Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sectional Speculations: Day 1

Sectional Scoreboard: Day 1
Sectional Scoreboard: Complete Tournament

1. Joel Wincowski
First, congratulations to Joel Wincowski.  The Lake George Standout scored 34 on his way to bypassing Jimmer Fredette for the most career points scored.

Wincowski scored his 21st point with two minutes left to play in the second quarter.  There was a timeout to celebrate the accomplishment, to which Jimmer Fredette's father, Al, presented the new career points leader with a game ball.

The UMBC commit now stands at 2,418 points, 13th in NYS.  He's unlikely to top the state's number one, Lance Stephenson, who scored 2,946 in his five seasons with Abraham Lincoln of the PSAL (New York City).  But he will move himself closer to the state's top 10 as long as the Lake George Warriors continue to progress in the tournament.

It's fun to see Joel Wincowski play, as he has great sight and intelligence to find the best plays possible, whether it's him driving the lane for the bucket or finding the open teammate.  We haven't seen much of him ... only being able to broadcast three games in the last two years, and only observe one other (Section 2 Semifinal last year vs. Spa Catholic), but we've seen enough to know that he is getting better with his young age, and look forward to seeing how he performs when he makes it to UMBC for collegiate ball this fall.

Lake George has a maximum of 7 games left in their season (three games left in the Section 2 tournament, then four games in the NYSPHSAA tournament).  They continue their push to make it to the Glens Falls Civic Center on Friday when they face St. Johnsville at Hudson Valley Community College on Friday at 5PM.

2. Maple Hill
While we're talking Joel Wincowski, we also have to talk Maple Hill.  A big thanks needs to go out to their team and their coaches for being very understanding about the accomplishment that was about to take place on Lake George's court by allowing the ceremony to take place after Wincowski scored the bucket to overtake Jimmer Fredette for the record.

They could have declined the ceremony.  They could have requested that the game take place and then allow a ceremony to take place during the half or after the game.  But they allowed the ceremonial break to take place, and were great sports about it.

3. Lake George
Finally, in regards to Joel Wincowski, it was great that Joel Wincowski was able to celebrate this accomplishment on his home court.  It was the last time Wincowski will ever play a Section 2 game on that court, as the remaining games in his career will take place on neutral sites.

He got to celebrate it with his fans, his classmates, his teachers and most importantly, his family.  When Jimmer Fredette passed Chris Ciaccio for the all-time lead in 2007, it was in the NYSPHSAA Semifinals against McKinley at the Glens Falls Civic Center.  According to the Bonnie Naumann recap for The Post-Star, the crowd acknowledged his accomplishment by standing ovation once an announcement was made over the P.A., but there was no pause like what happened Tuesday night.

That's what makes Wincowski's accomplishment even better.

4. Joe Cremo
One last comment regarding milestones before we talk the other games in Section 2.

Now that Joel Wincowski has surpassed Jimmer Fredette, it would be nice to see another great athlete in Section 2 surpass the 2,000 mark in Joe Cremo.  The Scotia senior is another athlete that is fun to watch, and currently sits with 1,924 points heading into the Class A Quarterfinals this Sunday, when the Tartans begin their postseason run with a game against the winner of tonight's Lansingburgh/Glens Falls game.

5. Hadley-Luzurne Representing
The Lake George Warriors are not the only Class C Adirondack League team heading to the quarterfinals.  The Hadley-Luzurne Eagles squeezed by the Canajoharie Cougars 64-62 to move onto the next round, when they face the Greenwich Witches on Saturday, 12:30PM at Hudson Valley Community College.

The Eagles have shown signs of improving when they squeaked by North Warren back in January, and their win over the Western Athletic Conference opponent supports their growth.

6. Away Difficulties
The Hadley-Luzurne Eagles were one of only three away teams come away from an opponent's gym with a victory on Tuesday.  In Class AA, LaSalle knocked off Shaker with a low-scoring 43-37 affair in Latham.

The Cadets move on to face the Independent top seed Green Tech on Saturday over at Hudson Valley Community College.

Meanwhile, over in Class B...

7. Patroon Difficulties
The Ravena Indians became the third away team to win on Tuesday when they knocked off the Patroon Conference champs.

Coming in as the #13 seed, the Ravena Indians were not intimidated by a Catskill team that had lost only one game all season, knocking them out of the tournament with the 73-69 win.  A member of the Colonial Council, Ravena suffered tough losses against good teams in Cohoes and Schalmont as they made their way to the Class B sectionals.

The Catskill Cats won easily against conference teams in the Patroon Conference, going unbeaten in league play as they suffered only one loss at the hands of Section 9's Saugerties.

In all, it was a tough evening for Patroon Conference members as they suffered four losses on Friday.  The conference's second place team, Hudson, dropped out after a 60-44 loss to the defending sectional champions, Voorheesville.  Cairo-Durham found Hoosick Falls too difficult to handle, as the Panthers more than doubled up on Cairo-Durham in the 62-30 win.  The Maple Hill Wildcats couldn't continue the momentum of winning their play-in game as they dropped to the Lake George Warriors 81-53 in the Class C Round of 16.  And Rensselaer found Hoosic Valley hard to handle as the Indians defeated the Rams 63-44.

There are no teams remaining in the Patroon Conference in this year's sectionals.

A rematch is on the docket on Friday in Class B.

The Broadalbin-Perth Patriots quickly took care of the Granville Golden Horde in their 67-44 win.  The Patriots, seeded #2 in the tournament, won their third straight as Ryan Dingman scored 22 points in the win.  Meanwhile, Voorheesville scored 15 from Sean Nolan as they knocked off Hudson 60-44.

The two wins sets up a rematch from last year's Sectional Championship at the Glens Falls Civic Center.  In that game, Broadalbin-Perth started slow, surrendering an 11-0 run, as they fell to the Blackbirds 61-37.  According to media reports, the result left a sour taste for the Patriots, and have been longing for this opportunity since the March 1st championship last year.

The two teams will play this Friday, 6:30PM at Shenendehowa High School.

9. Old friends Reunite
Over at Hudson Valley Community College, two former conference-mates will meet again Friday night at 8PM.

The Hoosick Falls Panthers, as previously noted, won easily over Cairo-Durham 62-30.  Meanwhile, the Schuylerville Black Horses needed a comeback to surge past the Ichabod Crane Riders in their 68-63 win.

The win sets up a Hoosick Falls/Schuylerville match on Friday, the first time the two teams have met since Schuylerville departed for the Foothills Council at the end of the 2013-14 school year.  As members of the Wasaren League, the two teams swapped which team swept the two league meetings since the 2008-09 season, with Hoosick Falls sweeping the latest pair of games.

10. Fourth Quarter Woes
The Burnt Hills Spartans went to the half tied with the Queensbury Spartans at 27 a piece.  In the third quarter, Burnt Hills claimed the lead at 36-34.  However, Queensbury caught fire while Burnt Hills felt an icy-cold draft from outside.

The end result ... Queensbury outscored Burnt Hills 27-2 on their way to a 61-38 win at the Blue Gym to advance to the Quarterfinals in Class A.  Brett Rodriguez scored 20 points for the Queensbury Spartans in the win, and Keeghan O'Leary added 14.  Alex Wellington scored 12 for Burnt Hills.

Queensbury now faces Amsterdam at 1PM on Sunday at Hudson Valley Community College.  In the first meeting on January 23rd, Amsterdam made things tough for Queensbury with a full-court pressure as they beat the Spartans 77-63 at the Blue Gym.

11. Double High
Last year Mohonasen and South Glens Falls played to the wire, with Mohonasen walking away with the 58-55 win.  So when these two teams met last night, you had to think it was going to be a close affair.

Especially as the Bulldogs kept it close as they were only down 6 entering the fourth quarter.  They came back, and forced overtime with Mohonasen, which turned into a double overtime session.  However, Mohonasen advanced to the quarterfinals after beating South Glens Falls 79-72.

Mohonasen will now face Troy on Sunday at Hudson Valley Community College.

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