Saturday, December 21, 2013

State of the Section (Boys Edition)

So I'm a little late getting this out and for that I apologize.  December has been a lot more chaotic that I'm accustomed to and this blog, being a hobby and not a job, has suffered.  The upside to being late in this case is that we have more information to look at and it should provide a better indication of where things stand.  So, without further adieu, the State of the Section....

If I had to call it right now, I'd give the League title to Germantown.  Both they and Heatly are undefeated in League play, but Heatly has played all the weaker teams, where Germantown has played all the more competitive teams, both schedules exclusive of each other.  While Berlin and Waterford, both class C schools are having decent years so far, I don't see either as competitive in Sectionals.  Berlin has lost to Greenwich by over 20 and while Waterford has faired better in its non-league games, they lost to Berlin by over 20 themselves.  The only real threat come Sectional time in this group has to be Germantown.  They have had playoff success in the recent past and it seems clear they are the best team in the League.

Adirondack League
Sticking to the D's, Argyle appears best suited to make a late season run from the Adirondack.  They are undefeated in League play to date with their closest call being a win over Hartford by 14.  While that certainly isn't a margin that can't be overcome on any given day, the odds are definitely in their favor.  They have retained some key players from last year's State Title team and I would label them as the favorite at this stage in the season for the Sectional title this year as well.

The other team to watch out for in this League is, of course, Lake George.  On the surface it feels like they haven't been as dominate as they were last year, but their MOV of 29 is only two points lower than last year's total.  They are they inverse of Argyle in that they lost several key players from last year's squad, but retained their best, where Argyle lost theirs.  I'm really interested to see how these two teams match up against each other and what it means, if anything different than what we currently believe, to how Lake George stands in Class C.  Right now, I still believe they are the team to beat, or at the very least, the team with the biggest bulls-eye on their backs.

One of the teams that may cause a challenge for Lake George in the C bracket is Saratoga Catholic.  They are sitting at 7-0 and have a close win over Canajoharie and a convincing win over Schuylerville.  Canajoharie is probably the second best team in the North, but with two League losses already, I don't see them making up the necessary ground.

The South is going to be again dominated by Mekeel Academy.  Schoharie and Duanesburg will fight it out for second and may throw a scare into someone in Sectionals, but I wouldn't call either contenders.  Mekeel's season last year ended a little sooner than their seed, and the forecast model, thought it should.  I still believe they should move into a more competitive League, but either way they are going to be a tough out at the end of the year.

The D's shouldn't factor into the League or Sectionals at all.  There are times a .500 D school from the WAC can put things together for a title, but I'm not sure any of them will be .500 nor will it matter if they were.  There are a couple really good teams at the top of the D bracket and middle of the road in the WAC won't be enough this year.

Wasaren League
My first thought here is that Hoosic Valley is the best team in the League, but in this League that doesn't necessarily mean you will win the League.  HV just came off a 5 point win over Stillwater.  Stillwater lost to Schuylerville by 21.  Schuylerville beat Tamarac by 3 and Tamarac lost to Waterford by 2.  So either that means the whole League is down this year (which doesn't make sense since HV's only major player loss was their Center who didn't score in their 3 point loss in the C final to the eventual State Champion Lake George), or you better not let your guard down for a single night or you might take a really bad loss.  The Wasaren has been that way a long time and I expect it is again.  Ultimately, I think it comes down to HV or Hoosick Falls and realistically, those two are probably the only hope the Wasaren has of a Sectional Champ as well.  HV is a top three C school and HF has yet to be determined, but may be top 5.

Patroon Conference
I know a good curse word that would adequately describe the Patroon Conference.  Currently, the only undefeated team in the League has a 12 point loss to Middleburgh on their non-league schedule.  Hudson and Catskill are probably the most dangerous, but each of them has a loss already that you wouldn't expect to see.  That being said I think either of them could knock off someone unexpectedly come Sectionals.  The Patroon usually plays at a more frenetic pace than other leagues and it can catch teams off guard who aren't used to playing that style.  Unfortunately, I don't see any of them as a huge threat in either the B or C bracket.

Colonial Council
If it weren't for Cohoes this might be another League without a clear frontrunner.  There are a lot of teams in the Colonial and with what appears to be a somewhat down year for Watervliet, it's up for grabs.  There isn't a lot of evidence to support it, but I feel like the B champion is going to come from this league.  Cohoes, Mechanicville, Watervliet, Voorheesville, even Ravena, Ichabod Crane and Schalmont all appear to have good teams this year.  I can't tell you who it's going to be, but I have history on my side that one of them will figure it out.  Hopefully the Sectional Forecast can give us a better idea.  I can't wait to run that by the way.

Foothills Council
Scotia-Glenville.  That's all you need to know.

Suburban Council
I've been looking forward to this one because there is a team in here that I did not expect to see at 5-0 at this point, mostly because they were playing Albany Academy in that span, but Guilderland is 5-0 and they did beat Albany Academy.  That's not to say that AA can't be beaten, but Guilderland won 11 games last year so I didn't expect it to be them especially when Shen lost by 20 to AA.  To back that up Guilderland beat Shaker by 17 the other night.  Maybe the point is moot because the class AA Champion isn't likely to come from this League (or any League at that rate) but Shen, and Shaker are probably the other top teams in the Suburban so what Guilderland has done to this point is rather impressive.

As for the class A schools.....Scotia-Glenville.  That's all you need know.

Big 10
I've already touched briefly on the Big 10 and I already want to amend what I previously said.  Somehow I wrote off CBA because they lost to Troy.  While I still think either Catholic Central or Troy will eventually turn out to win the Big 10 title, CBA certainly shouldn't be written off so early.  Catholic Central is still young and Troy still lost a huge portion of their starting lineup from last year, both in size and numbers.  Both Catholic Central and CBA should have a fair chance in Sectionals especially if they can gain some valuable experience throughout the season.  And here, with Troy, is the only major question mark for Scotia-Glenville.  We missed out on that match up last year when Troy chose to play in the AA bracket even though their enrollment put them in class A.  It may have been a better match up last year, but still Troy is the only real threat for Scotia.  It may be too early to predict anything, but if I had to predict something it would be these two in the A final.

I'm going to skip past Albany Academy since they don't participate in our Sectionals which is still a travesty to great basketball match ups. 

When I spoke earlier about how the Suburban wouldn't likely have the AA Sectional Champion, I was referring to Green Tech.  They toppled CBA in last year's tournament and only narrowly lost to Troy in the final.  Returning Jamil Hood as a Senior has to put them as the favorite this early on.  Unfortunately, like Albany Academy, the majority of their games are out of Section so we really won't know too much anytime soon about how they stack up. 

So there you have it.  A complete rundown of girls and boys basketball by league and class.  Hopefully, time will better permit my participation from now on.  The Sectional Forecast is on its way as well. 

**Just so the Foothills folks don't fee left out, I'll say a few words.  This league will really be a fight for second.  Gloversville has the early upper hand and Queensbury may have a shot and the B schools shouldn't be a factor in much of anything.

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