OFA Boys, Canton Girls Chase B Regional Wins
BY DAVE SHEA
The OFA Boys and Canton Girls will begin the quest of Section 10 Championship teams to earn New York State Final berths in a Section 10 Class B regional semi-final doubleheader at Saratoga High School tonight. Both teams will play Section 2 Champions as OFA (20-4) meets 17-6 Schalmont at 5 p.m. followed by Canton against Mechanicville at 7 p.m.
CLASS B REGIONALS
OFA enters the state tournament on a major roll after winning their second straight Overall Section 10 Championship. The eighth-ranked Blue Devils have lost only to top ranked Section 3 Champion Lowville since the start the NAC Central season and placed their entire starting five on the All-NAC Central selections.
Leading the way are the NAC Central Co-MVPs in point guard MeSean Johnson, the school's all-time assist leader, and a 1000-point scorer and a double-double machine in center Jackson Jones. Jones delivered 25 points and 26 rebounds in the Overall Section 10 Championship game win over Malone.
Guard-forward Trent Sargent also made the first team and guards Connor Griffith and Harry Powers both made the Second Team. All three have been major 3-point and defensive contributions throughout the season.
Schalmont's 6-6 center Shane O'Dell secured the Section 2 Class B tournament MVP award after collecting 22 points, 18 rebounds, seven blocks and three steals in a 53-46 win over Mechanicville in the Section 2 finals. Jake Sandford also made the All-Tournament Team after scoring 13 points with eight rebounds and key 3-pointers which sparked the 12th ranked Sabres out to a 17-point lead.
Tonight's winner plays Section 7 Champion Saranac Central in the regional finals on Friday night at Beekmantown High School.
The Class B Girls game between Canton (21-3) and Mechanicville (17-3) will be a rematch of last year's regional finals at SUNY Potsdam where the Golden Bears prevailed 58-57 to advance to the New York State Final Four. Much of last year's cast for both teams returned.
Canton is led by the All-Star guard trio of Jan Reetz Award recipient Katie Chisholm, Sarah Sieminksi and Lexi Huiatt. Chishom and Sieminski excel in the Bears' vaunted fast break and as 3-point shooters in the halfcourt sets while Huiatt is key facilitator and finisher on the break and a tough and versatile defender.
Emily Wentworth scored 13 points with 10 rebounds to lead Canton's deep guard-forward corps in the Overall Section 10 Championship game where the Bears snapped Class D Champion Hammond's 23-game winning streak.
Mechanicville also features a great deal of big game experience with seniors in shooting guard Charli Goverski, point guard Jada Brown, forward Gianna Gavotta, forward Sophie Mastrapetro and 5-10 center Lyndsey Robens.
Tonight's winner advances to the regional finals against Section 7 Champion Northeastern Clinton.
CLASS C REGIONALS
For the second straight year the 15th ranked Madrid-Waddington Boys will play the top ranked team in New York State as the Yellowjackets host Section 7 Champion Moriah (21-1) at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday at SUNY Potsdam. The winner will advance to the Regional Finals on Saturday against Section 2 Champion Lake George which returned to the state tournament with a 52-48 win over Waterford.
M-W is led by the school's all-time leading scorer and the season assists and steals leader in guard Brennan Harmer and two other NAC East All-Stars in center Trent Lashua and guard Kyle Stoner. Lashua brings points and rebounds double-double potential in every game and Stoner developed into a proven 3-point threat over the course of the season. Drew Harmer emerged as a second inside scoring option in the second half of the season.
Led by 17 points apiece from Will Rohrer and Bryce Sprague, the Vikings picked up a 59-45 victory Saturday over second-seeded AuSable Valley . Moriah held just a one-point advantage at half but went on a 14-4 run in the third quarter and was up 11 to start the fourth.
The first game of tonight at SUNY Potsdam will see Section 10 Champion C Girls Champion St. Lawrence Central (12-11) hosting Section 7 Champion Northern Adirondack (17-5) with the winner moving on to face Section 2 Champion Cambridge.
The Larries interrupted M-W's control of the Class C crown and features a guard oriented attack led NAC Central MVP Marissa McLean. Maggie Yandoh, Mackenzie McLean, Abbie Lemieux and JV callup Rylie Daust also excel on break and as 3-point snipers.
NAC downed Moriah 36-29 in the Section 7 title game. Alexis Belrose led all scorers with 11 points for the Bobcats, while Isabella Gilmore (8), Mackenna LaBarge (6) and Brynne Gilmore (6) combined for 20 Bobcat points.
CLASS D REGIONALS
Both the Hammond Girls and the Chateaugay Boys stand one game away from the Final 4 as they travel to the SRC Center at Onondaga Community College for a doubleheader against undefeated Section 3 Champions on Saturday.
Top ranked Chateaugay (23-1) will meet 24-0 DeRuyter at noon and 23-2 Hammond will face 23-0 Brookfield at 3:45 p.m.
The Lady Red Devils are led NAC West Co-MVPs and 1000 point scorers in Kelsey Bennett and Avery Kenyon and a pair of Second Team All-Stars in forward Kylie Vaugh and guard Hailey Cunningham. Seventh seeded Hammond downed Heuvelton for the Section 10 title and third seeded Brookfield held off a Copenhagen comeback 40-36 in the Section 3 finals. Joaelyn Vleet-Elliott was honored as the Class D MVP of the Section 3 Tournament and Marisa Kepler made the All-Tournament Team.
Chateaugay used a late rally to down defending state champion Harrisville in the Section 10 title game. The Bulldogs are led by NAC East MVP guard Jonah McDonald, the first Section 10 Boys Basketball player to score 2000 career points, and two other All-Stars in guard Walker Martin and forward Jed McDonald.
DeRuyter downed Lyme 63-54 in the Section 3 Championship game led by Class D MVP Tristan Worlock who scored 16 points.
CLASS A REGIONALS
The Malone Boys and Girls carry the Section 10 standard in the Class A regionals.
The Malone Boys play Section 3 Champion Christian Brother Academy tonight at Cicero-North Syracuse High School with the winner advancing to meet Section 2 Champion Mekeel Christian in the Regional Finals at Hudson Valley Community College.
NAC Central All-Stars Payton Poirier and Aiden DeCillis lead the guard-oriented Huskie Boys.
The Malone Girls will host Section 2 Champion Averill Park tonight at SUNY Potsdam with the winner moving to the Regional finals against Christian Brothers Academy on Saturday at Onondaga Community College.
NAC Central All-Stars in forward Leah Gallagher and guard Madison Ansari lead the Lady Huskies.