we haven’t shot a free throw in the second half. I know you see it. You know me well enough that I’ve never whined after anything. The kids deserve better. That’s the bottom line. I’m sure I’ll be in a lot of trouble for this. The kids deserve better. Section 9, Orange County officials are the best in the state. That’s a fact. That’s true.”
OK, Will’s back now.
Personally, I have no opinion on the referees in general…never mind the referees in Saturday’s game. It’s not part of my job and I don’t have any sort of rooting interests at any of these games…I’m just hoping for a good story. So I’ll refrain from comment on what any of this means. Look, I hope I understand the chaos theory of basketball. One foul here leads to one point at the line there leads to a sub here and a 12-0 run there and all of a sudden it’s an entirely different game. But that’s all hypothetical to me. Michael Kay calls it the “fallacy of the predetermined outcome” on Yankees broadcasts. Would everything be different if something were different? Sure, but we’ll never know, so I’m not going to worry about it. My point is, do fouls matter? Of course. Can a bad call in the third quarter influence the remainder of a game? No doubt. But I’m not in any position to say whether there were bad or a lopsided amount of calls in Saturday’s game. Like the refs, I’m just trying to hang back, stay impartial and do my job.
Anyway, I put the raw numbers above and you can make of this what you will. Now I may be off slightly on the numbers above, I’ll admit. Sometimes I’ll lose my place when I’m also trying to Tweet, run the championship scoreboard, shoot video and keep stats so I can write a game story. If you have different information, please let me know and I’ll correct the post.
Miller did also talk a bit about the game in general:
“You tell me that we hold the No. 1 team in the state to 41 points and I think we have a hell of a shot. They’re a great basketball team. I think we did an amazing job taking them out of what they want to do. We just failed to convert on a couple of our opportunities. We failed to execute a couple times in our halfcourt offense. We didn’t run things the way they’re supposed to be run. We could all live with those things. It certainly wasn’t for lack of effort. We had some chances today. If we could have just put the ball in the basket a few times early in the third quarter, I think we could have got rolling a little bit. They had all kinds of problems with our press. I think Maine-Endwell has the blueprint. He’s right there. (Miller points to an M-E coach). He’ll take care of the rest of it.”
Monroe-Woodbury wrestlers and coaches were honored as the state’s top dual-meet team before the finals.
Wrestlers, who competed at the Section 9 tournament and Union-Endicott Duals and all seniors, were invited to be acknowledged by state. About 20 wrestlers walked out to the floor of the Times Union Center and received an ovation.
“It was an honor to stand before all of the people,”said Monroe-Woodbury senior Rob Kelly, whose team won the U-E Duals (the unofficial state championship). “We deserved it. We worked hard and we were the No.1 team in the state.”
Monroe-Woodbury’s Steve Fischbein coached his last tournament. Fischbein is stepping down as head coach but plans to remain with the program.
Vinny Vespa said he was wrestling for more than himself in the 106-pound, third-place match. Kropman, Vespa’s opponent, had defeated the Monroe-Woodbury 3-0 at the Eastern States Classic in January. With Fischbein in his corner, Vespa even the score with a 5-3 win Saturday.
“It was an honor for me to wrestle in coach Fischbein’s last match,” Vespa said. “I just kept telling myself I’m not losing this match.”
Damani Burns became Newburgh Free Academy’s first state place finisher since Taylor Laraia in 2010, taking fifth at 126. But, Burns would never have made the medal stand without a furious rally in a second-round wrestleback Friday. Burns trailed Lockport’s Anthony Orefice 10-1 early before rallying to pin him in 3:30.
Section 9 placed eight wrestlers in the top six, two more than last season.
For matches video and wrestler interviews, check out our YouTube page here.
Ken McMillan has been covering sports since he got his first writing job in 1979. He has covered Section 9 athletics for most of the past 28 years. He reports on college sports, including Army and Marist College. He also writes on TV/radio sports ... Read Full
Will Montgomery covers boys' soccer, girls' basketball, boys' and girls' swimming and diving, boys' lacrosse and baseball (including the Hudson Valley Renegades) for Varsity845.com and the Times Herald-Record. Prior to joining the TH-R in November ... Read Full