Five spots across five classifications in the upcoming NYSPHSAA boys’ basketball semifinals will be up for grabs at Greece Athena High School when the NYS Far West Regionals take place on Saturday. First game tips off at 11:00 AM. Here is the breakdown of each contest:
CHARLES G. FINNEY (21-3/Private-Parochial)
MIDDLE EARLY COLLEGE (20-4/Buffalo Large)
How they arrived here: No. 3 seed Charles G. Finney beat East Rochester (85-72), Gananda (72-44) and Marcus Whitman (63-42) to win the Section V Class C1 sectional title. Finney outlasted Class C2 champion, Lyons (92-88) and ousted C1 champion, Caledonia-Mumford (76-61) in the regional qualifiers.
No. 1 seed Middle Early College beat Portville (102-19), Chautauqua (69-51) and Tapestry (74-57) to win the Section VI Class C1 sectional title. Middle Early College downed Class C2 champion Randolph (47-30) in the regional qualifier. The Kats won all four games by double-digits and an average of 33.8 points.
Tempo and Trends: C. G. Finney scored 76.95 points per game during the regular season while allowing 58.2. Middle Early College averaged 69.4 and allowed 52.1. Finney has won 10 of its last 11 games. Middle Early College is on a 13-game winning streak.
What’s at Stake: A spot in the NYS semifinal against the winner of Lake George (II) vs. Moriah (VII).
History 101: Finney won its third sectional title in the last four years after claiming back-to-back Section V class D1 championships in 2016 and 2017. Current seniors Caleb Anger, Keegan Ocorr and Xavier Smith held a spot on those sectional squads. In 2017, Finney lost in regionals to Franklinville (VI), 63-40. Finney is No. 6 in the NYSSWA Class C poll.
Middle Early College is making its sixth regional appearance since the school opened in 2009. The Kats are seeking their third state championship after winning state titles in 2010 and 2016. Middle Early College is No. 3 in the NYSSWA Class C poll.
Players to Watch for Charles G. Finney: Markus Robinson 8th Grade G 22.6 PPG; Keegan Ocorr Sr. G 22.3 PPG, 1,738 career points; Caleb Anger Sr. F/G 11.1 PPG.
Middle Early College: Jamond Jones Jr. G 17.1 PPG; Jakari Nettles Sr. C 13.1 PPG; Devonte Prince Jr. G 12.5 PPG; Traemelle Stevens-Richardson Sr. F 9.3 PPG
Coaches: Joe Marchand (Finney) and James Kane (Middle Early College)
GREECE ODYSSEY (21-3/Monroe County Division IV)
OLEAN (24-0/Chautauqua and Cattaragus Athletic Association Division I West)
How they arrived here: No. 1 seed Greece Odyssey beat Livonia (54-53), Geneva (67-48) and Newark (69-40) to win the class B1 sectional title. Odyssey upended Class B2 champion Wellsville, (63-55), in the regional qualifier.
No. 1 seed Olean beat Newfane (69-47), East Aurora (51-35) and City Honors (61-48) to win the Class B1 sectional title. Olean defeated Class B2 champion Allegany-Limestone (53-43) in the regional qualifier.
Tempo and Trends: Greece Odyssey scored 71.2 points per game during the regular season and allowed 56.5. Olean averaged 70.4 and allowed 44.5. The Huskies have won all 24 of their games by double figures. Odyssey has won nine consecutive games. Dating back to last season, Olean has won 46 of its last 48 games.
What’s at Stake: A spot in the NYS semifinal against the winner of Glen Falls (II) vs. Ogdensburg (X).
History 101: Greece Odyssey has won back-to-back sectional titles. Last year, the Leopards won the class B sectional championship as a No. 5 seed, shocking Hornell, Mynderse and finally Livonia, all higher seeds to win the program’s first title. Odyssey lost in regionals to Health Sciences (VI), 52-46. Odyssey is No. 14 in the NYSSWA Class B poll.
Olean is making its 12th regional appearance in school history and ninth since 2007. The Huskies are seeking their third state championship after winning titles in 2008 and 2016. In 2016, Olean won their first 28 (finished 28-1) games of the season before falling in the Federation Tournament of Champions final to Collegiate (NYSAIS), 49-45. Olean is No. 1 in the NYSSWA Class B poll. Head coach Jeff Anastasia has 601 career victories.
Players to Watch for Greece Odyssey: Jaden Hartsfield Jr. 15.8 PPG, Travon Harper Sr. 11.65 PPG, Aric Williams Sr. 9.35 PPG.
Olean: Matt Droney Sr. C 14.5 PPG; Mike Schmidt Sr. G 13.8 PPG, 9.0 APG; Brian Ramarge Sr. G 9.4 PPG; Josh Bihler Sr. G 7.4 PPG.
Coaches: Jim Guzielek (Greece Odyssey) and Jeff Anastasia (Olean)
PITTSFORD MENDON (24-0/Monroe County Division III)
LEWISTON-PORTER (21-3/Niagara Frontier)
How they arrived here: No. 1 seed Pittsford Mendon beat Aquinas (67-48), Eastridge (86-61) and Greece Athena (95-67) to win the Class A1 sectional title. Mendon defeated Class A2 sectional champion, Pittsford Sutherland (74-53), in the regional qualifier.
No. 2 seed Lewiston-Porter downed Health Sciences (60-58), Cheektowaga (75-44) and Amherst (51-40) to win the Class A2 sectional title. Lewiston-Porter defeated Class A1 sectional champion, West Seneca West (59-47), in the regional qualifier.
Tempo and Trends: Pittsford Mendon scored 80.8 points per game during the regular season and allowed 53.3. Lewiston Porter averaged 75.2 and allowed 58.4. Dating back to last season, Mendon has won 29 of its last 30 games. Lewiston Porter is on a nine-game winning streak.
What’s at Stake: A spot in the NYS semi-final against the winner of Troy (II) vs. Jamesville-Dewitt (III).
History 101: Pittsford Mendon won its first sectional title since 2003 when Chris Shalvoy led the Vikings past Batavia for the Class BB crown. Mendon lost in regionals to Olean (VI), 64-60, in overtime. Mendon is No. 3 in the NYSSWA Class A poll.
Lewiston-Porter is making its first regional appearance since 1978. That year, the Lancers lost in the class AA regionals to East, 65-52. Lewiston-Porter’s three losses this season were to Niagara Falls (No. 10 NYSSWA Class AA), Park School (No. 2 NYSSWA Class A) and Cardinal O’Hara (No. 3 NYSSWA Class B). Lewiston Porter is No. 10 in the NYSSWA Class A poll.
Players to Watch for Pittsford Mendon: Daniel Cook Sr. F 18.8 PPG, 23 double-doubles; Michael Harrington Sr. G 17.9 PPG; Jacob Shadders So. G 14.5 PPG; Connor Krapf Sr. G 10.8 PPG
Lewiston Porter: Roddy Gayle Fr. G 22.4 PPG, 9.1 RPG; Trent Scott Sr. G 18.9 PPG; Jalen Duff 8th Grade G 11.8 PPG; Zack Claybourne Sr. F 9.0 PPG
Coaches: Bob Nally (Pittsford Mendon) and Matt Bradshaw (Lewiston Porter)
BELFAST (18-6/Allegany County Division II)
PANAMA (17-6/Chautauqua and Cattaragus Athletic Association Division II West)
How they arrived here: No. 3 seed Belfast beat Houghton (71-43), Elba (44-40) and Prattsburgh (60-55) to win the Section V Class D2 sectional title. Belfast beat Class D1 sectional champion, Mount Morris (54-42), in the regional qualifier.
No. 2 seed Panama beat North Collins (73-43), Clymer (65-47) and Forestville (57-48) to win the class D sectional title.
Tempo and Trends: Belfast scored 62.0 points per game during the regular season and allowed 53.9. Panama averaged 66.9 and allowed 53.0. Belfast is on an eight-game winning streak. Panama has won six straight.
What’s at Stake: A spot in the NYS semifinal against the winner of Oppenheim-Ephratah-Saint Johnsville (II) vs. Wells (VII).
History 101: In its third-ever sectional final appearance and first since 1984, Belfast won its first sectional title since 1940. The Bulldogs’ 1984 run ended with a loss to top-seeded Greenwood, 72-55, in the Section V class D championship at Alfred University. Belfast is No. 7 in the NYSSWA Class D poll.
Panama is making a regional appearance for the third time since 2012. In 2012, the Panthers lost to Notre Dame of Batavia, 62-51. In 2016, Panama lost in the state semi-finals to Moriah (VII), 62-59. Panama is No. 13 in the NYSSWA Class D poll.
Players to Watch for Belfast: Adam Enders Sr. 27.7 PPG, 2,528 career points (second among Section V active scoring leaders); Kevin McCumiskey Sr. 13.7 PPG.
Panama: Cam Barmore Jr. F 21.4 PPG; Jack Sperry Sr. G 12.3 PPG; Mitch Hovey Sr. G 11.3 PPG; Dominic Spontaneo 9.3 PPG
Coaches: Joe Hennessy (Belfast) and Ed Nelson (Panama)
McQUAID (18-4/RCAC Upper)
NIAGARA FALLS (20-3/Niagara Frontier)
No. 2 seed Niagara Falls beat Lancaster (84-66), Orchard Park (65-58) and Williamsville North (72-64) to win the Section VI class AA title.
Tempo and Trends: McQuaid scored 75.0 points per game during the regular season and allowed 63.7. Niagara Falls averaged 79.2 and allowed 56.3. McQuaid is on a seven-game winning streak. Niagara Falls has won three straight games.
What’s at Stake: A spot in the NYS semifinal against the winner of Saratoga Springs (II) vs. West Genesee (III).
History 101: This is the fourth time in the last two seasons these squads will match up. McQuaid defeated Niagara Falls, 65-57, in last year’s regionals at Buffalo State College. The Knights also took down the Wolverines during the regular season back on December 15, 76-69, in overtime.
McQuaid beat Niagara Falls in the ’03 Class A regional, 48-44 on the way to the school’s third state title. The Jesuit Knights are 6-3 all-time in regional contests. Current McQuaid head coach Jack Leasure earned all-tournament honors during McQuaid’s ’03 sectional run. Assistant coach Marty O’Sullivan was named sectional tournament MVP and earned a spot on state final four all-tournament team.
Niagara Falls has made five appearances in the state finals. Led by former Syracuse Orange guards Jonny Flynn and Paul Harris as well as former Green Bay Packer James Starks, the Wolverines claimed the 2005 Class AA NYS and Federation titles. Rob Garrison, who went on to play at UConn and Niagara along with Greg Gamble who played UB also starred on the ’05 Niagara Falls team
Players to Watch for McQuaid: Kobe Long Jr. G; Jermaine Taggart Jr. F; Connor Zamiara Sr. F; Harry Bruu Sr. G
Niagara Falls: Willie Lightfoot Fr. G; Jalen Bradberry So. G; Jaemon Turner Jr. G; Josiah Harris Sr. G
Coaches: Jack Leasure (McQuaid) and Sal Constantino (Niagara Falls)