As is often the case, a very busy weekend and a four-day travel stretch forced me to fall behind on the website, but no better time than the present to catch up. I’ll skip out on looking back at the weekend that was – really, there wasn’t a lot going on overall – let’s move right to Monday. It’s still semifinal time in many places, but… it’s sectional final week!
A quick look back on Monday & Tuesday’s sectional action, as usual, by class:
Only one place to bring up Class AA action, and it’s one of the only times I’ll mention Section IX on this post as well. The 845 has already started to crown champions, and the AAs took their turn at Sullivan CC Tuesday. Warwick, who has been the dominant team in the area this winter, finished the job in their section by holding Monroe-Woodbury scoreless in the 1st quarter to set the tone in a 35-24 triumph. Early Quinnipiac pledge Paige Girardi led the way with 16 points. They await the Section I winner (semifinals haven’t been played yet) for a subregional game at Kingston HS on Tuesday at 7:00. The winner of that game advances to the regional final, which will be played against Section IV’s AA champ at the Arena in Binghamton at noon next Sunday.
Inclement weather pushed last Friday’s Section 3 Class A semis back from Friday to Monday, but when the games are good, my schedule can clear for some movement, so I moved off the plan of hitting Section V to return to Onondaga Community College for a 3rd straight day. Kaitlyn Kibling exploded for 41 points in a phenomenal individual effort, and Bishop Ludden was able to move on with a 70-66 win over Indian River despite a great showing from Canisius bound Adrien LaMora (28 points). In the nightcap, top seed Auburn went down after a great day at the office for Jamesville-DeWitt, who canned 11 threes and made up for two regular season losses with a 47-37 victory over the Maroons. That means all Section 3 finals are set:
- (1) Cicero-North Syracuse vs. (2) Baldwinsville in AA
- (3) Bishop Ludden vs. (5) Jamesville-DeWitt in A
- (2) General Brown vs. (12) Bishop Grimes in B
- (1) Waterville vs. (3) West Canada Valley in C
- (1) Copenhagen vs. (2) Poland in D
That’ll be a full day’s worth of action back at OCC on Saturday, starting at 11 AM.
No one was busier on Monday than Section 5, who crowned finalists in 3 of their 9 divisions (a lot of split classes). That included the As, who got busy at Victor HS. This was where I planned to be before the movement at OCC. The fans were treated to a quality opener, as standout 2024 Mariah Watkins hung 29 points to lead (3) Webster Schroeder to the finals in their first year in Class A with a 57-52 W over (2) Canandaigua. On the top half of the bracket, no surprises in the battle of Pittsford as top seeded Mendon rolled to a 57-30 W over Sutherland. 23 for Lily Kennedy in the W. Mendon/Schroeder, two teams that surprisingly didn’t play each other this year, in the A finals. That’s Saturday at 5:00 at Rush-Henrietta.
Section 6 had an empty day Monday, but they came back with semifinal action in a couple classes Tuesday, including the A2 division. No surprises here, as we got what was pretty much anticipated for Game 4 at Buff State. Top seed Iroquois got 31 points from 2025 Molly Mescall in a 74-29 blowout over Grand Island, and standout 2023 Gretchen Dolan went off for one of her pedestrian 47 point performances in (2) Williamsville South’s 74-47 W over West Seneca East. Iroquois/South, 5:00 PM Sunday at Buff State for the A2 crown.
A busier Tuesday in Section 2 crowned finalists in two classes, including the Bs. I was at Averill Park for both games. In the opener, (6) Fonda-Fultonville did what they seemingly do best in get by higher seeds during playoff season. Three years ago, when this gang of seniors were freshmen, they were the 13 and got past the 4, 5, and 1 before falling to the 2 (Mechanicville) in the finals. Fast forward to 2022, and they got past the 3 last week & picked up what was likely a cathartic win over the 2 to get back to the finals. That 2 was once again Mechanicville. Kieonna Christmas scored 14 as Fonda started strong & held on for dear life late in a 46-39 triumph. The nightcap lacked the drama of the opener, but it was still competitive. Payton Graber torched the nets for 8 threes & reeled off 30 points as top seed Schalmont moved on with a 50-33 win over (4) Ichabod Crane. It’s Schalmont/Fonda for the B crown, 12:45 Saturday @ HVCC.
Section 4 also had two teams punch their tickets to the B finals Tuesday. No surprises on the top half of the bracket as top seed Norwich ended the 1st half & started the 2nd on a tear to blow it open against (4) Waverly in a 52-28 win. 18 for Emily Evans in the W. Big one on the bottom half though, as (3) Chenango Valley took the trip up 88 and knocked off (2) Oneonta 43-38 behind 19 points & 14 boards from Maddi Trisket. I didn’t have CV on my radar as far as Class B contenders before the season, but I can certainly miss things, and here we are. Norwich vs. Chenango Valley for the B crown in the 607. This one is slated for 4:00 Sunday at the Arena in Binghamton.
Between Monday & Tuesday, finals were set in both B1 & B2 in Section 5. We’ll work backwards, starting with Tuesday’s B1 action:
- (1) Waterloo withstood a good battle from (4) Palmyra-Macedon for a 61-51 win – Giavanna White-Principio 20, Morgan Caraballo 16 for Waterloo, Tatum Smyth 21 for Pal-Mac
- (2) Hornell had 3 finish in double digits, led by 2025 Lillian Hoyt’s 17, as they handled (6) Newark 70-44
Then back to Monday’s B2s:
- (1) Midlakes survived a scare by getting a game winner at the buzzer from Callie Walker in a 47-45 W over Penn Yan
- (3) Wellsville overcame a double digit 4th quarter deficit and stormed back with a 59-57 victory over (2) Livonia
Wellsville/Midlakes in the B2s, Hornell/Waterloo in the B1s. Both of these games are Friday evening at Rush-Henrietta; I plan to make the trip.
One more stop in Section 6, this time for the B2s, who had their finalists punch tickets on Tuesday. Again, no surprises in blowout city for the semifinals. Top seed Eden had balance in the books, led by 34 from the Zittels (18 from Jessica, 16 for Maggie) in a 71-30 rout over Olmsted. On the bottom half of the bracket, (3) Southwestern used a big 3rd quarter to seal the deal in a 66-41 W over Royalton-Hartland. 22 for Reece Beaver in the W. They always bump into each other, last year in Eden for the semis (Southwestern won) and now it’ll be 11 AM Sunday at Buff State – Eden/Southwestern for the B2 crown.
Where the B semis were competitive in Section 2 Tuesday, the Cs… not so much. However, it did set up the Duanesburg/Greenwich final that’s been circled in my head since before the season started. Top seed Duanesburg held (4) Corinth, who was unbeaten coming in, without a field goal until late in the 3rd quarter in a 66-23 W (it was 59-8 after 3 quarters). Somewhat the same in the opener for (2) Greenwich, who ran their lead up to 30 after 3 in a 58-31 W over (3) Berne-Knox-Westerlo. Maybe the most highly anticipated matchup of the day Saturday at HVCC is the first one – Duanesburg/Greenwich get it going at 11 AM.
Tuesday also gave us the Section 4 finalists. No surprise at the top half, as top seed Newark Valley had 5 finish in double digits while rolling to a 78-36 W over (4) Unatego in the really late nightcap (8:45 PM) at SUNY Cortland. The opener brought the dramatics though, as Libby Lamport canned a three off a Sylvia Liddle feed in the last couple seconds to catapult (3) Delaware Academy to a 41-38 victory over (2) Union Springs. 15 for Sylvia in the win. Two quality programs run by good people, tough to see someone lose, but glad they put on a 32 minute battle. It’s Newark Valley/Delhi for the C crown – they’ll go back to Cortland on Saturday.
The C3s were set in Section 5 Tuesday (yes, Section 5 has C3s; no, I don’t quite get it either). No surprises here, especially after the 3 & 4 seeds dropped their quarterfinal games. Top seed Dundee/Bradford withstood a test from (5) Keshequa, who got 25 from Libby Benner, but Kendall Parker (2025) led the way with 19 in a 46-39 triumph. In the other semi, (2) York handled (6) Lyndonville 43-23. Dundee/Bradford vs. York for the C3 crown – that’ll be one of five games, including all three C divisions, at Rush-Henrietta Saturday.
Last but not least, a look north to Section 7, who started their week off Monday with Class C semis. Another day of no surprises, as Northern Adirondack and AuSable Valley cleared past their opponents to set up Round 3. Top seed NAC had balance at the top with Abby Peryea and Alexis Belrose scoring 14 each and Abigail Peryea adding 12 in a 66-24 W over Lake Placid, and AuSable Valley got 14 from Brooklyn Douglass in a 41-28 victory over Moriah. Run it back for Round 3, this time Friday evening at Saranac HS.
Section 2 started their semifinal series Monday with the Ds at Ballston Spa. Top seed Hartford rolled on with a 59-38 W over Northville. Karlee Nims dropped 31 big ones in the Tanager win, Hailey Monroe 14 in defeat – Northville seems to have a bright future behind Hailey, a 2025. On the bottom half, it was (3) Saratoga Catholic, who was 6-14 during the season but played basically all Bs & Cs, that rolled past (2) North Warren with a 58-40 victory. 23 for Allison Motler to lead the Saints; Hartford/Spa Catholic 4:15 Saturday at HVCC.
Section 4 named its D finalists Tuesday with a pair of games at SUNY Delhi. On what amounted to the IAC side of the bracket, top seed Marathon rolled in with a 56-36 W over (4) Odessa-Montour. Abby Ensign dropped 22 & Brooke Tillotson added 19 in the win. On the TVL/Delaware League end, TVL champ Franklin, the 2 seed, rolled in themselves with another blowout W over (3) South Kortright, this one 58-33. Marissa Campbell led them with 22, Kayla Campbell added 18. Franklin/Marathon run it for the crown back at SUNY Delhi on Saturday.
Section 5, the only section with split classes in the Ds, handled their semifinals to start the week. Starting off with Monday’s D1s, then to Tuesday’s D2s:
- (1) Fillmore extended their undefeated season with a 47-31 victory over Arkport/Canaseraga
- (2) Batavia Notre Dame, despite missing star 2023 Amelia McCulley all year, gets back to the D1 final with a 31-26 W over Genesee Valley/Belfast
- In the D2s, (4) Avoca/Prattsburgh ended the Cinderella run of (9) Jasper-Troupsburg with a 57-39 win. Three in double digits, led by Riley Stowe’s 16.
- (2) Andover/Whitesville “slayed the dragon” of the Ds, so to speak, defeating (3) Elba 45-43 behind a 34 point night from standout 2023 Vanessa Hall.
Avoca/Prattsburgh vs. Andover/Whitesville in the D2s, Batavia Notre Dame vs. Fillmore in the D1s. Both will be Friday evening at Letchworth.
Last but not least, a quick look at Section 9. They don’t have many Ds, so they were able to crown a champion at the beginning of the week. In a competitive battle that took OT to decide, Livingston Manor defeated Eldred 33-32 for its 3rd straight Section IX D title (of course, not including last year). Kristina Davis 16 in the win, Lily Gonzalez 18 in defeat. Livingston Manor advances to subregional play, where it appears they’ll take on the Section XI winner out of Suffolk County on Long Island.