Playoffs: Class AA Breakdown, KDJ’s picks for boys and girls
The final group of opening round games get underway early Saturday morning as eight more teams punch their ticket to the quarterfinals in the Section 1 boys and girls basketball tournaments.
Here’s a look at the boys opening round:
BOYS BASKETBALL – Section 1 Tournament Opening Round
Saturday, February 17
No. 17 White Plains (7-14) at No 1 Mount Vernon (18-2), 2 p.m.
The rivals meet for the third after Mount Vernon beat the Tigers in a pair of high-scoring affairs in the regular season. You have to imagine White Plains will come out loose knowing nobody will expect them to win here. But you also know the Knights become a different team when the calendar turns to the postseason. As long as Demetre Roberts is back at point guard, Mount Vernon is in good hands.
KDJ’s Pick: Mount Vernon 78, White Plains 65
No. 9 Scarsdale (13-7) at No. 8 North Rockland (13-7), 1 p.m.
By far the best game of the opening round in Class AA pits two teams that have shown flashes of brilliance this season but also hit some low points. Scarsdale is riding high after wins over Mount Vernon and Tappan Zee in the final week. As long as the Raiders can withstand the inevitable runs of North Rockland, they’ll advance and get another crack at Mount Vernon.
KDJ Pick: Scarsdale 61, North Rockland 60
No. 13 Arlington (11-9) at No. 4 Horace Greeley (15-5), 2 p.m.
The expectations on Greeley after a furious 13-game winning streak were somewhat quelled with losses to Ardsley and Rye Country Day. That may have refocused the Quakers, who thrive on defensive pressure and balance on offense. This may be closer than your normal 4 vs 13 matchup but a game Greeley should win.
KDJ’s Pick: Horace Greeley 55, Arlington 52
No. 14 Ossining (11-10) at No. 3 Mamaroneck (16-4), 3 p.m.
The Tigers enter the postseason with as high of a seed as they’ve had in over a decade and the expectation of playing deep into the bracket. Isaiah Thomas and Jared Bader have been at the forefront of the program’s rise this season and it’s hard to imagine they’ll let the team falter here.
KDJ’s Pick: Mamaroneck 56, Ossining 49
No. 11 Mahopac (10-10) at No. 6 Spring Valley (13-7), 1 p.m.
In watching Spring Valley last week, I saw a team that has the chance to bust up this entire bracket. Xavier Gibbs can do so much off the dribble, Mavenson Therneus is a difficult defensive matchup and there’s enough size and depth to make a run. It starts here.
KDJ’s Pick: Spring Valley 70, Mahopac 61
No. 10 Clarkstown North (10-10) at No. 7 Fox Lane (13-7), 3 p.m.
North won the regular season matchup between these programs at Fox Lane back in early December and head over the bridge confident they can do it again. Nick Ovchinnikoff is a dynamic playmaker and had 20 points, 8 steals and 7 assists versus Fox Lane the first time around. If he does that again, North pulls off the road upset.
KDJ’s Pick: Clarkstown North 56, Fox Lane 54 OT
No. 18 Ramapo (7-14) at No. 2 Clarkstown South (15-5), 10:30 a.m.
Even with South handily beating Ramapo twice in league this season, this is a scary matchup for the Vikings. There are too many veterans on this roster in Tony Hastings, Thomas Zodda and Ryan Thomas to let them get beat. But it doesn’t mean they might not have to sweat. An early-morning upset scare at South.
KDJ’s Pick: Clarkstown South 61, Ramapo 54
GIRLS BASKETBALL – Section 1 Tournament Opening Round
Saturday, February 17
No. 16 Clarkstown North (10-11) at No. 1 Ossining (17-3), noon
The Ossining dynasty is as powerful as any team in any sport in Section 1. It’s hard to imagine a decade of dominance ending here. The Pride score almost at will on their home floor.
KDJ’s Pick: Ossining 82, Clarkstown North 60
No. 9 Fox Lane (10-10) at No. 8 White Plains (13-7), 2 p.m.
The Tigers were one of the best stories of the season in Class AA, making big strides under first-year coach Benji Carter. But they may struggle here to contain Fox Lane forward Maria Violante, one of the most accomplished players in program history.
KDJ’s Pick: Fox Lane 54, White Plains 51
No. 13 Scarsdale (10-11) at No. 4 Ursuline (16-4), 6 p.m.
The Koalas swept the series with Scarsdale in league play and are a team aiming for a long postseason. As well as the Raiders played down the stretch, Ursuline’s ability to stretch the floor and how difficult they are to match up with be the difference.
KDJ’s Pick: Ursuline 63, Scarsdale 49
No. 12 Mahopac (10-11) at No. 5 Ketcham (15-5), 11 a.m.
Another league rematch features a Ketcham team that won both games en route to a league title. Katie Wall is a relentless competitor and will shine on the big stage.
KDJ’s Pick: Ketcham 56, Mahopac 47
No. 19 Horace Greeley (7-13) at No. 3 Albertus Magnus (19-1), 3 p.m.
Greeley pulled off an upset in the outbracket round, knocking off Yorktown. The Falcons, however, are a team loaded with offensive firepower.
KDJ’s Pick: Albertus Magnus 67, Horace Greeley 48
No. 11 Arlington (13-8) at No. 6 North Rockland (12-7), 3 p.m.
The Red Raiders beat Arlington by 28 points when they met in late December and have only improved since then. Look for a big game from Lexi Huertas as for North Rockland to advance.
KDJ’s Pick: North Rockland 59, Arlington 46
No. 10 New Rochelle (10-10) at No. 7 Clarkstown South (15-4), 12:30 p.m.
South was very much of an under-the-radar 15-win team this season and New Rochelle has had its bouts with inconsistency. South, at home, will prevail.
KDJ’s Pick: Clarkstown South 52, New Rochelle 48
No. 15 Mount Vernon (7-12) at No. 2 Lourdes (20-0), 1 p.m.
The perfect season for the Warriors will live on, although Mount Vernon could give them some trouble in the paint and on the glass. But it won’t be enough to put a real scare into the title contenders.
KDJ’s Pick: Lourdes 68, Mount Vernon 56
Check back soon for KDJ’s picks on the girls opening round games