Scotia-Glenville has gotten deeper into the postseason pool the last few years,
Today, the Lady Tartans are in the deep end, taking on Averill Park in the Section II, Class A championship game. That game is the second of four scheduled for Hudson Valley Community, beginning with a Class B semifinal at noon and ending with the Class AA final between Colonie and Albany.
Scotia coach Regan Burns knows all about the Lady Warriors, who won the state public school and Federation titles in 2010 and advanced to the state public school final a year ago.
“They’ve got everybody back from last year, so you know they’ve got that big-game experience,” said Burns. “And they’ve played that tough Suburban schedule. It’s going to be a matter of us playing solid defense like we did against Holy Names.”
Guards Angie DiJohn and Cassie Broadhead challenged every pass at the top of the Lady Tartans’ 2-3 zone in their 51-35 semifinal win over Holy Names. They’ll have their hands full with Averill Park senior Brooke O’Shea and 11th-grader Alison Nunziato.
Inside, Sarah Janson, Monica Compton and Julianna Ferrari will have to deal with senior Bridget Carney, Averill Park’s second-leading scorer.
“Obviously, O’Shea and Carney are our biggest concerns,” said Burns. “But Nunziato can hit the three. They’re an experienced team that plays well.”
The 18-2 Lady Tartans lost to Averill Park in last year’s semis, something that has motivated Scotia, which last won a girls’ sectional basketball title in 1980.
“It doesn’t take much to motivate them when I bring up Averill Park,” said Burns.
Scotia has its own 1-2 scoring punch in Broadhead and senior Monica Compton, the latter a transfer from the former Schenectady Christian School. They combined for 38 points in the semifinals.
“Cassie is a very good player who has worked hard to improve her game every year,” said Burns. “Monica has fit right in. They both can hit the outside shot and also get to the basket.”
Averill Park coach Sean Organ got a good look at Scotia as his team waited for its semifinal with Mohonasen.
“Scotia’s the real deal,” he said. “Broadhead shoots the ball real well. They’re very capable.”
Organ is looking for his team’s experience in the playoffs to make a difference, with O’Shea leading the way.
“Brooke’s a five-year varsity player. She understands what it takes to go a couple levels higher in the postseason,” he said.
Colonie and Albany both saw their 2011 seasons end on the HVCC floor, the Lady Raiders losing to Shaker one round after the Lady Bison beat the Lady Falcons.
Both have accomplished their preseason missions of getting to this year’s final.
“Our goal from the beginning of the season was to get back to the final,” said Colonie coach Heather Fiore. “There was not really a lot of talk about a lot Shaker beating us. We just wanted to get back there, no matter who we played.”
“That was our goal from the first day of practice,” said junior guard Sydnie Rosales, who combines with Kawandi Young, Ashley Loggins and Jaclyn Welch to give Colonie balanced scoring.
Young played a big role in Colonie’s semifinal win over Shaker, helping the Lady Raiders control the boards.
“Rebounding has always been a focus,” said Fiore. “We don’t always get that done We harp on it all season.”
Underclassmen Emia Willingham-Hurst and Breahanda Stratton are Albany’s two leading scorers, but Lady Falcons’ coach Kelly Haggerty-MacNabb isn’t shy in using her bench, giving five others significant playing time in their semifinal win over Shenendehowa.
Haggerty-MacNabb said her team has figured out that postseason is just another game.
“I don’t know if people realize how young we are,” she said of her 19-1 team, which starts five underclassmen. “When they settled down, they realized it was just another game.”
Tamarac plays Cohoes at noon in one “B” semi, with top-seeded Watervliet playing Ravena-Coeymans-Sellkirk in the third game of the day.
Cassidy Chapko scored 14 points, and Hoosic Valley held Voorheesville scoreless in the first quarter and went on to beat the Blackbirds, 36-28, Friday in the Class C championship game at HVCC. Sarah Madden and Anna Feller combined for 12 points for Voorheesville.
Shelby Graham scored 11 points, and Jacquelyn Miller added nine as Argyle beat Fort Edward, 35-28, to win the Class D championship.
The Scots led by five after one quarter, and outscored the Flying Forts, 14-8, in the third quarter.
Reaghan Heym scored 16 points for Fort Edward, the defending champion.