Playoffs: Class C semifinal breakdown, KDJ’s picks
Basketball is back at the County Center starting today. There are four games on tap — a Class D boys semifinals, a Class C girls semi and two Class C boys semis — with the winners of each advance to the Section 1 finals at Pace University this weekend.
Here’s an in-depth look at the Class C boys semis:
No. 2 Haldane (14-6) vs. No. 3 Tuckahoe (11-9)
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Regular season meetings: Teams did not meet in the regular season.
Scouting report: The Tigers enter the postseason on a high thanks to a five-game winning streak, highlighted by a win the finale over Hamilton. Tuckahoe played a grueling early-season schedule but a case could be made their the best team at the conference at the right time. Malik Moore-Crooks has the ability to score 30 on a given night for Tuckahoe and there’s plenty of young talent around him ready to emerge. Haldane is a quality defense team with a wealth of gritty guards, led by Nick DiPalo, Alex Kubik, Daniel Rotando and Aidan Seigel. If Matt Champlin can open the floor with a big game inside, the Blue Devils have a shot at the upset.
KDJ’s Pick: Tuckahoe 57, Haldane 52. It’s always fun when these teams meet in the postseason in any sports, especially at the County Center in basketball. Tuckahoe is just playing a little better at this point.
No. 1 Hamilton () vs. No. 4 Solomon Schechter ()
Time: 8:15 p.m.
Regular season meetings: Hamilton beat Schechter 40-37 on Jan. 30 and 68-51 on Jan. 10.
Scouting report: Although the top seed a tournament favorite, this is a scary matchup for top-seeded Hamilton. The way Schechter challenged them 3 weeks ago in the second meeting indicates the growth of this Lions squad in the second half of the year. Jared Scheff, Adam Goldstein and Brandon Sofer are a quality trio and veterans prepared to make a statement on the big stage. But Hamilton depth and quickness in the backcourt can be daunting. The big floor and late start should serve the unit led by David Cousins, Mike Napoli, and Chris Green get out in transition and wear down Schechter. Kemron Frederick had a strong County Center last year and if the big man does that again, Hamilton could be hoisting a Gold Ball by the end of the week.
KDJ’s Pick: Hamilton 63, Solomon Schechter 54. Expect a close game early before Hamilton makes its second-half run and advances to the final