Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | BataviasBest.org
Two local teams enter this year’s Section V Girls Basketball Tournament as defending champs, but both will have a lot of work to do in order to once again walk away with their respective Class Title in 2017-2018. Here is my preview of what to expect over the next few weeks:
Seeding: 1. Penfield; 2. Webster Thomas; 3. Bishop Kearney; 4. Hilton; 5. Our Lady of Mercy; 6. Edison Tech; 7. Webster Schroeder; 8. Victor; 9. Gates-Chili; 10. Fairport; 11. Rush-Henrietta; 12. Churchville-Chili
Bracket Outlook: Penfield, Bishop Kearney, and Our Lady of Mercy remain as my three top-teams in Class AA, with Penfield serving as the favorite to take home the title. Makaila Wilson leads the Patriots, scoring right around 20 points per game.
Intriguing First Round Matchups: #8 Victor vs #9 Churchville-Chili – this game is a toss-up
Tournament Prediction: I’m picking Penfield to win Class AA, although it won’t be easy if they meet Mercy or Kearney in the Finals.
Seeding: 1. Pittsford Mendon; 2. Canandaigua; 3. Irondequoit; 4. Greece Arcadia; 5. Brighton; 6. Brockport; 7. Wilson Magnet; 8. Greece Athena; 9. Spencerport; 10. Eastridge
Bracket Outlook: In Class A1, Pittsford Mendon is a major favorite. Canandaigua is the two-seed within this classification, but the Braves were rolled by the Vikings twice earlier in the year. Lexi Green and Alana Fursman each score in double-figures for PM.
Intriguing First Round Matchups: None.
Tournament Prediction: Pittsford Mendon is far and away the top-team in Class A1, and will likely win the title once again this season. I picked against them last year, and I’m not making that mistake again. Give me the Vikings.
Seeding: 1. Aquinas; 2. Honeoye Falls-Lima; 3. Geneva; 4. Pittsford Sutherland; 5. NE Douglas; 6. Batavia; 7. SOTA; 8. East High; 9. Wayne
Bracket Outlook: Aquinas is the lead dog in A2, and from my perspective HF-L, Geneva, and Sutherland have separated themselves as the only other true contenders to unseat the Lil’ Irish. Geneva was the lone A2 team to beat Aquinas during the regular season.
AQ’s Kayla Jackson is one of the top-players in Section V, and has led her team to great success over the past few years – since she arrived at the school after transferring from Eastridge.
Batavia was in the mix earlier in the year, but a few more tough losses has knocked them out of the running – at least from my point of view. If they are to make some unexpected noise during the postseason, it will be Ryann Stefaniak and Emma Krolczyk leading the way for the Blue Devils. They both average over 10 points per contest.
Intriguing First Round Matchups: None.
Tournament Prediction: Once again, I’m picking the top-seed to win it all in Class A2. Geneva defeated Aquinas by six earlier in the season, but I don’t believe the Panthers have enough to beat the top-seeded Irish a second time. HF-L is an interesting team to look out for, as the defending champions are certainly capable of knocking off my pick to win it all, but nonetheless, give me AQ in A2.
Seeding: 1. Midlakes; 2. Wayland-Cohocton; 3. Bath-Haverling; 4. Wellsville; 5. Greece Odyssey; 6. Mynderse; 7. Penn Yan; 8. Palmyra-Macedon; 9. Attica; 10. Dansville; 11. Hornell; 12. Newark; 13. Waterloo; 14. Greece Olympia; 15. Livonia; 16. Young Woman’s Prep/Rochester Prep
Bracket Outlook: Midlakes is currently unbeaten, and the favorite to win it all in Class B. They’ve beaten teams ranging from Class AA to Class D, and are tested coming into the tournament.
However, Wayland-Cohocton may have Section V’s best player in Alex Button – who is averaging 22 points per game this year, her fifth at the varsity level. W-C’s two losses this year came early, and were questionable at best (Pal-Mac, Waterloo). Since then, the Golden Eagles have won 15-straight games.
Intriguing First Round Matchups: #8 Pal-Mac vs #9 Attica – Attica has been up and down all season, but Pal-Mac has lost four-straight games coming into the tournament. They could be ripe for an upset.
Tournament Prediction: In February, great players usually rise to the top and lead their teams to great heights, and that’s what I’m anticipating with Alex Button and Way-Coh. Midlakes seem to be the better team on paper, but will they be able to stop the Golden Eagles’ forward? I’m going to say no, and pick W-C for the title.
Seeding: 1. Red Creek; 2. Letchworth; 3. Gananda; 4. Notre Dame; 5. Addison; 6. Canisteo-Greenwood; 7. Pembroke; 8. Byron-Bergen; 9. North Rose-Wolcott; 10. Marcus Whitman; 11. Le Roy; 12. Williamson; 13. East Rochester; 14. Avon; 15. Sodus; 16. Holley
Bracket Outlook: The way I see it this bracket will come down to the top-four teams. Notre Dame was moved up from Class D1 – where they won the title last year – and will be a contender for the championship despite their advancement. Callie McCulley and Margaret Sutherland have paced ND once again this season.
The Irish defeated Letchworth earlier this year, and the Indians are perhaps the best team in the bracket. They are led by senior Julia Mertsock.
Gananda has several tight losses to top-tier teams, and has played their opponents’ tough all season, however an early 17-point loss to top-seed Red Creek sticks out – and not in a good way. RC is led by Isabella Wilbur and Alex Mosqueda – both score of 15 points per game.
Intriguing First Round Matchups: #8 Byron-Bergen vs #9 North Rose-Wolcott – the Bees were hit with the injury bug late in the year, and if they aren’t back healthy, it could be an early exit for Byron-Bergen.
Tournament Prediction: Red Creek’s top-seed is largely due to the light schedule which the Rams endured this year. On the other hand, Letchworth, and Notre Dame each tested themselves outside the league and could be in better position to go on a postseason run.
In the end, I believe it will come down to those two – Letchworth and Notre Dame – in the finals, with the Indians winning it all.
Seeding: 1. Oakfield; 2. Geneseo; 3. Bloomfield; 4. South Seneca 5. Rochester Academy; 6. Marion; 7. Red Jacket; 8. Cal-Mum; 9. Lyons; 10. Perry; 11. Keshequa; 12. Cuba-Rushford; 13. Warsaw; 14. Campbell/Savona; 15. Alexander
Bracket Outlook: Much like Class C1, this classification will also come down to the top-four seeds.
Oakfield earned the top-seed following another fantastic year in the GR League, but they didn’t play that tough of a non-league schedule – which could come back to bite them during sectionals. I would look for Geneseo, Bloomfield, and South Seneca all to be worthy opponents if they are to face the Hornets over the next couple of weeks. Brianna Smith, Makayla Hilchey, and Kylie Schlagenhauf all score over 10 points per game for OA.
Geneseo is the most-impressive of the four from my view, as they’ve picked up big wins all over the board this year. The Blue Devils are currently riding a 16-game winning streak. Grace Hainsworth leads GEN in scoring with 17 per contest.
Intriguing First Round Matchups: #8 Cal-Mum vs #9 Lyons – I think the Raiders can upset Oakfield if they make it to the second round. I’m not saying it will be easy to beat the Hornets, but C-M has played very well in spurts this year. Elyse Van Auken, Danielle Molisani, and Makenzie Wilson lead C-M.
Tournament Prediction: Although I believe they’ll make the title game, I think Oakfield is going to fall just short of the championship this season. Geneseo has proven to be extremely formidable over the past few months and I’m picking the Devils to upset OA in the finals if they are both to get there.
Seeding: 1. Wheatland-Chili; 2. Fillmore; 3. Naples; 4. C.G. Finney; 5. York; 6. Pavilion; 7. Kendall; 8. Lyndonville; 9. Alfred Almond; 10. Northstar Christian; 11. Harley-Allendale-Columbia; 12. Mt. Morris; 13. Clyde-Savannah; 14. Honeoye; 15. Bolivar-Richburg; 16. Dundee
Bracket Outlook: Wheatland-Chili is a strong favorite as we approach the Class D1 tournament. They have a senior laden roster which is capable of holding teams under 30 points per game. Their defensive attack is an aggressive one, and they come at you in waves of high-energy activity.
Fillmore, Naples, CG Finney, and York are all outside contenders from my point of view, but York seems to have a leg-up on the rest of the group. They were in the championship game last year, falling to Notre Dame, and have returned enough to pick up a few big wins this year – including an 11-point victory over Wheatland-Chili early in the season.
Intriguing First Round Matchups: #7 Lyndonville vs #10 Northstar Christian – the #10 Knights were the top-seed a season ago, but lost their best player to graduation. The Tigers should win this game.
Tournament Prediction: Despite falling to York earlier in the year, I’m riding with Wheatland-Chili. There are still plenty of players left over from the Wildcats’ 2015-2016 Championship team, and their overall experience, and effort as a group will be the difference for them over the next couple of weeks.
Seeding: 1. Elba; 2. Prattsburgh; 3. Arkport/Canaseraga; 4. Genesee Valley; 5. Romulus; 6. Andover; 7. Hinsdale; 8. Whitesville; 9. Friendship; 10. Lima Christian; 11. Scio; 12. Jasper-Troupsburg; 13. Hammondsport; 14. Belfast; 15. Bradford; 16. Houghton Academy
Bracket Outlook: This bracket comes down to two teams: defending champion Elba, and Prattsburgh.
The Lancers won the title game last year largely due to a resurgent performance from Emily Reynolds during the playoffs, who returned from an early season knee injury to lead her team to the 2016-2017 title. She is back this year, and you would have to do a lot to convince me that her, and newfound contributor Maddie Muehlig, aren’t enough for Elba to repeat as champion.
However, Prattsburgh might just have what it takes to knock off the champs. They’ve picked up a slew of important victories this year, including one over Notre Dame – a team which beat Elba late in the season.
Intriguing First Round Matchups: None.
Tournament Prediction: The Lancers may have a tough time if they meet the Vikings in the Finals, but I can’t pick against the top-seeded defending champions. Give me the Lancers to repeat in Class D2.
Be sure to tune in on Twitter for updates from the Section V Girls Basketball Tournament – beginning tonight.
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