Saturday, January 12, 2013

Girls Basketball Section Forecast #3

We see a bit of stabilization this week which is probably a good thing.  Though I'm not sure I agree with where things stand at the moment, we are only a little bit past the half way point so a lot can still happen to change things.  There are some signs of separation however and the top spots are pulling away from the lower seeds.  Sectional Forecast #3.

Class AA

(1) Albany  7-0     up 1
(16) Bye
(8) Columbia  5-5
(9) Guilderland  4-3
(5) Catholic Central  7-3
(12) Schenectady  0-9
(4) Colonie  8-2
(13) Niskayuna  1-7
(3) Shaker  8-0
(14) Bye
(6) Shenendehowa  4-3     up 1
(11) Ballston Spa  1-9  
(7) Bishop Maginn  7-4     down 1
(10) Saratoga Springs  4-6
(2) Bethlehem  9-0     down 1
(15) Bye

Albany leapfrogged over Bethlehem with a convincing win over Troy earlier this week.  They did so without their best player and leading scorer who was out with an injury.  This is definitely a good sign for Albany because Troy played and lost to Bethlehem by only 2.  I had a feeling, and was starting to believe Albany should be ranked above Bethlehem and the model agreed.  This change represents a very real threat to the Suburban's consecutive AA championship streak.  I would even go as far as to say that Albany is the favorite at this point.  I don't always agree with the model as you will see in later classes, but I believe I agree with this one maybe even all the way up to number 11.  The biggest question I have at this point is whether or not Colonie has regained their composure after two early season losses.  They still have a game apiece against Bethlehem and Shaker and could put some heat on Albany if they run the table and may turn themselves into favorites to repeat.

Class A

(1) Troy  6-2
(16) Bye
(8) Mohonasen  3-8
(9) Amsterdam  4-5
(5) Queensbury  7-2
(12) Bye
(4) Averill Park  7-3     up 1
(13) Bye
(3) Glens Falls  5-2     down 1
(14) Bye
(6) South Glens Falls  8-3     up 1
(11) Lansingburgh  0-10
(7) Scotia-Glenville  5-4     down 1
(10) Burnt Hills  2-8
(2) Holy Names  9-0     up 1
(15) Bye

For the time being I agree with the top two in this bracket although there is a decent chance Holy Names passes Troy in the end.  Holy Names should finish unbeaten in the Colonial while Troy has to play Albany again and given how the first one turned out I'm guessing they end with 3 losses.  Troy is ahead in the ranking by .035 currently so it's feasible.  Without the assistance of the model I would have Averill Park #3.  It will probably take 2 or even 3 more losses from Glens Falls to get there, since they may have 2 or 3 more of their own (albeit against stronger AA competition).  I'm still in limbo on the ordering of the Foothills teams, but that should take care of itself once they each play each other twice.  After the seventh seed there is a significant drop off but you may see some upsets from seeds 5 through 7 regardless of seeding.  I don't think there is that much separation between them.

Class B

(1) Watervliet  9-1
(16) Catskill  4-8     down 1
(8) Emma Willard  5-4     down 3
(9) Hudson  7-5     up 3
(5) Ravena  6-4     up 2  
(12) Fonda-Fultonville  3-7     down 1
(4) Greenville  7-3
(13) Johnstown  3-6
(3) Taconic Hills  9-2
(14) Ichabod Crane 4-6     up 2
(6) Broadalbin-Perth  6-4
(11) Cohoes  7-3     up 3
(7) Schalmont  7-3     up 1
(10) Corinth  6-3     down 1
(2) Tamarac  10-1
(15) Cobleskill  4-6     down 5

Unranked:  Granville, Albany Leadership, Bishop Gibbons, Coxsackie-Athens, Schuylerville, Hudson Falls, Chatham, Cairo-Durham

While there were no changes in the top 4 this week, there was still significant movement.  The top three are now only separated by .015.  Taconic Hills probably has the worst odds of making up the difference by seasons end as they arguably have the toughest game on all three schedules against Maple Hill.  Tamarac faces no easy task against Hoosic Valley either, but at least it's at home and their 1 point differential in the first game was much closer than Taconic Hill's 13 point loss to Maple Hill.  There is a pretty large drop down to #4 and after that there are a half a dozen or so teams fighting for home court advantage in the first round.  Cohoes is the one that is a bit confounding to me, as they have almost identical variables as Schalmont, but seeds 5-11 are extremely tight.  Cohoes does however have the worst score when it comes to how well their opponents have performed against historical expectations.  I'm hopeful this sorts itself out in the next couple weeks.

Class C

(1) Berne-Knox  7-1
(16) Voorheesville 4-5
(8) Hoosick Falls  8-3     up 1
(9) Duanesburg  6-3     down 1
(5) Hoosic Valley  9-2
(12) Canajoharie  6-5     up 3
(4) Fort Plain  9-1     down 1
(13) Mechanicville  5-5     up 1
(3) Maple Hill  11-1     down 1
(14) Greenwich  5-5     down 2
(6) Lake George  8-2     up 1
(11) Mekeel Academy 4-5
(7) Middleburgh  6-3     down 1
(10) Galway  6-4
(2) Waterford  9-2     up 2
(15) Whitehall  3-4     down 2

Unranked:  Albany Academy, Mayfield, Stillwater, Saratoga Catholic, Berlin, Hadley-Luzerne, Rensselaer, Cambridge, Schoharie

In general, I disagree with this bracket in almost every way.  I actually thought it was start working itself out by now to be more in line with my feelings, but it's not even close and might even be getting worse.  There's still time, but I'm becoming pessimistic.  Without the model, I would have Hoosic Valley at #1.  Even though they haven't played any of the other top teams, their losses have been to Catholic Central, currently #5 in the AA bracket and Scotia, currently #7 in the A bracket but was playing with their injured star at the time they played Hoosic Valley.  The only point of comparison is Stillwater's 6 point win over Hudson.  Hoosic Valley beat Stillwater by 23 and Maple Hill beat Hudson by 10.  That would work out to Hoosic Valley being 27 points better than Maple Hill.  While I don't think that's the case (maybe 10 points), I do think Hoosic Valley should be ahead of Maple Hill. In the same line of thought, Maple Hill beat Berne-Knox by 4 so they are roughly equal.  Then there is Waterford.  Waterford is pummeling the CHVL by an average of 47 points, but in their two non-league games, both losses, they are minus 13 losing by 11 to Duanesburg and by 2 to Taconic Hills.  This is actually good because both Duanesburg and Taconic Hills have played and lost to Berne-Knox and Maple Hill respectively by 13 each.  My top four would be Hoosic Valley, Maple Hill, Berne-Knox, Waterford.

After that, Fort Plain, Lake George, Middleburgh, Duanesburg and Hoosick Falls all have good records, but I don't think any of them will get to the finals as they will most likely have to go through one of the top four if not two.  Five through nine would be Lake George, Fort Plain, Hoosick Falls, Middleburgh and Duanesburg.

Class D

(1) Fort Edward  8-0
(16) St. Johnsville  0-5     down 1
(8) North Warren  3-6
(9) Warrensburg  3-5     up 1
(5) Germantown  5-3     up 1
(12) Sharon Springs  0-5     up 3
(4) Heatly  7-2
(13) Doane Stuart  1-8
(3) Argyle  7-2
(14) Salem  1-8     down 2
(6) Hartford  3-5     up 1
(11) New Lebanon  3-6
(7) Loudonville Christian  4-3     down 2
(10) Northville 4-6     down 1
(2) Fort Ann  8-1
(15) Bolton  0-8     down 1

Unranked:   Hawthorne Valley

There was almost nothing of interest in terms of movement in this bracket.  Fort Edward dropped below 1.000 for the first time and Fort Ann increased their ranking by over .100 this week, but Fort Edward still owns a 25 point win over Fort Ann so I see no reason to think anything is going to change.  The only potential here is that the CHVL is being underestimated.  There are no games between the two leagues so there isn't really any points for comparison.  I wouldn't be terribly shocked if Heatly or Germantown were to beat Fort Ann or Argyle, but I still think Fort Edward is clearly the heavy favorite.

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