Playoff Preview: Big 4 in Class AA girls on collision course, KDJ’s picks
There are four clearly-defined powers in Class AA girls basketball in Section 1. On Friday, the rest of the field as their final chance to crack into that quartet.
Ossining, Lourdes, Ursuline and Albertus Magnus are each considerable favorites heading to the Class AA quarterfinals. They were regarded as the Big 4 in the preseason in the conference. And they’ve distanced themselves from the pack over the past three months.
Here’s a look at the four quarterfinals and how they’ll play out:
SECTION 1 CLASS AA QUARTERFINALS
Friday, February 23, 2018
No. 1 Ossining (18-3) vs. No. 8 White Plains (14-7), 4:15 p.m.
Scouting report: The Pride remain the front-runner for the Gold Ball but face by far the most depeth of competition to that title in the last 10 years. Ossining, the seven-time Section 1 champs, faces an upstart White Plains squad off a commanding win over Fox Lane in the opening round. The Tigers have grown under first-year coach Benji Carter but faces an Ossining team that seemingly scores at will on its home floor.
KDJ’s Pick: Ossining 80, White Plains 65. The Pride make their 10th straight trip to the semifinals and 14th in 17 years with an another win here. Aubrey Griffin and Kailah Harris won’t be denied of anything less.
No. 2 Lourdes (21-0) vs. No. 7 Clarkstown South (16-4), 6 p.m.
Scouting report: The Warriors made no friends this week when it was revealed they would not host their semifinal at the County Center if they advanced. But of course they have to win here first. Lourdes is carrying a bit of an extra burden as the lone undefeated team left in Section 1 basketball. South is hot, winning 10 of its last 11. But they haven’t seen a scorer like Maddie Siegrist all season.
KDJ’s Pick: Lourdes 62, Clarkstown South 51. Lourdes’ unbeaten run continues and there will be one fewer game at the County Center next week.
No. 3 Albertus Magnus (20-1) vs. No. 11 Arlington (14-8), 6 p.m.
Scouting report: The Falcons were probably expecting a Rockland County showdown with North Rockland here but gets Arlington after its opening-round upset. Arlington can be a dangerous team and seems refocused after closing the season with three straight losses. But the firepower of Albertus is going to be too much to handle. Dani LaRochelle, Kate Mager, Mairead Durkin, Allison Conti and Tanasha Mills comprise one of the most experienced and talented starting fives in Section 1. They won’t get tripped up here.
KDJ’s Pick: Albertus Magnus 65, Arlington 49. The Falcons had a near disaster in the quarterfinals last year and should have that their minds here.
No. 4 Ursuline (17-4) vs. No. 5 Ketcham (16-5), 5 p.m.
Scouting report: These teams met in a cross-over game back in December 20 and Ursuline ran way in the second half for a 75-44 win. Sonia Citron is such a difficult matchup here with her ability to demand so much attention inside and open things up for the shooters outside. Katie Wall is a prolific scorer for Ketcham but the Indians may need to slow the pace here.
KDJ’s Pick: Ursuline 62, Ketcham 51. At home in the postseason, it’s hard to see Ursuline faltering here. Jane McCauley, Jules Peduzzi, and Alex Mustafaj provide too many options.