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03.09.07

Boys basketball state quarterfinals capsules

Capsule look at this weekend's games

James Johnson
Staff writer


(March 9, 2007) — Class AA

Matchup: No. 8 in state Sweet Home (19-4) vs. No. 14 Fairport (20-3). Time/place: 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester Community War Memorial.

Outlook: Look for a low-scoring game. Like Fairport, the Panthers take playing defense seriously. This is the team that knocked off Niagara Falls, led by future Syracuse University guard Jonnny Flynn, in the Section VI final. Glenmore Carr, a 6-foot-6 senior, is a presence inside because of his height and showed an ability to beat defenders off the dribble against Niagara Falls.

Kyle Downey clearly is Fairport's top scoring threat, but the Red Raiders get solid contributions throughout the lineup when they are at their best. They also have the belief that their defense can hold back opponents until the offense gets in gear.

Class A

Matchup: No. 6 Buffalo McKinley (21-4) vs. No. 5 Aquinas (22-1).

Time/place: 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Blue Cross Arena.

Outlook: The Macks, coached by former North Carolina Tar Heel James Daye, come off one of their best performances this season, a 19-point victory in Section VI's final. Guard William "Stink'' Robinson, slowed by a knee injury this season, made four 3-pointers versus Maryvale and can still beat defenders off the dribble.

Aquinas has not dominated on the glass, but the Little Irish seem to get most of the important rebounds, especially 6-1 junior Todd Wingate. Matt Jones, Jonathan Jones and Wingate also are far from shy when it comes to shot blocking.

They will challenge drives to the basket. Critics wonder if senior D.J. Wing can handle pressure, but he's held up in the postseason and made timely plays for the Little Irish.

Class B

Matchup: No. 1 Olean (23-1) vs. No. 14 Charlotte (17-7). Time/place: 4 p.m. Saturday at Finger Lakes Community College.

Outlook: Charlotte is back on the Section V basketball map with its first sectional title since the Lakesiders' glory days during the mid-1980s. There is a good inside-outside balance with Charlotte, as 6-1 junior forward Terrell Moore, is the team's leading scorer and rebounder. Guards Gerald Williams, Bradley Griffin and Jordan Major can and do hit outside shots.

Olean does not beat itself with mistakes. A disciplined group that plays hard, the Huskies are led by versatile 6-2 senior Zach Moore, whose father is Pitt-Bradford College coach and former St. John Fisher assistant Andy Moore.

Class C

Matchup: No. 3 Maple Grove (21-2) vs. No. 1 Campbell-Savona (23-1).

Time/place: 2 p.m. Saturday at FLCC.

Outlook: Reigning state champion Campbell-Savona limited its sectional tournament opponents to 31, 41 and 40 points.

The Panthers play defense. Zach Simpson, a 6-7 senior center, and junior guard Camden Wright were named to the all-tournament teams. So was senior guard Will Cornett, the tournament MVP who was a key player on last year's state champion.

The Red Dragons seem to be similar to Fairport, a lot of versatile players who do the little things to win. Junior forward Tom Secky is Maple Grove's best all-around player and Cam O'Neill the top rebounder on a team that goes hard after missed shots.

Class D

Matchup: No. 4 Pine Valley (22-1) vs. No. 1 Finney (21-3).

Time/place: Noon, Saturday at FLCC.

Outlook: State champion Finney was not challenged in the postseason until the state qualifier round, and the Falcons defeated Whitesville by nine points. A schedule that included teams from larger schools appears to have helped. Senior guard Andy Marchand, a 2006 All-Greater Rochester team member, went crazy in this game last year at Buffalo State with 24 points on six 3-pointers against Clymer.

Pine Valley is back in Class D, where the Panthers were Section VI champions in 2004 and '05. This year's club uses its bench, as the Panthers like to pressure ballhandlers. Senior Cody Troutman played on Pine Valley's state final four team in '04.

—James Johnson