Tournament Time: SuperBracketology – 2nd Round Class C/D

Thanks to an overwhelming response on Twitter this week to the SuperBracketology project — the quest to find the Best Section 1 Boys Basketball Teams of the 2000s in bracket form — we continue with the second round of (simulated) competition.

Here’s the tournament bracket after the First Round. We started with all 21 of the Section 1 championships from Class C (and D from 2000-2003 when there was only four classes) as automatic bids. I also chose 11 at-large teams to fill out a 32-team field.

Find out how all these teams advanced by checking out the SuperBracketology: Class C/D First Round Results here

SuperBracketology of the 2000s: Class C/D
2nd Round Results

Sassone Region

No. 1 Hamilton 2004 vs. No 4 Haldane 2015

Hamilton (21-4):
Won NYSPHSAA Class D Championship
Haldane 2015 (18-5): Won Section 1 Class C title; lost in state semis

Starting lineups

Hamilton 2004
G – Brent Paladio
G – Jim Redd
G – Rashawn Dubois
F – James Penn
F – Michael McDuffie
Coach – Drew Watson

Haldane ’15
G – Garret Quigley
G – Ryan McCollum
G – Tucker Beachek
F – Peter Hoffmann
F – Edmund Fitzgerald
Coach: Joe Virgadamo

KDJ’s Breakdown: The 2004 team had a commanding front-line with Michael McDuffie and James Penn but meet their match here with Peter Hoffman and Edmund Fitzgerald. Hoffman was one of the more underrated players in his time in the section and consistently played his best in the postseason. Hoffmann would get his points in this game. But how the Blue Devils would matchup with the quickness and versatility of the Hamilton guards would be the question.

FINAL SCORE: HAMILTON 63, HALDANE 61. The 2004 Red Raiders had a different player step up each game throughout that postseason run. This time it’s Dubois, who was difference maker down the stretch with his ability to get into the lane and knock down shots when needed. Redd scores 20, Dubois has a solid 14 points and five steals and Hamilton moves on.

No. 3 Lincoln Hall 2005 vs. No. 7 Hamilton 2007

Lincoln Hall 2005 (16-7):
Won Section 1 Class C title, lost in regional semis
Hamilton 2007 (13-11): Won Section 1 Class C championship; lost in first round of state tournament

Startling lineups

Lincoln Hall ’05
G – Matthew McCorkle
G – Jazz Jenkins
G – Charles Watts
F – Ricardo Pierce
F – Mario Rodriguez
Coach – Henry Taylor

Hamilton ’07
G – Tyrell Welch
G – Jonathan Schofield
F – Vaquan Wright
F – Richard Beaumont
F – Jamal Lightbourne
Coach – Ural Hogans

KDJ’s Breakdown: Lincoln Hall faces a Hamilton team that surged in the postseason in 2007 behind the play of Jamal Lightbourne. The United, however, have a matchup with Ricardo Pierce, a physical and agile low-post scorer who could defend on the wing. The depth of Lincoln Hall would also pose some issues for the Red Raiders.

FINAL SCORE: LINCOLN HALL 58, HAMILTON 55. Pierce and Lightbourne battle for four quarters but the game is decided by the big shots late from Jazz Jenkins. He scored 24, big man Mario Rodriguez goes for 12 points and 11 rebounds and Lincoln Hall moves on.

Watson Region

No. 1 Tuckahoe 2012 vs. No. 4 Tuckahoe 2019

Tuckahoe 2012 (25-0):
Won NYSPHSAA Class C state championship
Tuckahoe 2019 (17-7): Won the Section 1 Class C title, lost in the regional finals

Startling lineups

Tuckahoe ’12
G – Sky Williams
G – Shyheim Nixon
F – Tyler Freire
F – Mark Raymond
F – Justin Nolan
Coach – Al Visconti

Tuckahoe ’19
G – Malik Moore
G – John Deane
G – Joe Nasti
F – Mekhi Clark
F – Jonathan Berger
Coach – Ben Newman

KDJ’s Pick: Great Tuckahoe vs Tuckahoe matchup here. So much of Malik Moore’s game last year reminded me of Sky Williams from 2012, specifically the way he could carry the offense for extended stretches in the clutch. Moore made so many big shots in Tuckahoe’s section final and state playoff victories. Williams and Moore would put on a show. But ultimately, the 2012 squad had a player the 2019 Tigers wouldn’t have an answer for: Shyheim Nixon. He was so quick and so strong. The always steady front-line of 2012 Tigers also pose some challenges in the paint.

FINAL SCORE: TUCKAHOE (2012) 67, TUCKAHOE (2019) 60. Tuckahoe 2012 is a No. 1 seed for good reason. Sky Williams and Malik Moore each go for 23 points. Nixon has 19 and seven steals and Justin Nolan contributes 12 points and 14 rebounds in the victory.

No. 2 Haldane 2001 vs. No. 3 Valhalla 2009

Valhalla 2009 (20-5):
Won Section 1 Class C title, lost in regional final
Haldane 2001 (21-4): Won Section 1 Class D title; lost in state semis to eventual champion Batavia Notre Dame

Startling lineups

Valhalla 2009
G – Dan Annunziata
G – Oasiris Yates
F – Jon Filipe
F – Tom Hart
F – James Jensen
Coach – Dave Greiner

Haldane ’01
G – Joe Virgadamo
G – Tom Virgadamo
G – Greg Anderson
F – Dave Owens
F – Brendan Hackett
Coach – Todd Simms

KDJ’s Pick: After winning the section title in 1999 and losing in the 2000 semis, Haldane returned as a team on a mission in 2001. Joe and Tom Virgadamo created headaches for opposing backcourts. Dan Annunziata would be able to match up with one. Would Oasiris Yates, a physical lockdown defender, defend the other or be keyed in on Greg Anderson? That’s where the Vikings would have trouble here, as most opponents did that season. James Jensen, a terrific talent, would have his opportunities inside for the Vikings. But these Blue Devils had opposing guards running for four quarters and were so good at controlling the tempo.

FINAL SCORE: HALDANE 58, VALHALLA 55. Haldane gets this game played out in the open floor and wears the Vikings down in the fourth. Greg Anderson has another strong postseason effort, scoring 27 points while the Virgadamo’s each chip in 11 and nine total steals.

Charney Region

No. 1 Hamilton 2020 vs. No. 4 Blind Brook 2001

Hamilton 2020 (20-3):
Won Section 1 Class C title; reached regional final before state playoffs were suspended
Blind Brook 2001 (20-2): Reached Section 1 Class D championship game

Startling lineups

Hamilton ’20
G – Jaylen Savage
G – Ethan Berry
G – Brandon Harris
F – Jourdan Belcher
F – Justin Johnson
Coach – Keith Wright

Blind Brook ’01
G – John Michael Grzan
G – John Aughavin
G – Kevin Aughavin
F – Jason Stein
F – Matt Effler
Coach – Jeff Charney

KDJ’s Pick: This is grueling second-round matchup for the top-seeded Red Raiders. For starters, the 2020 champs didn’t see a team nearly as strong defensively as this Blind Brook team, which clamped down with its matchup zone and made every shot difficult. But the teams that struggled most were the ones that tried to settle into a halfcourt game — which is not the style this Hamilton played at all. This is a non-traditional group. Their post players could handle the basketball and step outside and shoot. And their guards were relentless rebounders who attacked opposing bigs. Blind Brook would find a way to slow this team down, and I think Jason Stein could shadow Jourdan Belcher. But could the 2001 Trojans (who lost in the section final to a versatile Haldane squad) do it enough for four quarters?

FINAL SCORE: HAMILTON 54, BLIND BROOK 53. The Red Raiders get slowed in spurts during this game. But the speed and depth at the guard position eventually wears Blind Brook down. The Trojans have a seven-point lead going into the fourth quarter before Brandon Harris and Jaylen Savage take control. They combine for 18 points in the fourth and the Red Raiders pull off the dramatic comeback.

No. 2 Martin Luther King 2005 vs. No. 3 Hamilton 2000

Hamilton 2000 (20-5):
Won Section 1 Class D championship; reached the NYSPHSAA title game
MLK 2005 (19-4): Won NYSPHSAA Class D state championship

Startling lineups

Hamilton ’00
G – Troy Brewster
G – Andrew Williams
G – Anthony Clay
F – Wayne Penn
F – Justice Hall
Coach – Drew Watson

MLK ’05
G – Benjamin Keys
G – Emmanuel Lopez
G – Gary Brady
F – Saul Hernandez
F – Eric Mingo
Coach – Andre Cook

KDJ’s Pick: Player for player, this is such an evenly matched starting five. Andrew Williams and Benjamin Keys were both fearless perimeter shoots and Manny Lopez and Troy Brewster had similar styles as floor generals. Eric Mingo has a little more height on Justice Hall while Hall could counter with a little extra muscle inside. This would be the type of game where the teams would stay within 1-2 possessions the entire way.

FINAL SCORE: MLK 72, HAMILTON 70 (OT). We’d need extra time to settle this matchup. The only thing that separates these two teams’ resumes is their final games; Hamilton lost in a state championship classic and MLK won in theirs. The mettle of this veteran, mature MLK squad is the difference as Keys scores 32 in the victory.

Virgadamo Region

No. 1 Blind Brook 2004 vs. No. 4 Tuckahoe 2011

Blind Brook 2004 (21-6):
Won NYSPHSAA Class C championship
Tuckahoe 2011 (19-4): Won Section 1 Class C title; lost in regional final to eventual state champion Friends Academy

Startling lineups

Tuckahoe ’11
G – Sky Williams
G – Alex Melendez
G – Skyheim Nixon
F – Jason Feuer
F – Justin Nolan
Coach – Al Visconti

Blind Brook ’04
G – Steve Gross
G – Michael Bennett
G – Joseph Bucci
F – Chris Stockel
F – Tom Wethington
Coach – Greg DePaoli

KDJ’s Pick: Interesting matchup of a Tuckahoe team that was probably the best public school team in the state in Class C in 2011 and a Blind Brook squad that somewhat came out of nowhere to capture a state crown. The Trojans are not a No. 1 seed simply on achievement. This team was as good of a defensive unit as I can remember at their level. And they played with an indisputable hunger. The 2011 Tuckahoe had the components of a state championship squad, led by the breakout of Sky Williams and veterans Alex Melendez and Jason Feuer, a champion in three sports that season. But the team just wasn’t quite there yet.

FINAL SCORE: BLIND BROOK 49, TUCKAHOE 45. A savvy, confident and determined Blind Brook team stifles the Tigers defensively. Tom Wethington is a force in the paint, accounting for 14 points and 12 rebounds and Steve Gross hit four 3-pointers in the win.

No. 2 Tuckahoe 2006 vs. No. 3 Palisade Prep 2013

Palisade Prep 2013 (18-3):
Won Section 1 Class C championship; lost in regionals
Tuckahoe 2006 (14-9): Won Section 1 Class C title; lost in first round of state playoffs

Startling lineups

Palisade Prep ’13
G – Brandon Tate
G – Fred Truss
G – Kevin Sabino
F – Quinnell Williams
F – Isaiah Ward
Coach – Sean Stahn

Tuckahoe ’06
G – Lowell Robinson
G – Joe Melendez
G – Jason Davis
F – Tristan Alexander
F – Porter Munroe
Coach – Al Visconti

KDJ’s Pick: Another great 5 on 5 matchup when you go position by position. Both teams were defined by their versatility and were blessed with guys. who could play a variety of positions. One thing I remember about covering the 2006 Tuckahoe squad was that I thought all season it would be a team that ultimately underachieved. They finally clicked in sectionals. Tristan Alexander imposed his will inside and Lowell Robinson and Joe Melendez, a pair of state champs in football, gelled in March and carried the Tigers. Here they face a Palisade Prep that was dynamic but lacked a true post presence. In the state playoffs, they ran into the biggest high school basketball team I’ve ever covered (yes, on any level) in Pine Plains, which went on to play for a state title. Palisade Prep had such an impressive year overall and is one of the most overlooked championship squads of their decade. This is a good matchup for them.

FINAL SCORE: PALISADE PREP 57, TUCKAHOE 53. Give the Phoenix another shot in a postseason and they take advantage. Isaiah Ward was a special player and the Tigers would have a tough time matchup with his explosiveness. Ward fills the stat sheet with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and four assists and Pal Prep advances.


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  1. Hey Kevin…this has created quite a buzz and brought back some great memories for me and my players. “Undisputable hunger” about sums it up for the BB ’04 squad. So many intangibles! Thanks for your efforts in this undertaking.

    Greg DePaoli
    Head Coach
    Blind Brook ’04

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