Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Boys Class C Semifinal Breakdown

I'm going to be perfectly honest with you.  I have not watched a high school basketball game live and in person since 2005.....before tonight.  I went up to the Civic Center, one of the greatest atmosphere's there is to watch a high school basketball game by the way, and watched both Class C semifinal games.  I have never professed to be a x's and o's guy which is why I stick mostly to math, but there are a number of things I took away from the games that the scores didn't indicate.

The first thing is that, while the scores were almost identical, Lake George won 57-31 and Hoosic Valley won 55-30, that is where the similarities stopped.  Lake George actually trailed in their game by 2 points at half time.  They broke it open in the third quarter with some "show me" full court pressure.  As I've said, I'm no master tactician, but I played at the JV level, kept stats for the Varsity team in my Junior year, watched almost every game my Senior year and have seen dozens of games between my graduation and 2005 (if you haven't guessed, I went to a C school).  The best full court press I've ever seen was the 1995-1996 Mechanicville team.  Lake George's was not even remotely close.  They may have a better one, but they certainly didn't show it or need it tonight.  Greenwich had very little in terms of ball handlers and it didn't help that they couldn't make a shot, but the minute they felt that limited full court pressure they became extremely sloppy with the ball and mostly folded like a wet paper towel.  It was not an effort I'm accustomed to seeing from a quality Wasaren League team.  Another thing I noticed was that neither team made any substitutions that I noticed until the fourth quarter, literally, not one.  Only ten guys played the first 24 plus minutes.

In the other game Hoosic Valley basically dominated from the outset.  Within the first 2 minutes Canajoharie took the ball to the basket and were blocked 2 or 3 times (I don't recall seeing one in the Lake George-Greenwich game).  From that point on, all the dribble drives resulted in wild underhanded flings to the basket obviously aware of what was waiting for them.  Hoosic Valley plays a tough man to man defense and has under Calhoun for a long time.  They were also able to break Canajoharie's press with relative ease.  The first time Canjo applied pressure, there were three passes down the floor and J.T. Sawyer drilled a 3 from the corner.  The press stopped and wasn't used again until late in the game.

My take away from these two games is that Hoosic Valley has the best two overall players of the four teams that played tonight and while Joel Wincowski may be the best pure shooter, Hoosic Valley as a whole is taller, faster, stronger and deeper (if only slightly, they played 7 guys) than Greenwich and should present him with a much tougher night.  In fact, the speed difference between the first game with Lake George and the second game with Hoosic Valley was startling and I'm still a little amazed by it.  One thing I love about watching sectionals is you get to watch the games featuring teams that will play each other in the next round and judge for yourself who is better.  To me it was clear, Hoosic Valley is the favorite and if they play even half as well as they played tonight, they should easily be the C Champions.  It's late and I'm tired, but if I remember any other important details when I'm thinking more clearly tomorrow, I'll let you know.


  1. Obviously since you have not seen a game in 8 years you wouldn't know that Greenwich and Hoosic Valley played twice this year and Greenwich lost by 7 and 3. To say that Hoosic Valley is a much faster and better team is a understatement, Hoosik Valley slows down the tempo of the game and wants the game to be in the fourties. You should also get your facts straight because Lake George subbed twice before the game. Were you even watching the game?

  2. Also Waterford should have won it all. LETS GO

  3. After reading that last comment I understand why you didn't comment using your real name. I'm not sure how you expect me to take you seriously when Waterford didn't even make it to the first round. Obviously, you also haven't read my blog if you think I didn't know the MOV's of the two Hoosic Valley, Greenwich games (Pierre didn't play in the first one, the second was only his 6th with the team, and it was the first with Ross-Hixson coming back from injury). I have more game scores in my database than any of the other media in the area. The blog isn't based on watching the games, it's based in math. As a side note, the COA, which compares the margin of victory of common opponents has only gotten 72% of the games right so far, whereas the Forecast has 87% right. So I'm not sure how much weight I give 2 games.

    I'm also not sure where you're going with saying HV is "faster and better team is a understatement" as I'm fairly certain I said that. From what I saw they have better athletes than Lake George. Tempo has nothing to do with it. Greenwich had no one that could handle the ball once a little pressure was applied, HV does and their defense is significantly more diverse. Scores don't always tell the whole story and that was the point of my post.

    As for the subbing issue, can you tell me how many minutes were played by those subs prior to the fourth quarter? I would bet it was less than 5 combined since, as my statement was previously qualified, I didn't notice it. I did notice that when Mike Pierre was removed after getting his fourth foul, the guy that replaced him was a starter and he'd been on the bench a while.

    I watched the game as a fan with my father and two uncles and no note pad. I'm not a reporter, I give opinions and by the way the two newspapers who did report it, reported different turnover numbers for the 3rd quarter of the LG-Greenwich game. I thought people might appreciate my opinion of what I saw as you would be hard pressed to find another one in any of the other area papers. If you didn't, please accept my apologies.

  4. Sir sir sir.... i failed to see the game that was just played. Please do tell me who won.

  5. I don't really go to wateroford its a joke i go to lake George that's why i brought that up

  6. Congrats. Good luck to Lake George and all the other Section 2 winners in States.