Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Regional Semifinal Preview

Three of our Section 2 boys teams will be in action on Wednesday as the state tournament kicks into full swing.

Lake George and Scotia will travel north to Plattsburgh, where Northern Adirondack and Peru await them at SUNY Plattsburgh.  Meanwhile, Class D's champions, Germantown, will play Section 10's Harrisville at Saratoga High School.

More about the games after the jump.

CLASS C BOYS: Lake George (22-1) vs. Northern Adirondack (14-7), 4:15PM at SUNY Plattsburgh's Fieldhouse

Lake George

How they got here: Beat Waterford 60-28 in the Section 2 Championship

Players to Watch: Most eyes will be on Section 2 scoring champ Joel Wincowski, who averages 33 points per game.  He had his lowest two scoring games in the semifinals and finals, scoring 24 against Hoosic Valley and 23 against Waterford, but both cases the Warriors didn't need him to score his average.

But because defenses are tailoring towards Wincowski's scoring ability, this has opened up Kyle Jones and Dylan Hubbard as huge three point threats.  8 threes against Hoosic Valley in the semis, and five against Waterford.

Season at a Glance: Lake George has only one loss on their record, a narrow one point defeat by Class B champs Hoosick Falls in January when the Warriors couldn't sink a last second finger-roll.  They also played Class B semifinalist Ravena during the regular season and defending Class C state champion Hoosic Valley during the sectional semifinals.

Northern Adirondack
How they got here: Beat Ticonderoga 59-46 in the Section 7 Championship

Players to Watch: According to Plattsburgh's Press-Republican, Ethan King is the scoring leader for the Bobcats out of Ellenburg Depot in Northern Clinton County.  He's the Section 7 scoring leader with 23.2 points per game, scoring 22 points against Ticonderoga in the sectional championship.

Josh Juntunen will also be a scoring threat, averaging 14 points per game.  Bailey Cross also is a dependable secondary scorer to King, averaging 9.3 points per game.

Season at a Glance: The Bobcats have split games against the Peru Indians, who will be tested in the nightcap at SUNY Plattsburgh.  They also beat Plattsburgh, who became the Class B champions.  They dropped both games against a strong Moriah team that has a good chance at making it to the Glens Falls Civic Center in Class D.

Preview: The Bobcats are going to find the Warriors to be a handful, especially if they concentrate all their efforts on Joel Wincowski.  It's a double-edged sword that Dave Jones has built up in Lake George, because if a team goes too heavy on Wincowski, they are prone to be burned from the long-range shot.

Because of this, Wincowski should have an easy time putting in thirty.

The Bobcats do have some good scoring threats, but will need them to work consistently together if they are going to rattle off a team that has a strong chance of making it back to the Glens Falls Civic Center for the second time in three years.

If you go: Take the Northway (I-87) north to Exit 37: Route 3, Plattsburgh.  Take a left onto Route 3 West (you will see signs to take a right for SUNY Plattsburgh, that is for the main campus, not the Fieldhouse where this game is being played), and take a left at the first traffic signal (Hammond Lane).  Take Hammond Lane all the way to the end, where it meets Rugar Street.

Take a left on Rugar Street, proceed over the Northway, and you'll find the SUNY Plattsburgh Fieldhouse on your right about 3/4 miles down the road.  Plattsburgh's about 90 minutes north of Lake George.

As an alternate route to the Fieldhouse, you CAN take a right onto Route 3 East, and then take a right into the Walmart/Sam's Club at the first traffic signal after going under the Northway, then cut through the parking lot until you wind up at Ampersand Lane, which will take you to Rugar Street near a Stewart's.  Take a left and find the Fieldhouse on the right.

The basketball game will take place in the gym on the right side of the Fieldhouse.

Next Up: Winner travels to SUNY Potsdam on Saturday to face the Potsdam Sandstoners.

CLASS D BOYS: Harrisville (19-3) vs. Germantown (20-2), 7PM at Saratoga High School

How they got here: Beat Morristown 49-42 in the Section 10 Championship

Players to Watch: Nate Weaver and Brennan Best both scored 14 points for the Pirates as they led Harrisville to the title win over Morristown.

Season at a Glance: Harrisville's season includes a 12 point loss to Section 3's Sacket Harbor, who lost by two in a thrilling Section 3 Championship to defending state champions New York Mills on Sunday.  Since that game, the Pirates rattled off 11 straight 10-plus victories leading into the Section 10 Class D tournament.  They won 13 in a row before falling to Potsdam in the Section 10 overall tournament.

How they got here: Beat Fort Ann 76-65 in overtime in the Section 2 Championship

Players to Watch: Tyler Fuchs is Germantown's leading scorer, averaging close to 14 points per game.  He has help with Matt Marrish and Logan Rifenburgh, players that average close to 10 points per game.

All three were on the team last year when they gave Argyle a run for their money in the Section 2 Championship, coming just short as the Scots won the title and advanced to the state tournament.

Fuchs scored 24 points against Fort Ann as the Clippers came back from a double-digit deficit midway through the fourth quarter to stun the Cardinals.  .

Season at a Glance: Germantown is undefeated against Class D opponents, only losing to Class C's Berlin and Waterford during the course of the season.  Those two losses resulted in Waterford winning the regular season league title.

Preview: The Harrisville Pirates closed the gap to one point with thirty seconds left to play against Class C Potsdam in the Section 10 overall tournament, but couldn't get past the Sandstoners as they lost 41-36.

The Pirates make their first trip to the state tournament in 12 years, last making it in 2002 when they made it to the Glens Falls Civic Center, ending Fort Edward's season in the process.  They would fall 58-48 to undefeated Faith Heritage of Section 3 in the Championship.

Germantown showed on Saturday they can come back from a decent deficit as free throw shooting became their greatest ally.  But with Moriah lurking in the shadows for the winner, the Clippers cannot fall into a similar deficit.

If you go: Saratoga High School is on the southern end of the city of Saratoga Springs.  Those travelling to the game will want to take Exit 13N: Route 9 North, Saratoga Springs.  Proceed up the road about three miles until you get to the first traffic light after passing Cresent Avenue.  Take a left and head through the Avenue of the Pines until you get to Route 50.  Take a right onto Route 50 North and proceed about 3/4 miles to West Avenue on your left.  Take a left, and go up a 1/2 mile.  School will be on your right.

Next: The winner of this game travels up to SUNY Plattsburgh to face Moriah in the Regional finals on Saturday.

CLASS A BOYS: Scotia (22-0) vs. Peru (12-7), 7:45PM at SUNY Plattsburgh's Fieldhouse

How they got here: Beat Troy 54-43 in the Section 2 Championship

Players to Watch: Like with Lake George, many teams will concentrate on one single player.  With Scotia, that is Joe Cremo, who is the team's leading scorer with over 27 points per game.  But teams are going to find out that Cremo isn't the only threat.

Mike Palleschi, Diamond Corker, Scott Stopera and Joe Almond make for a starting five that is hard for teams to defend against.  All but Almond average better than 10 points per game, and you cannot count Almond out for coming through for a few good buckets during the course of a game.

Season at a Glance: The Scotia Tartans have played consistently all season long, whether it's Foothills Council games against teams like Amsterdam and Queensbury, or non-conference games against Section 10's Ogdensburg, who made the trip to the Glens Falls Civic Center last year and is one win away from doing the same this year.

How they got here: Automatic qualifier as Section 7's lone Class A team

Players to Watch: Isaiah Maddix is Peru's leading scorer, averaging 11.3 points per game.  He'll be assisted by Cameron Rock, who scores 8.1 points per game.

Season at a Glance: Four of Peru's last five losses were to sectional championship teams.  Peru's last loss was to Moriah, Class D champion.  They also have losses against Northern Adirondack (Class C), Plattsburgh (Class B) and Potsdam (Section 10, Class C).  And with the exception of Plattsburgh, all of those losses were by double digits.

Preview: Yes, Peru lost to sectional champions during the course of the regular season, but as a Class A team, they need to be able to play tight against really good teams if they expect to make a deep run in the state tournament.  A big concern is that Peru hasn't displayed that they can beat anyone important this year.

And unfortunately for them, they run into the defending State and Federation Champions in the first round.  A team which has won 49 straight games, at that.

Having only one player above 10 points per game, and barely above that will not help the Indians in this case.  Especially if he's coming off an injury.  Scotia is a team that will punish you for any mistakes you make, meaning Peru needs to gel together and play some phenomenal basketball if they want to continue playing beyond tonight.

In addition, the Indians not playing a game since February 17th may become an issue early.  How the Indians jump out of the gate in the game's first four minutes will be critical.  If Peru starts cold, this game could turn ugly fast.

And it would become an ugly end to a decent season for the lone Class A team from Section 7.

If you go: See the preview above for Lake George/Northern Adirondack for directions to SUNY Plattsburgh.

Sources: The Press-Republican, Watertown Daily Times, Glens Falls Post-Star, Albany Times-Union, North Country Sports Net, MaxPreps

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