This winter as the regular season played out, it became crystal clear there was no shortage of quality girls basketball teams in the Wasaren. Post season play has simply reaffirmed that thought as the Section II tournament plays it’s semifinal games Tuesday night in the B and C classifications, with four Wasaren squads taking the floor.
In separate B runs, Tamarac and Mechanicville will compete for a trip to the finals, and the same holds true for Cambridge and Hoosick Falls in the C’s.
Here’s a look at the four semifinal matchups, and why it could be an all Wasaren final in both classes.
#1 Tamarac 18-3 vs. #13 Fonda 18-5: Fonda, out of the Western Athletic Conference, enters off a 55-39 victory over Schalmont in the quarters. The Braves average 52 points per game and allow 41 defensively. Junior Abigail Lombardoni leads the Fonda attack at 14.0 points per and has connected on 46 3-pointers, while freshman Carly Atty adds 8.2 points and 40 made threes to the Braves offense.
Tamarac advanced with a 52-47 win over Hudson. The Bengals score 48 points nightly and allow opponents 43. Senior guard Emily Erickson scores it at 19.8 per contest while knocking back 26 triples this season. Sophomore guard Syrita Faraj gives Tamarac another double digit scorer at 12.5 points per.
The Bengals have a deep bench with the ability to guard. Look for Tamarac to hold Fonda in the low 40’s and the senior Erickson to have a big night offensively which will punch Tamarac’s ticket to the finals.
#2 Mechanicville 14-7 vs. #3 Mekeel Christian 19-3: Mekeel, out of the WAC, advanced with a 48-34 win over Johnstown in the quarters. They score 47 points per game and allow 37 defensively. They’ve made 132 threes on the year. The Lions are led in scoring by Avery Mills at 14.9. Jillian Ballard at 12.0 and Madison Show at 8.7 points per game. Mills and Show have combined for 88 triples on the season.
Mechanicville rolled over Ichabod Crane 57-37 in their quarterfinal run. The Red Raiders score 55 points nightly and give up 47 at the defensive end. The Raiders top three scoring threats are junior guard Charli Goverski averaging 14.0 points, sophomore forward Amy DiSiena 9.3 and senior forward Taylor Grayson at 8.6 points with 40 hits from deep to lead the Raiders.
Mechanicville is an athletic squad who nearly put five players in doubles against Crane with Goverski, DiSiena, Jada Brown and AJ Joseph all going for 10 or more and Grayson adding nine. I think the Raiders will limit Mekeel’s looks from deep and if Mechanicville takes care of the ball they’ll meet Tamarac in the championship.
#1 Cambridge 20-1 vs. #4 Warrensburg 20-2: Warrensburg, hailing from the Adirondack, comes in off a 57-56 nail-bitter over Berne-Knox in the quarterfinals. The Burghers average 60 points offensively while defensively allowing 39. Warrensburg puts three players in doubles nightly with Megan Hughes 16.7, Abigail Ranous 14.9 and Hope Boland at 11.1 all ringing the bell.
Cambridge rolled over Greenwich 69-50 in the quarters. Their offense puts 58 points on the board and their margin of victory is 24 points per, holding opponents to just 34 points nightly. Sophomore guards Sophie and Lily Phillips combine for 31 points per game and freshman guard Stasia Epler adds 7.5 points to the Cambridge attack. The trio have connected for 97 makes from deep, part of the 125 the Indians have bottomed as a team.
The Indians, playing without starting forward Fiona Mooney, are still too good and they’ll handle their business and move on to the Class C finals.
#3 Maple Hill 21-1 vs. #7 Hoosick Falls 13-9: Maple Hill, from the Patroon Conference, comes in after a 60-52 “W” over Lake George. The Wildcats score 54 points per and allow just 31 points at the defensive end. They have six players scoring between five and eight points per outing with senior Stacia Coyne leading the way. Coyne, senior Lydia Chittenden and senior Abby Utter have connected on 73 of the Wildcats 115 triples this year.
Hoosick Falls enters off a 49-36 upset of Hoosic Valley in their quarterfinal game. The Panthers score it at 51 points per, while giving up 45 points defensively. They’re led in scoring by junior center Logan Thayne at 22.7, with senior guards Lillian Hickey and Grace Wysocki combining for 14 points nightly, and 67 treys on the season.
Maple Hill is the higher seed with just one loss on the year. But the Falls plays in a better league and dropped a quality team in Hoosic Valley their last time out. Thayne will get her points, but will need help offensively. If the Panthers can put another player or two in doubles they’ll pull the upset here.