Monday, January 29, 2018 | BataviasBest.org
Coming up in a few weeks the Section V Girls 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 01/28/2018), and where we’re going in terms of who I believe will compete for a Title.
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Class AA seems to be a three team race, as Penfield, Bishop Kearney, and Our Lady of Mercy have all put together impressive campaigns to date.
Penfield has rolled through their Section V competition, and have a matchup with Mercy upcoming. Makaila Wilson leads the Patriots with a 20 points per game scoring average.
Kearney, like OLM, has endured a schedule consisting of mostly out-of-section competition, but play Mercy twice down the stretch.
Pittsford Mendon is a near lock to win Class A1. Canandaigua, the two-seed within this classification, was beaten by the Vikings twice by double-digits earlier in the year.
Mendon is undefeated behind the efforts of Lexi Green and Alana Fursman – who have both averaged double figure scoring for the Vikings.
Class A2 is a bit cloudy, as HF-L, Geneva, NE Douglass, Pittsford Sutherland, and Batavia all seem to be chasing Aquinas for a chance at the title. The Lil’ Irish have Section V standout Kayla Jackson who has propelled them with her 20 points per game scoring average.
HF-L won the A2 Championship a season ago, and following a loss to Batavia earlier in the year, the Cougars have been playing very well as of late. I would look for them to be right on par with Aquinas if the two are to meet during the playoffs. HF-L’s Taryn Wilson is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 18 points per game thus far.
Batavia is another interesting team. The Blue Devils have endured a roller coaster of a season, but their only bad loss came at the hands of Cal-Mum in the Batavia Rotary Tournament, while their lone big win coming vs HF-L at the beginning of the season. Consistency has hurt this team during the regular year, but if they are to put things together over the next few weeks we could be looking at a long sectional run for this team.
Ryann Stefaniak is the Devils’ primary option on offense, and has averaged 15 points per game so far this season. Emma Krolczyk has served as a nice compliment to Stefaniak, and has chipped in 11 points per contest this year.
Midlakes, Wayland-Cohocton, and Palmyra-Macedon, have all proven their worth as teams worthy of the Class B Title this year.
Midlakes is currently undefeated, although they haven’t played all that tough of a schedule, with many of their wins coming over inferior competition. However, they play Pal-Mac twice to end the season, and both of those games should serve as a measuring stick for the Screaming Eagles. Alaina Forbes has been one of the most productive players in Section V this season, putting forth 24 points per game this year.
Way-Co has been perhaps the most-impressive of the three leading candidates, as they have recorded big wins over Aquinas, and Pal-Mac already this year. The Eagles are currently riding a ten-game winning streak, and they’ll likely extend that to 15 as they have five more games remaining – all of which they should win in my opinion. Alex Button has served as the team’s leading scorer, with a 21 points per game scoring average to date.
Pal-Mac’s two games against Midlakes over the next few weeks will show us just how seriously we should take this team. They previously lost to Way-Co by one point earlier this year. Katie Smyth, and Andra Savage have both averaged double figure scoring for W-C this season.
Although Letchworth is undoubtedly the lead dog in Class C1, I see a lot of craziness taking place in this bracket. Red Creek, Gananda, Canisteo-Greenwood, Notre Dame, Addison, Pembroke, Byron-Bergen, Marcus Whitman, North Rose-Wolcott, Le Roy, and Avon could all upset teams ahead of them in the upcoming postseason tournament.
With that being said, it will take a lot to unseat Letchworth at the top of the bracket. Julia Mertsock has been the shining light for the Indians the past several years, while Kelsy Hastings has flown under the radar as a great contributor for Letchworth. Both score close to 15 points per game.
However, one of two teams to beat the Indians this season was Notre Dame, and after winning the Class D1 Title last season, the Irish will enter this year’s tournament with a championship pedigree and an ax to grind after being moved up two classifications this season. Callie McCulley, and Margaret Sutherland are both another year older after leading the Irish to the title last year, and both score near 15 points per contest.
Oakfield, Bloomfield, Geneseo, and South Seneca, are all in line for a run at the championship, but none have truly separated themselves as a true favorite within Class C2.
Oakfield lost to Wheatland-Chili, and Elba recently, which ended their early-season undefeated streak. Brianna Smith, Makayla Hilchey, and Kylie Schlagenhauf have been the Hornets’ three-headed monster this season, and all average just over 10 points per game.
Bloomfield’s lone loss came to South Seneca, but their wins have come against average competition. Braelin Scott has been the top-offensive option for the Bombers, scoring just over 20 points per contest.
SS has been beaten by Naples, Mynderse, and Red Jacket this season, but they won the title last year and until they’re eliminated I give them as good of a chance as any of the top-four teams. Skylar Shaulis leads a long list of contributors for the Falcons, and is their only player scoring over 10 points per game.
Geneseo is the most-impressive of the bunch from my view, and are currently riding a nine-game winning streak. Grace Hainsworth scores 17 points per contest for the Blue Devils.
Wheatland-Chili has been might impressive this season, and have recorded big victories over Oakfield, and Elba. They are ahead of the pack in the hunt for the Class D1 Title. Alyssa Seilheimer is the top offensive threat for the Wildcats, but they have plenty more behind her who have served as strong compliments at different times throughout the year.
Although Fillmore, CG Finney, and Naples have all earned their top-four seed, I believe it is York who serves as the top-competition for W-C in this bracket. Jaden Englert is the top-scorer for the Golden Knights, but there are plenty more capable athletes on their roster.
The race for the Class D2 Title will likely come down to Elba and Prattsburgh.
Elba has dominated the Genesee Region League, along with Wheatland-Chili – who is the only team to defeat the Lancers this season. Emily Reynolds is back for her senior season after propelling the Lancers to a title last year – after a knee injury put her out for much of the season, only for her to return for the postseason and serve as the team’s MVP. Maddie Meuhlig and Leah Bezon have complimented Reynolds nicely throughout the season.
Prattsburgh is undefeated in Steuben County League play and has one loss to date, which came at the hands of Bath-Haverling. Lauren Robbins’ 19 points per contest paces the Vikings.
Stay tuned for further coverage of Section V Girls Basketball in the coming weeks.