That’s basically what Maine-Endwell boys’ basketball ccoach Bill Ocker has for John S. Burke Catholic. That makes sense.
Burke Catholic has developed a reputation across the state. The Eagles’ dossier includes three straight appearances to the Class B state final four in Glens Falls. Burke Catholic won the state championship two years ago.
Of course, the Eagles were moved up from Class B to A this season. Not a problem. Burke Catholic is one win away from reaching the state semifinals for a fourth consecutive year.
The Eagles (17-4) take on Maine-Endwell (17-2) in the quarterfinals of the Class A state tournament at 5 p.m. Saturday at Binghamton High. Burke Catholic is 11-3 in the state tournament over the last five seasons. The Eagles beat Poughkeepsie 67-58 in the first round on Wednesday night.
“Obviously, I have a ton of respect for Burke Catholic,” Ocker said. “I go up to Glens Falls every year and I’ve seen them play. They have the pedigree, they have the tradition. They are the epitome of a good basketball team.”
Still, don’t expect Maine-Endwell, playing in its own backyard, to back down. Main-Endwell is 12-0 in 2013 and hasn’t lost since December, falling to Binghamton, the Section 4 Class AA champion, and Elmira. Maine-Endwell will come at Burke Catholic with a big front line.
Junior forward Kyle Gallagher, who is 6-foot-5, averages 13.9 points. He played quarterback on a Maine-Endwell football team, which won the Class B state championship this fall. Gallagher’s father, Matt, coaches the Maine-Endwell football team. Matt Gallagher’s brother, Kevin, is Minisink Valley’s football and wrestling coach. Chris Heimes, a 6-7 center, averages 11 points. Junior forward Alec Wisniewski, 6-2, averages 11 points.