Amityville: Under coach Jack Agostino, Amityville put together one of the greatest runs in state history, winning four consecutive Class B state titles (2000-03). The Long Island school lost to Jamesville-DeWitt for the 2004 Class B state championship. Guard A.J. Price, now playing for the Washington Wizards, averaged 28.5 points for Amityville as a senior in ‘04.
This edition of Amityville is 21-2 and is coming off a 64-52 win over Jericho in the Class A state quarterfinals. Amityville’s best player is swingman Kavione Green. Also a football star, Green, who is 6-foot-2, averages 16 points and 10 rebounds. He can shoot from the perimeter and post opponents up. Green played wide receiver and linebacker this fall and is getting interest from Stony Brook University as a football recruit.
Inside for Amityville, Zack Tannis, a 6-9 center, is a factor. He is averaging five points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Sean Walters is one of Amityville’s top 3-point shooters. Agostino has more than 450 wins in 26 seasons.
Bishop Ludden: Burke Catholic was one win away from playing Bishop Ludden for the Class B state title last year. However, the Eagles lost to Watervliet in the semifinals of the state tournament. Bishop Ludden, located in Syracuse, beat Watervliet 43-42 for the state title.
“I think we dodged a bullet with Burke Catholic last year,” said Bishop Ludden coach Pat Donnelly, 473-205 in 27 seasons. “I was really impressed with them and I know they are still good. Not taking anything away from Watervliet, but Burke Catholic seemed to be in control of that game.”
Dan Kaigler, a 6-5 junior, leads Bishop Ludden (23-3) this year with 15 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Donnelly said Patriot League and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference schools are recruiting Kaigler. Guard Ben Hackett, another potential Patriot League recruit, averages 16 points. Bishop Ludden defeated Scotia 58-53 in the Class A state quarterfinals.
Burke Catholic: Booked its fourth straight trip to Glens Falls with a 78-68 win over Maine-Endwell in the Class A state quarterfinals last Saturday.
The Eagles’ took the ride up the Thruway as a Class B school the previous three years. Burke Catholic won the Class B state title in 2011. Senior center Stan Buczek, a senior center, leads the Eagles in scoring with 17 points and 10 rebounds. He’s averaging 22 points in two state playoff games.
The key to Burke Catholic’s success continues to be its unselfish play and team defense. Guards Jack Dwyer, Patrick Joyner, Jesse Longmire and Mike Coffey are also legit scorers. Dwyer, Joyner and Longmire can all handle the ball. Buczek and Longmire both played on the Eagles’ state championship team.
Burke Catholic is 18-4 this year with its losses coming to Stepinac, Long Island Lutheran, Albany Academy and St. Mary’s Academy. The Eagles have won five straight Section 9 titles.
McKinley: McKinley’s signature is a frenetic press.
“I think they are going to press us when they get off the bus,” said Donnelly, whose team takes on McKinley in the semifinals.
McKinley (20-3) of Buffalo defeated Rochester’s Aquinas 79-52 in the Class A state quarterfinals. DaeQuan Warren led McKinley with 9 points, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocks against Aquinas. Lovell Smith, a 6-3 forward, added 16 points and seven rebounds. McKinley is making its first trip to Glens Falls since 2007.
Class A state rankings
1. Albany Academy
2. Bishop Ludden
3. John S. Burke Catholic
9. Bedford Academy
State Class A boys’ basketball final four
Where: Glens Falls Civic Center
When: semifinals, Saturday, John S. Burke Catholic vs. Amityville (Long Island), 9 a.m., McKinley (Buffalo area) vs. Bishop Ludden (Syracuse area), 10:45 a.m.; championship, Sunday, semifinal winners at 1:30 p.m