Pine Plains girls head to the state Final Four

Pine Plains' Ashley Starzyk (1) reaches for a rebound ball as Chester's Kathryn Jankelunas (21) reaches to steal during the Section 9 Class C basketball finals at the SUNY New Paltz campus in New Paltz, NY on Friday, March 6th, 2015. (Kelly Marsh photo/for the Times Herald-Record)

Section 9 will have one representative at the state basketball Final Four in Troy this weekend: Pine Plains.

Even though the Bombers fall outside our circulation area, here’s a quick look at what Pine Plains has in store in the Class C bracket.

 

State Class C semifinals

All games at Hudson Valley Community College, Troy

Cooperstown (23-1, Section 3) vs. Chautauqua Lake (23-1, Section 6), Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

Pine Plains (14-7) vs. Northern Adirondack (19-4, Section 7), Saturday, 2:15 p.m.

Class C championship

Semifinal winners, Sunday, 11:45 a.m.

 

About Pine Plains

How they got here: Pine Plains won its first Section 9 title by knocking off top-seeded Chester in the Class C final. In the semifinals, No. 3 Pine Plains had to beat No. 2 Tri-Valley, the defending Section 9 champs, in Grahamsville.

In the opening round of the state playoffs, Brooke Hapeman hit a 3-point shot with 5.9 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Bombers a 59-58 win over Haldane. Hapeman is the lone senior starter on this team, so you can expect to hear about this Pine Plains team in the years to come.

Who to watch: Ashley Starzyk, Soph., Forward. I can’t find a current height for Starzyk online, although last year’s roster had her listed at 6-foot-1. Not only does she have plenty of length, she can also shoot and run the floor, which makes her a particularly dangerous player. Pine Plains has plenty of ball-handlers in Tia Fumasoli and Frances Snyder and another big-time shooter in Hapeman, but the Bombers are going to live and die by how Starzyk plays, especially inside.

 

About Northern Adirondack

How they got here: Two of the Bobcats’ four losses came against Saranac, which was Section 7’s Class B champion. Northern Adirondack outlasted perennial Section 2 powerhouse Hoosic Valley in the opening round of the state tournament, 43-41. The Bobcats cruised in a 60-38 win over Section 10’s St. Lawrence in the quarterfinal round.

Who to watch: Northern Adirondack has four seniors on the roster but also has a youthful look with three sophomores and three freshmen. Senior Magan Magee is a top guard and junior forward Taylor Durnin scored 20 points in the win over St. Lawrence.

 

About Cooperstown

How they got here: Cooperstown has won 10 straight games, with its only loss of the season coming against Section 4 Class D champion South Kortright. The Hawkeyes handled Section 4 champ Watkins Glen in the quarterfinal round, 46-34.

Who to watch: Julie Ford, Fr., Forward. Another tall player to keep an eye one, this 6-foot-1 freshman has averaged 7.6 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Hawkeyes.

 

About Chautauqua Lake

How they got here: With an opening round bye, Chautauqua Lake is in the semis thanks to a 56-44 win over Section 5’s Mynderse in the quarterfinal round. The team’s only loss was to Williamsville South, the Section 6 Class A champion, on Feb. 20.

Who to watch: Jenna Einink and Ashton Albanesius, both seniors, average double-doubles for the Thunderbirds. Einink is scoring 17.8 points to go along with 10.4 rebounds and Albanesius adds 14.5 points and 10.8 boards.

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