Indians, Panthers and Raiders Play for Titles


This weekend Section II will crown champions in boys and girls basketball in all five of it’s classifications.  On the girls side they’ll be a strong Wasaren presence in the title runs with Mechanicville taking on Fonda in the Class B final and Hoosick Falls meeting Cambridge to decide the Class C championship.

In Class B the #2 seeded Red Raiders will meet the Cinderella squad of the tournament, the #13 seeded Braves of Fonda.

The Braves carry a 19-5 mark into Saturday’s 11 a.m. tip at HCVCC, and have turned it up a notch in tournament play knocking off Voorheesville, Schalmont and #1 seeded Tamarac 52-41 in the semifinals.

The Braves average 53 points per game and allow 41 defensively.  They are second in all of Section II in made threes with 140 and they convert on 56% from the free throw line.

Junior Abigail Lombardoni and freshman Carly Atty lead the Braves in scoring at 14.6 and 8.3 points per contest.  The pair have combined for 96 hits from beyond the arc including 10 treys in the win over Tamarac.

Mechanicville (15-7), has turned back Glens Falls, Ichabod Crane and Mekeel Christian in their three sectional outings, all by 20 points or more.  The Raiders score 55 points nightly and give up 47 points on the defensive end.  They’ve drilled 95 triples this season and shoot 60% from the stripe.

Mechanicville has a balanced scoring attack led by junior Charli Goverski at 13.9 points, sophomore Amy DiSiena 10.0 points, and guard Taylor Grayson at 8.6 points per game. Junior guard Jada Brown has added double figures in all three play-off games, while junior center AJ Joseph has topped the 10 point mark in the last two.

Fonda as the 13th seed in the finals is playing with house money.  They’ll play loose and let it fly from deep where they’ve connected on 17 triples in their last two games led by Lombardoni’s 11.

But Mechanicville can guard, with the athletes to get out and contest at the arc, and  they’re balanced offensively putting four players in double figures in each of their last two games.

When the Raiders take care of the ball they post “W’s”, and they’ll do both on Saturday morning in Troy and earn the Class B championship.

In the Class C title game tonight at HVCC at 7:45 p.m., it’s the #1 seeded Indians of Cambridge squaring off with the 7th seeded Panthers from Hoosick Falls, neighboring schools very familiar with the other.

The Panthers (14-9), come in hot, winners in five of heir last six including sectional victories over Middleburgh, Hoosic Valley and a 39-28 decision over Maple Hill in the semi’s.

The Falls average 50 points per game and defensively allow their opponents 44.  They’ve bottomed 101 3-pointers and shoot 58% from the foul line.

Junior center Logan Thayne leads the offense scoring 22.5 per contest including 23 makes from beyond the arc, and senior guards Grace Wysocki and Lillian Hickey can also shoot it from deep combining for 68 triples on the year.

Cambridge (21-1), has rolled through sectional play posting comfortable wins over Canajoharie, Greenwich and a 64-49 “W” over Warrensburg in the semifinals.

The Indians average 58 points per game, while giving up just 35 points defensively.  They’ve knocked back 133 from distance while shooting 58% from the free throw line.

Sophomore guards Sophie and Lily Phillips average a combined 32 points per contest, and freshman guard Stasia Epler adds 7.7 points to the Cambridge attack.  The trio along with sophomore guard Ruth Nolan are lethal from beyond the arc, all with 22 or more makes from deep, combining for 125, 3-point hits.

The two teams met in early January with Cambridge notching a 58-33 win.  The game was close early with the Indians taking a 26-20 lead into halftime, but after the break Cambridge opened things up outscoring the Falls 32-13 over the final two frames.  Cambridge sophomore forward Fiona Mooney scored 10 points in the game, but will not dress tonight due to injury.

The loss of Mooney will hurt Cambridge in dealing with the 6’2″ Thayne.  Look for the junior center to get her points, and if Hoosick Falls shoots it well from the perimeter they should be right there.

But Cambridge can score in bunches and most nights it’s a question of when, not if they’ll go on an extended run.  The Indians transition game is the key and if they get it going tonight in Troy, they’ll post the victory and earn their second straight Class C crown.






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