We are rapidly approaching sectionals and even though I've been putting out Sectional Forecasts each of the past 5 weeks, I haven't really covered how the leagues are shaping up. Since we are closing in on crowning some League Champions, why not revisit our exercise from early this season. From the CHVL to the Big 10, they are all covered. Without further adieu, the State of the Section....
Earlier in the season I thought this would be a battle between Germantown and Loudonville Christian. Though they are the top two teams currently, aside from their first meeting, it really hasn't been that close. LC is undefeated with 4 games left, meaning they would have to lose 3 of them to not win the league. Considering their average victory against the teams remaining on their schedule was 21, that's probably not going to happen. At this point the only battle for positioning is for third, with Germantown firmly in second, Heatly and Waterford each have four losses and split their meetings this year. LC is the CHVL's best and probably only chance for a sectional champion and unfortunately they need to go through Argyle to do it.
This one wasn't too hard to call even back when I did the first State of the Section. Argyle and Lake George are clearly the best teams in the Adirondack and both have legitimate if not excellent chances to win sectionals in their respective brackets. Fort Ann, behind Argyle, and North Warren, behind Lake George, are locked in to second place. Unless something unexpected happens North Warren and Lake George meet in their last league games to decide first place in the West. All eyes will be on the Adirondack championship game after that to see if anyone can take down Argyle before sectionals start.
The WAC South was and will not be a surprise this year despite Schoharie being only a game behind Mekeel Christian Academy. MCA won't lose another game before they play the WAC championship. That game is usually played after the seedings are released by the committee and while it won't effect my final seedings, it may have an impact on the prediction model. Either way, they'll be playing Canajoharie who has outlasted the rest of the field in the WAC North and already clinched that title. Though the final win tally has them ahead, there were a ton of close games and it's a credit to them for pulling out enough games to take the crown.
Overall, there are three schools in the WAC that have sectional eyes. MCA, Canjo and Berne-Knox all have a chance in the packed B and C brackets.
While I thought Greenwich and Granville might have a chance to knock someone off, the only win they could muster to date was against Stillwater who is now tied with Greenwich for third place. Although Hoosic Valley is currently in second, they suffered an injury to their starting center and barely held off Tamarac last week without him. With games against Schuylerville, Stillwater and Greenwich still on the schedule, HV will need to pull together to hold on second place within the Wasaren and in the C bracket. Schuylerville has a chance to wrap this up on Tuesday, but I don't yet know the extent of the HV injury so we'll have to wait and see.
All four of the teams at the top of the standings have a chance come sectionals. They are all in the same neighborhood as far as comparison to the Adirondack as Stillwater and Greenwich both beat Hoosick Falls by 12, while Hoosic Valley won by 11 and Lake George by 17. HV beat Maple Hill in the Patroon by 18. Stillwater won and lost by 3 to Voorheesville and Mechanicville respectively in the Colonial. HV and Berne-Knox have each beaten Duanesburg by 33 and 29 respectively, and Greenwich beat Canajoharie by 12. This may come down to any one of 8 teams. It'll be a fun bracket to navigate.
The Patroon looked like it was going to end in a tie after Cairo-Durham won the rematch with Catskill, but a surprise upset by Rensselaer dropped CD a game behind. Catskill still has games against the three teams tied for third in the loss column, Hudson, Maple Hill and Rensselaer. They beat all of them by double digits the first time through but upsets do happen as we have just witnessed. Overall, I think the Patroon is a step behind the other leagues this year, but CD and Catskill are both quality teams and capable of making a run in sectionals.
Despite the forfeited wins and loss of a player Watervliet is still the best team in the Colonial and may even win the league outright. It’s superficial at this point anyway. They have the best chance at claiming a sectional title out of the Colonial with Cohoes another possible class B contender. Mechanicville and Voorheesville are always threats when they are in the class C bracket and the parity this year may play into their favor as they may get one of the top seeds before the Civic Center. I have another unproven theory that teams unfamiliar with large venues like Hudson Valley or SUNY Albany struggle against teams that have more experience there. The Colonial and Wasaren teams as well as Maple Hill and Lake George have all been consistent players at the Civic Center in the past 5 seasons and that may play a significant roll again this year.
Scotia-Glenville has this Conference locked up even though they still have five conference games remaining. Glens Falls appears to have passed their biggest test in beating South Glens Falls and should roll in at the 2 spot. South Glens Falls would need to run the table including taking out Scotia, unless Glens Falls stumbles, to tie for second. Ultimately it won’t matter much as Scotia is significantly better than all of them.
Neither Green Tech nor Albany Academy can claim league championships, but both have a significant chance to do something special in the post season. Only Green Tech will be playing in Section 2 however so I’m not really sure why there is so much debate on other sites about whether or not they are better than Scotia. For starters, Section 2, the section to which they have been assigned, classed them a AA school. In my mind they are still a AA and should be if you look at their enrollment, the talent they have and the ability to recruit top talent, there is no reason they shouldn’t be in AA.
I really think there needs to be a standard rule for how these schools are classified. The NYSPHSAA and all the other Independent private school organizations should all meet and come to an agreed position. It is situations like these that give the arguments about the private schools weight. It’s incredibly unfortunate Albany Academy decided to not participate in the sectionals again this year and I’m incredibly disappointed they won’t get to try and end CBA’s run of Championships.
Part of the problem is how the AA bracket is seeded, either all the AA schools need to play in the Big 10 and Suburban or they should shelve the B1-S1 system (which I think they should anyhow). As far as how they stack up against Scotia, it really doesn’t matter unless they meet in the Federation tournament. Why don’t we all just reserve judgment until if or when it happens, and then we’ll find out.
On to sunnier topics, let’s talk about the Suburban Council. I’ll get more into this with my Sectionals Preview, but the Suburban Council has a .308 winning percentage in sectionals AA over the past 5 seasons. This year however, they have three very competitive teams in Bethlehem, Shaker and Shen. That and the less than stellar season from CBA we are accustomed to gives reason to think 2013 might end differently. I’m really looking forward to this year’s AA bracket as I believe there are six different teams that could win the whole thing.
Boys Big 10