Golden Knights aren’t in awe of talented Cadets

“I’m hoping this will be well worth the price of admission,” said Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons coach Ga
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Sectional basketball brackets

To view sectional basketball brackets, click on the appropriate link:

Boys: Class AA, Class A, Class B, Class CC, Class C, Class D.

Girls: Class AA, Class A, Class B, Class CC, Class C, Class D.

“I’m hoping this will be well worth the price of admission,” said Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons coach Garry Horne about tonight’s 7:30 Section II Class A championship game with powerful Albany Academy at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

No doubt.

The top-seeded Cadets are 19-3, and showcase plenty of firepower and size.

Bishop Gibbons (No. 2 seed,

15-7), searching for its first sectional title since 1994, counters with a solid group of scorers led by Brian Hamor (17.8 ppg) and Zach O’Brien (16.9 ppg).

“Albany Academy is very talented. They are very big, and they are well-coached,” said Horne. “I have a strategy that I’m going to use against them, and my guys just have to go out there and implement it.”

Horne is well aware of Academy’s impressive lineup that includes 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Jamel Fields (18.8 ppg), 6-5 junior wing Tyler Foster (9.0 ppg), 6-7 sophomore forward Shavar Fields (12.8 ppg), 6-9, 245-pound Columbia High School transfer Chris Pelcher (12.0 ppg) and 5-9 junior guard Jimmer Bennett. The Cadets even have size on ther bench in 6-6 senior Phil Cushing.

“They have several outstanding guys, like Jamel Fields, who are extremely talented,” said Horne. “Pelcher has been offered a Div­ision I scholarship, and [Foster] is a 6-7 guy who has tremendous leaping ability. In one game, he hit nine three-pointers.

“But all that being said, we have three or four outstanding players of our own. With myself and my personality, I believe that what you give out, your kids will take and use. I don’t show any fear,” Horne noted. “I always say, respect everyone, but fear nobody. Hopefully, we’ll get the results we are looking for. We don’t worry about team records. At this time of the year, the first through the fifth seeds can all play.”

The Cadets have not lost to a Section II team all year, come in ranked sixth in the state and are riding the momentum of Friday’s 77-43 semifinal win over Mohonasen in which Jamel Fields scored 25 points and Shavar Fields totaled 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Colonial Council champions’ only setbacks were to Wheatly (82-53), Klein Collins (60-39) and Peekskill (62-58), the reigning state champion.

Bishop Gibbons advanced with a 65-56 win over Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, with Hamor collecting 14 points and 12 rebounds, and three others scoring in double digits. The group included junior varsity call-up Daylon Coles, who netted eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter to help send the Knights to their first final since a 2002.

“We knew as soon as he came up he would be an impact player,” Hamor said of Coles, a 5-10,

220-pound sophomore. “He gives us everything he has.”

cC-C PLAYOFF

In the first game tonight at 6, Rensselaer (17-6) takes on

Mechanicville (18-5) in the Class CC-C playoff.

Mechanicville features a balanced lineup that includes Paul MacMillan (12.5 ppg), Pat Marra (10.2 ppg), Nick Lettrick (9.6 ppg) and Josh Rougia (11.2 ppg). Marra and Rougia scored five points apiece in the fourth quarter to help the Red Raiders get past Voorheesville, 42-37, in Saturday’s Class CC title game.

Marra has had a major impact throughout the playoffs, making six free throws in the final minute in a 64-61 quarterfinal win over Stillwater, and nailing a last-second jumper to beat Cambridge in the semifinals, 48-46. The senior forward was named the Class CC most valuable player after his

12-point, seven-rebound effort against Voorheesville.

“That was an ugly game,” Marra said after Mechanicville’s first title-game win since 2001. “We wanted to play a finesse game, but it got physical, and we didn’t back down. We can play that way, too.”

Justin Wilkinson was the Class C MVP, gaining the honor after netting 19 points in Rensselaer’s 60-49 title-game win over Germantown.

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