Section 9 girls basketball state tournament preview

Monroe-Woodbury senior point guard Brianna DeLeo (10) leaps to take a shot during the Section 9 Class AA championship game at SUNY Orange on Feb. 27, 2016. (WILL MONTGOMERY/TIMES HERALD-RECORD)

Class AA

  • State quarterfinal
  • Monroe-Woodbury (18-4) vs. TBD
  • Friday, 7:30 p.m., SUNY Orange, Middletown
  • About Monroe-Woodbury: The Crusaders used a strong first quarter and a strong fourth quarter to hold off No. 3 Kingston in the Section 9 Class AA championship game, 51-35. No. 1 seed Monroe-Woodbury won its second consecutive Section 9 title and gets a bye in the opening round of this year’s state tournament. Monroe-Woodbury is a well-balanced team, as starting guards Brianna DeLeo, Maya Bernsley and Sydney Harwood can all handle the ball and shoot the three. Willow Duffell, Isla Powell and Caroline Helbeck are the main targets in the paint. Monroe-Woodbury, however, doesn’t have a single player who averages double-figure scoring. Duffell leads the team with a 9.2 ppg average. Can they manage to keep up against likely quarterfinal opponent Ossining, which averages 84.3 points per game?
  • About TBD: Ossining (22-2), the Section 1 champion, plays Section 4 champion Binghamton (18-2) in an opening round game at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Johnson City. Binghamton will play this game in its own backyard, but Ossining will have the edge as the state’s No. 1-ranked team and the three-time defending state Class AA champion. Freshman Aubrey Griffin leads Ossining, averaging 25.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.5 steals.
  • Up next: The winner of Friday’s game advances to a state semifinal at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 11 at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.
  • Game story: Monroe-Woodbury girls beat Kingston for AA title
  • Video: Monroe-Woodbury girls win Section 9 Class AA title

All five Cornwall defenders converge on Saugerties'€™ Tanisha Edge (1) as she takes a shot during the Section 9 Class A championship game at SUNY New Paltz on Feb. 28, 2016. (WILL MONTGOMERY/TIMES HERALD-RECORD)

Class A

  • State opening round
  • Saugerties (15-4) vs. Rye (18-4, Section 1)
  • Tuesday, 6 p.m., Westchester County Center, White Plains
  • About Saugerties: The Sawyers head to the state tournament for the first time in school history. Senior point guard Tanisha Edge scored 29 points in No. 2-seeded Saugerties’ 57-32 win over No. 1 Cornwall in the Section 9 Class A final. Senior forward Kellyann Averill added 14 points. Edge scored the 1,000th point of her career in the championship game win, joining Averill in the 1,000-point club. Averill scored her 1,000th point last month. Averill and Edge are Saugerties’ two most crucial players so if the Sawyers hope to continue their success, both of those players need to stay out of foul trouble and find ways to score. As they go, so goes Saugerties.
  • About Rye: The No. 3 seed in the Section 1 tournament, Rye beat No. 1 Ursuline to win its first Section 1 title since 2004. It sounds like Rye has much the same story as Saugerties. Junior guard Katie Popp scored the 1,000th point of her career in the Section 1 championship game win, joining teammate and senior captain Maddie Eck, who did so earlier in the season. Which duo will prevail? For Section 9 fans looking to get a feel of the level of competition here, Monroe-Woodbury played Ursuline to overtime in the Slam Dunk Tournament in December, with Ursuline pulling out the 47-40 win.
  • Up next: The winner of this game advances to a state quarterfinal against Section 4 champion Vestal (12-9) at SUNY Cortland on Sat., March 5.
  • Game story: Edge boosts Saugerties girls to section title
  • Video:  Saugerties girls win first Section 9 title

Marlboro senior Missy Sadler prepares to take a 3-point shot as head coach Marion Casey, left, looks on during the Section 9 Class B championship game at SUNY New Paltz on Feb. 28, 2016. (WILL MONTGOMERY/TIMES HERALD-RECORD)

Class B

  • State opening round
  • Marlboro (20-2) vs. TBD
  • Wednesday, 6:15 p.m., Westchester County Center, White Plains
  • About Marlboro: The Dukes are headed back to the state tournament for the first time since the 1985-86 season and that’s a big deal for a program with a strong girls basketball tradition. Marlboro won state titles in 1982 and 1984. Senior forward Missy Sadler had 19 points and 15 rebounds in the 54-35 Section 9 Class B championship game win over No. 2 Spackenkill. No. 1 seeded-Marlboro had lost to Spackenkill in overtime in the 2015 championship game. Although Sadler was the star on Sunday – she had a school-record 27 rebounds in the MHAL championship game win over Pine Plains – Marlboro can rely on any one of a number of key players. Senior forward Julia Rusk had a quadruple-double earlier this season. Junior point guard Taylor Felicello is a solid distributor and can shoot the three. Sophomore guard Talaya Lewis came up clutch in a tough Section 9 semifinal win over rival Highland.
  • About TBD: Irvington (21-1) and Woodlands (16-6) play for the Section 1 title at 7 p.m. on Monday at the County Center. Irvington has won five of the last six Section 1 Class B titles – winning four straight state titles from 2010 to 2013 – but Woodlands was the only team to beat Irvington so far this season.
  • Up next: The winner of this game advances to a state quarterfinal against the Long Island champion over the weekend.
  • Game story: Marlboro girls snap 30-year Section 9 title drought
  • Video: Marlboro girls win Section 9 Class B title

Pine Plains' Frances Snyder, right, guards S.S. Seward'€™s Erika Straub during the Section 9 Class C championship game at Mount Saint Mary College on Feb. 25, 2016. (WILL MONTGOMERY/TIMES HERALD-RECORD)

Class C

  • State opening round
  • Pine Plains (14-7) vs. TBD
  • Wednesday, 4:30 p.m., Westchester County Center, White Plains
  • About Pine Plains: The Bombers won a second straight Section 9 Class C title by beating S.S. Seward, 64-34, in the championship game. Pine Plains made the most of its advantage at the foul line, making 21 of the 43 free throws it attempted. Seward shot 12 free throws in the game. Pine Plains is led by forwards Ashley and Bella Starzyk and was the only Section 9 team to reach the state Final Four in 2015.
  • About TBD: Keio Academy (15-6) and Haldane (11-10) play for the Section 1 title at 5 p.m. on Monday at the County Center. Haldane is looking to three-peat in Section 1 and Keio, a Japanese curriculum school in Purchase, is enjoying the best season in program history.
  • Up next: The winner of this game plays the Long Island champion in a state quarterfinal game over the weekend.
  • Game story: Foul trouble plagues Seward in Section 9 Class C final

Eldred's Sami Clemmons looks to dribble around Livingston Manor'€™s Katie Rau during the Section 9 Class D championship game at SUNY Sullivan on Feb. 24, 2016. (WILL MONTGOMERY/TIMES HERALD-RECORD)

Class D

  • State quarterfinal
  • Eldred (18-3) vs. Milford (21-3, Section 4)
  • Saturday, Noon, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh
  • About Eldred: The Yellow Jackets won their third straight Section 9 Class D title this past week. No. 1 Eldred held No. 2 Livingston Manor scoreless in a 21-0 first quarter in that game. Eldred automatically advanced to the state semifinals in 2014 thanks to a pair of byes, losing to eventual state champion Romulus in that round. Last year, Eldred fell to Section 4’s South Kortright in a state quarterfinal game at MSMC after having tied the game with under 2:00 to play. So Eldred is hungry and experienced heading into this game. Senior captains Sheila Burns (point guard) and Kelsey Collins (center) are the team leaders. Junior guard Jordan Lepes is a scoring threat inside and out and forwards Alaina Gaughan and Alyssa McGrail back up Collins on the boards. This is the game the Eldred girls have been dreaming about for years.
  • About Milford: The No. 4 seed in the Section 4 tournament, Milford rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat No. 2 Delhi, 43-33 at SUNY Oneonta on Saturday. Senior Addy Lawson is Milford’s scoring leader. Milford has not lost to a Class D opponent this season, falling twice to defending state Class C champion Cooperstown and once to Class B Oneonta. Milford was unranked in the latest state poll.
  • Up next: The winner of this game advances to a state semifinal against the Section 3-10 winner at 10:45 a.m. on Sat., March 12 at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.
  • Game story: Eldred girls win third straight Section 9 title
  • Video: Eldred boys and girls Section 9 Class D titles

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