Alex Brasky | @BataviasBest
Sunday, January 14, 2018
Coming up in about a month the Section V Boys Basketball Tournament will begin, with several local teams vying for a Championship. In the meantime – here is a brief preview of where we stand right now in terms of the overall Class Standings (as of 01/13/2018), and where we’re going in terms of who I believe will compete for a Title.
If you’re looking for Class Standings, please visit the bottom of the page. Any corrections, or comments – reach out via social media, or [email protected]
Class AA has been dominated by the likes of Aquinas, Fairport, Greece Athena (2018 Class A1) and Bishop Kearney in recent years, but this season Rush-Henrietta has done its best to step back into the fold as a title contender.
The Royal Comets currently sit atop the AA Sectional Standings, despite a big loss to two-seed Fairport a few weeks ago. The Red Raiders played in the NYSPHSAA Class AA Title game last year, and despite losing a bunch, have returned enough to make another run at a championship.
Trailing the two top-dogs are Gates-Chili, Hilton, Webster Thomas, then Penfield – all of which currently have 6 wins.
Greece Athena has long reigned over Class AA, and most-recently Class A1, and this year has proven to be much of the same in Trojans’ country. Although, they currently reside as the number two team in their classification behind top-seed Pittsford Sutherland, GA has proven themselves to once again be a premier title contender – as have the Knights.
Sutherland has won a list of big games this year and will have a good chance to enter the tournament as the number one team. However, lurking as the number four seed is defending NYSPHSAA Champion Irondequoit – who will have as good a chance as any to take home a sectional title once again this year.
In between the top-two, and the Eagles, is three-seed Pittsford Mendon – who has just one loss to date (Batavia).
Defending Class A2 champion Wayne is putting together yet another fine campaign, as the Eagles return much of what led them to a title in 2017. Although, they have had to endure life without returning Sectional Tournament MVP Braeden Zenelovic – who suffered an injury early during the football season. Nick Carmichael, Billy Thomson, Tommy Bolt, and Logan Blankenburg were the rest of the Eagles’ starting five from a season ago, and all four of them are also back this year.
With that being said, Wayne trails top-seed Leadership Academy for Young Men in the overall sectional standings as of today, and also have three other city schools to contend with at the top of the bracket. In Leadership’s 30-point win over Aquinas this afternoon, Dez Ellis led all scorers with 20, while Shaheem Britt added 17, and Rondell Watson chipped in 15. This team comes at you from all angles.
Monroe, NE Douglas, and Wilson Magnet are all waiting for a chance to upset the top-two seeds come tournament time.
As is HF-L, who fell to Wayne to begin the year but has won a few big games since. Also Batavia, who was beaten by HF-L earlier this year but prior to that gave A1 team Pittsford Mendon their only loss of the year.
Batavia has endured turbulent 2017-2018 season, but the emergence of scorers Steve Gilebarto and Mason McFollins has been exciting to watch. Those two, in addition to Antwan Odom, who is starting to return to form after a slow start to the season, makes this offense one of the most-potent in their Class. Also, last year’s leading-scorer TeeSean Ayala recently returned to the team and will return to the lineup this week. Look out for this team down the stretch as they continue to get things under control.
After all that, I see the A2 title as Leadership’s to lose this season. Their wins have just been too impressive, and they have multiple options that they can turn to on a nightly basis.
Leading a long list of Class B contenders is Mynderse who is currently unbeaten, the top-seed, and defending champ.
Behind them is Penn Yan, who is also putting together a fine one-loss season. Mynderse will clearly be the B team to beat during the postseason, although Penn Yan plays them twice during the second half of the regular season. Those two games should provide a good idea as to whether or not the Mustangs can compete with the Blue Devils.
World of Inquiry, Livonia, Greece Odyssey, Wellsville, and Hornell, all sit behind the top-two, and are all two games or more above .500.
Full of impressive teams, Class C1 has been paced by Pembroke, and Northstar Christian who currently sit one and two in the sectional standings.
Pembroke is an undefeated, senior-laden bunch, whose most-effective player is Reid Miano, that’s not all the Dragons have. Lucas Kohorst, Zach von Kramer, and Jamil Marable Jr. can all score the ball in bunches, which makes this team one of the deepest throughout C1.
Northstar has just one loss and are propelled by junior phenom Miles Brown. They play a difficult regular season schedule and will be set up nicely for the postseason.
I hope we get to see the top-two teams face-off during the playoffs.
Behind the leading duo, 2016-2017 semifinalist Le Roy sits as the three seed, while Marcus Whitman, East Rochester, and Addison come in right behind them – all of which currently have two losses.
Le Roy fell to the Knights in a close game in last year’s semifinals, and will be chomping at the bit to get another shot at NS this postseason. LR has a bunch of talent led by Canyon Roster, Luke Stella, TY Williams, and Reece Tresco.
It’s difficult to forecast this classification, although I view defending champ Northstar as the team to beat.
Class C2 is a conundrum, as many teams will have a chance to take home a title this season.
Beginning with top-seed Lyons, there are a total of five teams who I view as legit title contenders. Cal-Mum, Perry, defending D1 champ CG Finney, and Alexander all have two losses or less, and each has proven enough to be taken seriously come postseason time.
Lyons recently picked up a big win over Clyde-Savannah, and is led by junior Justice Smith.
Cal-Mum rebounded with a few important victories following a loss to rival Le Roy earlier this year, and seem to have put it all together just in time for the season’s second half. The Raiders have scorers all over the court, and any one of them can step up and lead the team on a given night. Ian Lenhardt is the big man in the middle for C-M, and will be a major factor defensively come postseason time.
Perry has yet to post a signature victory, but have been mighty impressive in each of their W’s this year. Seniors Austin Croll and Tyler Cowie have paced the Yellowjackets efforts throughout the season, and will be the team’s one-two punch come next month during sectionals.
Finney lost to Wellsville to open the season, but have since put themselves together and ripped off a number of wins.
Lastly, Alexander fell to Pembroke by just four points earlier this season – despite leading much of that game. Since, the Trojans have beaten everyone – except for C-M in a game where ALEX was missing their best two-way player Erik Scharlau. The Alexander offense has been led by Scharlau, Ryan Davis, and Chris McClinic – among a few others.
The C2 playoffs are going to be a lot of fun.
In my opinion, Notre Dame and Clyde-Savannah are on a collision course towards the Class D1 Final – as both teams currently sit with nine wins, and atop the postseason standings.
ND was undefeated, until a loss to A2 opponent Batavia in the Batavia Lions Club Tournament Final, and avoided a matchup with C1 leader Pembroke because of the snow storm this past weekend. In their wins, the depth of their roster has carried them alongside leading-scorers Ryan Moffat and Nico Zambito. The Irish come at you in waves.
The Golden Eagles are led by senior standout Derrick Chance, who has been one of the most-exciting players in Section V this year. Clyde recently fell to C2 leader Lyons on the road, but will have another shot at their rival next month.
Behind the two frontrunners is a long list of three, and four-loss teams. It’s difficult to determine which of those teams will have the best chance to upset the top-two.
Once again, I see Prattsburgh and Elba being the two teams who will compete for the title in Class D2. Although Belfast has done their best to keep-pace with the Vikings and Lancers, the Bulldogs’ regular season competition has been inferior to that of the other teams within D2’s top-three.
Prattsburgh’s Garrett Socola and Mason Putnam have led the Vikes to their current one-loss record, while Jonathan Boyce, Colton Dillon, and Collin O’Halloran have been the most-important players for Elba throughout the year.
I look for each of these two teams to meet in the Sectional Finals for the second-consecutive season, barring something unexpected.
Avoca is the only team, in my opinion, with a chance of upsetting one of my top-two. Although, I’m sure Scio, and Belfast fans would disagree with me.
Here are the current Section V Boys Basketball Sectional Standings – courtesy of the Section V Boys Basketball website: