Friday night in the Section 1 tournament will likely go down as the most entertaining of the 2018 postseason. And it was one of the most unpredictable in recent history.
Tappan Zee knocked off pre-tournament favorite Saunders, 49-46, to headline a wild Class A quarterfinal slate. Top seed Rye was beaten by No. 8 Ardsley, No. 4 Hen Hud defeated No. 5 Byram Hills in an overtime classic and second-seed Panas upended Poughkeepsie, last year’s Section 9 Class A champ.
Highlights: Tappan Zee 49, Saunders 46 (2/23/18)
“This victory goes up there with any victory our school district has ever been a part of.” – Tappan Zee coach George Gaine
Part of what made Friday night so great was the streaks ended in Class AA and Class A for teams that had not played a postseason game at the County Center:
AA and A teams headed to County Center for 1st time since:
Mt Vernon and TZ – 2017
Panas – 2014
Greeley – 2000
Ardsley – 1999
Ramapo – 1997
Hen Hud – 1991
Remember when they weren’t going to have County Center this year?
— Kevin Devaney Jr. (@KDJmedia1) February 24, 2018
Tappan Zee has become a mainstay at the County Center, reaching the final the last two seasons. Both ended with devastating defeats the Dutchmen, who doled out the heartbreak on Friday night.
Sean Peterson dropped 21 points, including five 3-pointers in the win. Peterson drilled a pair of 3s in the first quarter as Tappan Zee staked a 19-14 lead after one quarter. He later hit a pair of 3s in the fourth to put the game away.
“He’s a Peterson,” said Gaine, who coached Sean’s older brothers Pat and Kyle. “He comes from good stock.”
Oziah DeLoatch added 16, Danny Linehan had 14, and Aidan Cunney scored 13 for Tappan Zee. The Dutchmen used an 11-0 run in the third quarter to overtake Saunders, which led by seven at that point.
“I’ve had memories for 30 years already with this team,” Tappan Zee coach George Gaine said. “To lose five starters and return just 5 points per game, and then walk into this gym, it might be the most undervalued Tappan Zee basketball team I’ve ever coached in my life.”
Keyshawn Miller had 26 points for Saunders in the loss.
Section 1 Class A Semifinals
Tuesday, February 27
at Westchester County Center
Class A boys: No. 4 Hen Hud vs. No. 8 Ardsley, 3 p.m.
Class A girls: No. 2 Somers vs. No. 3 Rye, 4:45 p.m.
Class A boys: No. 2 Panas vs. No. 6 Tappan Zee, 6:30 p.m.
Class A girls: No. 1 John Jay-CR vs. No. 4 Harrison, 8:15 p.m.