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It’s Section 1 "Championship Week" at the Westchester County Center and MSG Varsity is the source for updates, analysis and breaking news for every game in every class throughout the week. Here's a schedule for the week and a breakdown of every game:
CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK SCHEDULE
All games at the Westchester County Center, White Plains
Friday, March 2
Class D Boys championship: No. 1 Biondi School vs. No. 2 Greenburgh Academy, 1 p.m.
Class A Boys semifinal: No. 2 Peekskill vs. No. 11 Poughkeepsie, 3 p.m.
Class A Boys semifinal: No. 1 Tappan Zee vs. No. 5 Byram Hills, 4:45 p.m.
Class AA Boys semifinal: No. 2 Fox Lane vs. No. 3 Mahopac, 6:30 p.m.
Class AA Boys semifinal: No. 1 Mount Vernon vs. No. 4 Clarktsown South, 8:15 p.m.
Saturday, March 3
Class C Boys championship: No. 1 Tuckahoe vs. No. 2 Children's Village, 2 p.m.
Class B Boys championship: No. 2 Albertus Magnus vs. Dobbs Ferry/Blind Brook winner, 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 4
Class AA Boys championship, noon
Class A Boys championship, 7 p.m.
PLAYOFF BREAKDOWNS: SECTION 1 SEMIFINALS
No. 1 TUCKAHOE vs No. 4 HALDANE
Coaches: Al Visconti (Tuchahoe). Joe Virgadamo (Haldane)
Road to the Semis: Tuckahoe defeated Lincoln Hall 100-35, Haldane defeated Alexander Hamilton 52-32
Tuckahoe’s Top Players: Sky Williams (Senior, Guard); Justin Nolan (Senior, Forward); Mark Raymond (Senior, Center); Shyheim Nixon (Junior, Guard)
Haldane’s Top Players: Will Hoffman (Senior, Forward); Elias Lopez (Senior, Forward); Matt Forlow (Senior); Henry Heintzman (Senior, Guard)
Key Matchup: Sky Williams vs. Haldane guards. It’s no secret that Sky Williams is Tuckahoe’s go-to player. The senior had a dominating season, posting two 40-plus games, eight games of 30 points or more, and scoring 21-plus in Tuckahoe’s last 11 games. If Haldane wants any chance in the game, they will have to slow down Sky Williams.
X-Factor: Will Hoffman. Not many people know him but Hoffman can play. The senior forward is Haldane’s main weapon and if Haldane can get him going early, it will open up opportunities for the rest of the team. Hoffman will need to play his best if Haldane is going to have a shot.
How Tuckahoe Can Win: Do what Tuckahoe does. No need to change anything for the Tigers. They have not lost a game all season and have consistently put up 100 points. If they can defend Hoffman and play together, Tuckahoe should advance.
How Haldane Can Win: Slow it down. Against an up-tempo team like the Tigers, it will serve Haldane best to slow the game down and run the half-court offense. Tuckahoe is quick and athletic and if you try and run with them, you will not win. Haldane needs to value the basketball, eat up clock and keep Tuckahoe from breaking out.
No. 2 CHILDREN’S VILLAGE vs No. 6 KEIO
Coaches: Mike Graves (Children’s Village). Stan Hamlet (Keio)
Road to the Semis: Children’s Village defeated MLK 72-40, Keio defeated Palisade Prep 49-30
Children’s Village Top Players: Kareem Padgett (Sophomore, Forward); Vance Crichlow (Senior, Guard); Anthony Trotter (Senior, Guard); Andre Jones (Junior, Forward); Roger Owens (Junior, Forward)
Keio’s Top Players: Shimpei Konto (Senior, Guard); Fumiaki Kobayashi (Junior, Guard); Toshiki Himei (Senior, Guard); Yutaro Yamashita (Senior, Forward)
Key Match-Up: Outside Play – Both teams are very guard/forward orientated so this game will be decided on the wings. Padgett has been CV’s main weapon while Konto is the clear leader for Keio. Look for these two to go at it.
X-Factor: Andre Jones, Roger Owens – These two lit up MLK in CV’s quarterfinal game. Jones poured in 27 points including six 3-pointers while Owens added 17 points and 10 assists. If CV can get similar efforts from these two, it could be a long night for Keio.
How Children’s Village Can Win: Push the ball – The more points CV scores, the better they are. They’ve put up 70+ the last two games and won both easily. That should be the goal for this team and if they can get out on the break; they should come away with a win.
How Keio Can Win: Play Together – Keio has a nice season and been at their best when they are playing together. They upset the number three seed in the quarterfinals and should use that momentum coming into this game. If they move the ball and try not to force any shots, they will have a chance.
No. 2 ALBERTUS MAGNUS vs No. 6 CROTON-HARMON
Coaches: Pat McFadden (Albertus Magnus). Bill Thom (Croton)
Road to the Semis: Albertus Magnus defeated Putnam Valley 71-33 in the first round and beat Briarcliff 69-51 in the quarterfinals, Croton defeated Pawling 66-56 in the first round and beat Woodlands 56-55 in the quarterfinals
Albertus Magnus’ Top Players: Tyler Sayre (Senior, Forward); Pat McGuinness (Senior, Guard); Jack Sullivan (Senior, Guard); Arnell Dandridge (Senior, Guard)
Croton Harmon’s Top Players: Wes Turner (Senior, Forward); Ian Thom (Junior, Guard); Robert Simmons (Senior, Forward); Brian Oliver (Guard)
Key Match-Up: Tyler Sayre vs Wes Turner – Now this is a match-up. Sayre is the school’s all-time leading scorer and does all the little things that help a team win. Turner is one of the most underrated players in the section but exploded for 16 points in the first quarter of Croton’s upset over Woodlands. They both play great defense and should match-up well with each other.
X-Factor: Ian Thom – Thom is known for being a dangerous shooter but also does a lot of other things really well. He moves the ball quickly and can rebound well for his size. If Thom gets hot, Croton is in business.
How Albertus Magnus Can Win: Ride the pony – It’s pretty simple. When Tyler Sayre is on his game, Magnus is tough to beat. McGuinness and Sullivan are great players, but this team depends on Sayre. Against a good defensive team like Croton, the Falcons must establish Sayre early and force other players to help. Once they do, McGuinness and Sullivan will be free to work.
How Croton-Harmon Can Win: Ride the wave – No one expected Croton to be in the County Center but the Tigers are still standing. They will again be underdogs, but don’t think that’s a bad thing. If Turner and Thom can handle the scoring load early, the Tigers can control the ball and pull off yet another upset.
No. 1 DOBBS FERRY vs No. 5 BLIND BROOK
Coaches: Scott Patrillo (Dobbs Ferry). Mike Welsh (Blind Brook)
Road to the Semis: Dobbs Ferry had a first-round bye and then defeated Valhalla 67-32 in the quarterfinal. Blind Brook defeated Westlake 56-44 in the first round and beat Pleasantville 43-42 in the quarterfinals.
Dobbs Ferry’s Top Players: Eric Paschall (Sophomore, Forward); Thomas Fleming (Senior, Forward); John Yozzo-Scaperrotta (Senior, Forward); Eddie Ritch (Senior, Guard); Spencer Avalos (Senior, Guard).
Blind Brook’s Top Players: Antoine Saliba (Senior, Forward); Jack Jamilkowski (Senior, Forward); Sam Adler (Junior, Guard); Brennan Schaenmann (Junior, Center).
Key Match-Up: Eric Paschall vs Antoine Saliba – New school vs Old School. Paschall is a sophomore, but may be the next major Division 1 talent in the area. Saliba is a defensive veteran who does all the little things for Blind Brook. When Paschall is on, Dobbs Ferry is a completely different animal. It will be up to Saliba to slow him down.
X-Factor: Brennan Schaenmann – Dobbs Ferry’s forwards are tough, physical and smart. Schaenmann is 6-foot-7 and if he can play tough inside, Blind Brook can neutralize some of Dobbs Ferry’s athleticism.
How Dobbs Ferry Can Win: Play together – Dobbs Ferry is an emotional team which is both good and bad. They are not scared of anyone at any time and tend to play better in a physical game. But that can also lead to some poor shot-selection. If the Eagles can move the ball and execute together, they should come away with the win.
How Blind Brook Can Win: Play Big – Blind Brook is one of the few teams in Class B that can match-up with Dobbs Ferry size-wise. The Eagles get a lot of baskets in the paint and attack the glass. If Blind Brook can keep Dobbs Ferry off the glass and slow down Paschall, they will have a chance.
No. 2 PEEKSKILL vs No. 11 POUGHKEEPSIE
Coaches: Lou Panzanaro (Peekskill). Brian Laffin (Poughkeepsie)
Road to the Semis: Peekskill defeated John Jay-CR 75-64 in the first round and beat Brewster 80-73 in the quarterfinals, Poughkeepsie defeated Pelham 50-44 in the first round and beat Eastchester 61-58 in the quarterfinals.
Peekskill’s Top Players: Chandler Pierce (Senior, Forward); Dan Casey (Junior, Guard); Musheed Muhammad (Sophomore, Center); Kyree Hull (Senior, Forward)
Poughkeepsie’s Top Players: Jermar Dancy (Senior, Guard); D’Andre Smith (Junior, Guard); Brandon Weir (Junior, Forward); Lateek Anderson (Senior, Guard); Ray Knight (Senior, Forward).
Key Match-Up: Depth – These two teams are very similar. They both play up-tempo and have athletic guards and forwards that can lock down defensively. The real game may be one with the second teams. If either bench can come in and make a difference, it may be just enough to advance to the championship game.
X-Factor: Musheed Muhammad – The one major difference between these two teams is Muhammad, the younger brother of former Peekskill forward Mookie Jones. While Poughkeepsie does have great depth at the guard/forward positions, they don’t have anyone the size of Muhammad. If he can dominate the paint, Peekskill will be back in the championship.
How Peekskill Can Win: Minimize Poughkeepsie’s runs – Poughkeepsie lives on their scoring runs. In every close game they seem to give up the lead but bounce back in a hurry with a quick scoring binge. If Peekskill can minimize these runs and get Muhammad going, they will be very successful.
How Poughkeepsie Can Win: Cut down on mistakes – Poughkeepsie is a talented team, but at times they seem to fall into a funk. Against a team like Peekskill, this will not fly. Poughkeepsie must protect the ball, make their free-throws and look to the leadership on Dancy if they want to advance back to a title game.
No. 1 TAPPAN ZEE vs No. 5 BYRAM HILLS
Coaches: George Gaine (Tappan Zee). Ted Repa (Byram Hills)
Road to the Semis: Tappan Zee defeated Lakeland 60-35 in the first round and beat Pearl River 54-39 in the quarterfinals, Byram Hills defeated Rye 53-40 in the first round and beat Kennedy 55-50 in the quarterfinals
Tappan Zee’s Top Players: Billy O’Shea (Senior, Forward); Pat Peterson (Senior, Guard); Joe Letizia (Junior, Guard); Brendan Donahue (Senior, Forward); Brian McLaughlin (Senior, Guard).
Byram Hills' Top Players: Jeff Lynch (Junior, Guard); Ryan Golden (Junior, Forward); Andrew Maloney (Senior, Forward); Andrew Groll (Freshman, Forward).
Key Match-Up: Jeff Lynch vs Joe Letizia – When Byram and Tappan Zee faced off late in the regular season, Letizia looked like a possessed man. Not only did he play Lynch tough, he posted a game-high 19 points in his best effort of the season. But Lynch lives for the playoffs and should be the go to guy for Byram Hills. Honorable mention: Crowds – These two crowds are two of the best in the Section and they will be out in full force for this one.
X-Factor: Andrew Maloney – Byram Hills has its Batman and Robin with Lynch and Golden, but Maloney is the glue guy for the team. In last year’s championship run, Maloney made countless big plays down the stretch. The Bobcats will need another big game from him if they want to defend their title in the championship.
How Tappan Zee Can Win: Use the size advantage – Byram Hills is not the biggest team and, save for freshman Andrew Groll, Tappan Zee will have a size advantage. When Tappan Zee beat Byram earlier in the year, they controlled the paint. If they can do it again, they will remain undefeated.
How Byram Hills Can Win: Ride the big three – Byram Hills has three stars in Lynch, Golden and Maloney. The rest of the guys can play, but if the Bobcats want to win, these three are going to need to dominate on both sides of the floor. If they can, they will cement themselves in Byram Hills history.
No. 2 FOX LANE vs. No. 3 MAHOPAC
Coaches: Chris Violante (Fox Lane). Kevin Downes (Mahopac)
Road to the Semis: Fox Lane defeated Suffern 40-36 in the opening round and beat North Rockland 52-39 in the quarterfinals, Mahopac defeated Ossining 55-54 in the opening round and beat Arlington 76-75 in 2 OT in the quarterfinals
Fox Lane’s Top Players: Will Trawick (Senior, Forward); Dylan Peretz (Senior, Center); Robbie Shilstone (Senior, Guard); Ben Korren (Senior, Guard)
Mahopac’s Top Players: Brendan Hynes (Junior, Forward); Zack Ankier (Senior, Forward); Marc Vaccaro (Senior, Guard); Ryan Simone (Sophomore, Forward)
Key Match-Up: Hynes vs Trawick – This one should be a great battle. Trawick has been slowed of late but when he is on, he is dominant. He’s a great mid-range scorer and defends very well. Hynes is underrated and plays a lot like Trawick. How Hynes performs in this one will be a great measuring stick for him heading into his senior season.
X-Factor: Dylan Peretz – It’s surprising how little people talk about Fox Lane’s 6-foot-7 center when he has had such a great year. When Peretz is playing well, Fox Lane is a dangerous team. Peretz could be the difference-maker in this game if he can control the paint and put up big numbers.
How Fox Lane Can Win: Be weary of Mahopac’s runs – Mahopac is one team that you can never count out. They battled back from down 18 in the third quarter to win in the quarterfinals and they will never give up. The Foxes must maintain their composure throughout the game, whether they’re down 2 or up 10. If Fox Lane can rely on Trawick and Peretz’s leadership, they can advance to the championship game.
How Mahopac Can Win: Play consistent – Mahopac came out slow in the quarterfinals and had to pull off a miraculous comeback to win the game. Against players like Trawick and Peretz, that strategy will not work. Mahopac must string together four solid quarters and rely on Hynes to score big baskets if they want to continue their incredible run.
No. 1 MOUNT VERNON vs No. 4 CLARKSTOWN SOUTH
Coaches: Bob Cimmino (Mount Vernon). Matt Backs (Clarkstown South)
Road to the Semis: Mount Vernon defeated Clarkstown North 108-53 in the opening round and beat New Rochelle 74-59 in the quarterfinals, Clarkstown South defeated John Jay-EF 75-54 in the opening round and beat Carmel 63-58 in the quarterfinals
Mount Vernon’s Top Players: Isaiah Cousins (Senior, Guard); Randy Stephens (Senior, Guard); Jarell Marshall (Senior, Forward); Qwedere Lovell (Senior, Guard)
Clarkstown South’s Top Players: Mike McCahey (Senior, Forward); Clayton Roker (Senior, Guard); Connor McGuinness (Freshman, Guard); Frank Tucek (Senior, Guard)
Key Match-Up: McCahey/Roker vs Cousins/Stephens –Clarkstown South is a solid team all-around, but a lot of what they do offensively runs through McCahey and Roker. Mount Vernon can throw a number of defenders their way, but Cousins and Stephens will most likely draw them early on.
X-Factor: Clarkstown’s Shooters –McCahey and Clayton Roker attack the basket a lot and when they do, it draws defenders. This leaves McGuinness, junior guard Tyler Mager and the rest of Clarkstown South’s guards with a lot of open shots. If they can knock them down, Clarkstown South will be in business.
How Mount Vernon Can Win: Play Mount Vernon basketball – They’ve had the formula the last two decades and there’s no need to change it now. The Knights have a bunch of options to throw and McCahey and Roker and if they can neutralize them, Clarkstown South will really struggle.
How Clarkstown South Can Win: Play with a chip on their shoulder – It may seem like a tough task, but Mount Vernon can still lose just like every other team in the section. If you play scared against the Knights, they will dominate you, but if you can match their intensity, you have a chance. McCahey must have a career game and the shooters around him must not be afraid to take shots. If Clarkstown South can slow the Knights’ transition game down, they will be in the game.
Check back throughout the week to see the championship breakdowns and our staff picks.
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