Playoff Preview: Breaking down the Class B boys quarters, KDJ’s picks

As expected, the top eight seeds advanced in the opening round of the Section 1 Class B Boys Basketball bracket.

Now, the tournament can really begin.

Wednesday’s quarterfinals figure to provide the first real sign of drama of the Class B postseason with four matchups loaded with intrigue. The only real nail-biter of the opening round was Valhalla’s incredible OT win over Hastings, which was triggered by a buzzer-beating put-back for Vikings’ Jordan Rush.

SCOREBOARD: Section 1 Boys and Girls Basketball Results, Schedules (KDJMedia)

BRACKET CENTRAL: Section 1 Boys and Girls Basketball Brackets (PDF and Interactive)

If you missed anything from the opening round, read about them all here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


No. 1 Putnam Valley (16-4) vs. No. 8 Westlake (13-8)
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Putnam Valley High School
Players to Watch: Putnam Valley — Darnell Shillingford, 6-2, Jr., F, T.J. Brescia, 6-3, Jr., F, Austin Fabiano, 5-8, Jr., G; Ryan Soto, 6-0, Jr., PG. Westlake — Tyler Tsiakaros, 6-4, Jr., F; Terence O’Brien, 6-4, Sr., G; Matt Martin, 5-10, Soph., G; Richie Petrillo, 5-11, Jr., G; Joe Mazzariello 6-3, Sr., G.
Scouting report: All of the pressure here is on Put Valley, a team that has been building to win a championship. Westlake grinded its way to 12 wins in the regular season in a difficult league and was fortunate to survive the first round. The rebounding of the Tigers and ability to clean up the glass could be too much for Westlake to contend with. Brescia and Shillingford are a lot to handle inside.
KDJ’s Pick: Putnam Valley 57, Westlake 49. The Wildcats need to hit 3s to have a shot here. Put Valley has been so good at home all season and, with a doubleheader with the girls playing before, this should be a raucous environment.


No. 4 Blind Brook (16-4) vs. No. 5 Dobbs Ferry (16-5)
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Blind Brook High School
Players to Watch: Blind Brook — Jake DiGiansante, 5-11, Sr., G, Mike Bucci, 5-9, Sr., PG; Alex Feuerstein, 6-1, Sr., G; Hudson Powell. 6-5, Sr., F; Dobbs Ferry — Dimaunie Meredith, 6-2, Jr., G/F; Tevaun Holness, 6-2, Jr., G; Jack Baglieri, 5-9, Jr., G; Damani Fraser, 6-2, Jr., F/C.
Scouting report: Dobbs Ferry’s athleticism will be challenge by the discipline of the Blind Brook defense. The Trojans would probably be wise to make this a halfcourt game with the small gym potentially benefiting a Dobbs team that can run. The key here for the Eagles is how well they shoot from the outside. Blind Brook will almost certainly pack in a zone. Jack Baglieri is pivotal from the outside. The Trojans aren’t a flashy team but they are one that can dig in and frustrate Dobbs enough to roll to a home playoff win.
KDJ’s Pick: Blind Brook 53, Dobbs Ferry 49. Blind Brook had a nine-game winning streak snapped in the final by Pelham and they might be a better team in the postseason because of it. The Trojans lock in defensively and come away with another playoff win.


No. 3 Briarcliff (17-4) vs. No. 6 North Salem (14-7)
Time: 6:15 p.m.
Location: Briarcliff High School
Players to Watch: Briarcliff — Jackson Gonseth, 6-4, Sr., F; Spencer McCann, 6-5, Sr., F; Jack Ryan, 5-11, Sr., G; Miles Jones, 6-1, Jr., G. North Salem — Kendrick Tchoua, 6-6, Jr., F; Ryan Donovan, 6-0, Sr., G; Chris Alterio, 6-2, Sr., F; Austin Waldron, 6-4, Jr., F; Mike Ryan, 6-0, Jr., G; Kevin Ryan, 5-11, Soph., G.
Scouting report: Both teams surged down the stretch and entered the postseason with an eye on winning a Gold Ball. Briarcliff is in slightly better position in this one, playing at home and featuring two big man tasked with the challenge of containing North Salem big man Kendrick Tchoua. The dynamic inside player had 36 points and 16 rebounds again Woodlands in the first round. The Bears cannot allow him to dominate the glass again and force him away from the basket.
KDJ’s Pick: Briarcliff 61, North Salem 56. Expect this to be a one-possession game in the fourth quarter but for the veteran, proven Bears to come away with victory. It feels like the pieces for Briarcliff fell into place in the final week when they swept Pleasantville. North Salem is a brutal matchup but not one the Bears cannot handle.


No. 2 Irvington (18-3) vs. No. 7 Valhalla (13-8)
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Irvington High School
Players to Watch: Irvington — Colby Martins, 5-10, Jr., F; Sidney Thybulle, 6-6, Jr., F; Chris Friedlander, 5-8, Sr., G; James Rhodes, 6-4, Soph., F, Brant Steinberg, 5-8, Soph., G. Valhalla — Orlando Clarke, 6-1, Sr., G/F; Ethan Bartlett, 6-2, Sr., G; Jordan Rush, 5-10, Jr., G.
Scouting report: Valhalla was seconds away from having its season end in agonizing fashion to Hastings in the opening round before a Jordan Rush put-back at the buzzer sent the game to overtime, which the Vikings eventually won. Now, the Vikings will show up to Irvington as the Cinderella of the Class B bracket, putting even more pressure on the Bulldogs. Ethan Bartlett, who miss the first-round game with an ankle injury, should be back and paired with Orlando Clarke to make one of the conference’s best tandems. Colby Martins and Chris Friedlander are more than capable of defending them, so Valhalla will need a third player to step forward and take the pressure off.
KDJ’s Pick: Irvington 63, Valhalla 57. Don’t expect this to be easy whatsoever for the second-seeded Bulldogs. As long as they work the offense through the inside with Sidney Thybulle, everything else will open up. Valhalla will keep this game tight in the first half and one third-quarter run will determine the outcome.

Follow the Section 1 Basketball Tournament on KDJMedia.com and on Twitter: @KDJMedia1

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