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Section 6 Boys and Girls Basketball State Semifinals Preview

BUFFALO N.Y. – The 2021-2022 high school basketball season in Western New York has been phenomenal and entertaining, but it’s not over yet.

For the boys, Jamestown (Class AA), Amherst (Class A), Allegany-Limestone (Class B), Salamanca (Class C) and for the girls, Sherman (Class D) will represent the area with a chance to bring home the prestigious New York State Championship plaque.

Boys Class C State Semifinal: Salamanca Warriors (17-7) vs Stillwater Warriors (22-3)

Date: Friday, March 18

Tip Off: 2:45 p.m.

Location: Cool Insuring Arena | Glens Falls, NY

For the first time in their program, Salamanca boys basketball have reached the state semifinals after defeating Avon last week 61-59 in the regionals.

With 25 seconds left to go in the game, junior Andy Herrick hit a three pointer that would become the game-winning shot. Herrick had 15 points that night while their leading scorer and sophomore Lucas Brown finished with 30.

Highlights of Salamanca after their win versus Avon at Buff State to advance to the State Semi Finals@SalamancaBB @SCCSDWarriors @centercourt42 @redsox7236 pic.twitter.com/aiBixCpGPk — WNY Athletics (@WNYAthletics) March 14, 2022

Brown (20.9 PPG), Herrick (12.9 PPG), their playmaker and senior Hayden Hoag (6.6 APG) and leading rebounder/senior Harley Hoag (6.2 RPG) will face Stillwater this afternoon. The Section 2 squad comes back to the state semifinals for the first time since 2006. They defeated Moriah, who was ranked number one in the Class C state poll, 55-52 in overtime.

“They’re obviously a good team…they remind me of the team we beat in Avon,” said head coach Adam Bennett. “All year, the hallmark of our program is to practice getting better. Their goal is to get better and to get ready for Stillwater.”

The winner of this game will take on the winner of the Pierson/Newfield game for the Class C state title this Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Girls Class D State Semifinal: Sherman Wildcats (14-8) vs Franklin Central Purple Devils (22-1)

Date: Friday, March 18

Tip Off: 6:15 p.m.

Location: Hudson Valley Community College | Troy, NY

Since the playoffs got started, Sherman has been on a roll as they defeated Pine Valley to win the Section 6 Class D Championship and won their regional game over Batavia/Notre Dame, 35-29 last week.

It’s been 13 years since the Sherman girls’ basketball program have been to the final four. However for fifth-year head coach Emily Eckwahl and her team, it will be a unique situation for them, but a moment that this team has been waiting for.

Franklin Central will become Sherman’s toughest challenge yet. They are 22-1 overall and haven’t lost a game in a little over two months.

On paper, seniors Kayla and Marissa Campbell look to be the two biggest targets for the Wildcats. Kayla has been averaging 26.2 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 5.2 APG and 5.2 SPG this season while Marissa is second on the team in scoring (12.5 PPG), rebounding (8.8 RPG), assists (4.8 APG) and steals (3.6 SPG).

“Their really talented and great players, but as long as we can execute our game plan on how to slow them down…then make sure we take care of the ball on offense,” said Eckwahl.

The winner of this game will take on the winner of the Copenhagen/Hartford Central game for the Class D state title this Saturday at 8:45 p.m.

Boys Class AA State Semifinal: Jamestown Red Raiders (20-3) vs Green Tech Charter Eagles (20-2)

Date: Friday March 18

Tip Off: 7:45 p.m.

Location: Cool Insuring Arena | Glens Falls, NY

Jamestown defeated Aquinas last week 60-58 to move onto the state semifinal round. For the program it will be their first time since 2014. Every player on the roster will be stepping onto the hardwood court at the Cool Insuring Arena for the first time. For some of the players, it will be a redemption opportunity.

Nine players on the basketball team also played on the football team this past season (Sean Paige, Jaral Farmer, Trey Drake, Jaylen Butera, Darius Freeney, Carson Panebianco, Dracye Garland, Bishop Butts and Gage Viele). Jamestown football was electric, they ran through everyone in Section 6 and went all the way to the state semifinal round, where they fell to Christian Brothers Academy.

Highlights of Jamestown as they advance to the State Semi Finals with a win over Aquinas @JHSRedRaiders @JHSBasketball1 @centercourt42 @timm340 pic.twitter.com/3BBd5FqrrF — WNY Athletics (@WNYAthletics) March 14, 2022

Green Tech Charter will be the next opponent for the Red Raiders. The Eagles moved onto the next round after taking Liverpool to overtime and picking up a 71-68 win. Victor Pharr, Dayshaun Walton and Zaveon Little took over in a must-needed game. All 3 seniors scored a combined 55 points in their victory.

The winner of this game will take on the winner of the Mount Vernon/Baldwin game for the Class AA state title this Saturday at 8:45 p.m.

This matchup is the second out of three games where a team from Section 6 will play against a team from Section 2 in the final four (Salamanca/Stillwater and Allegany-Limestone/Ichabod Crane are the other two).

Boys Class A State Semifinal: Amherst Tigers (23-2) vs New Hartford Spartans (23-2)

Date: Saturday March 19

Time: 10:45 a.m.

Location: Cool Insuring Arena | Glens Falls, NY

Just like Salamanca, this will be the Tigers first appearance into the final four. The Section 6 Class A Champions defeated Pittsford-Mendon 58-56 in the regional round. Amherst is currently on a 16-game winning streak and haven’t lost in over two months.

Jack Kreuzer gets the opportunity to meet with Teddy McDuffie (Amherst) after his 16 point performance in their win over Pittsford-Mendon and advance to the State Semi Finals@AmherstTigers1 @ACHSTigersBball @AmherstCSD @AmherstJungle @centercourt42 @JackKreuzer pic.twitter.com/WSQEVnVhWY — WNY Athletics (@WNYAthletics) March 14, 2022

New Hartford had a tough battle like Amherst, but their ending was a bit different. Senior guard Connor Karnowski hit a hook shot just before the buzzer, beating Mekeel Christian 49-47.

“Their best guy, [Zach] Philipkoski, he can play inside and out. We can’t let him get outside and shoot, we have to make it difficult for him to shoot the ball,” said Amherst head coach Chris Kensy. “As a team, we need to make sure that we hold them to a one and done on defense and get second-chance bucket opportunities on offense.”

The winner of this game will take on the winner of the Poughkeepsie/Manhasset game for the Class A state title this Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

Boys Class B State Semifinal: Allegany-Limestone (19-7) vs Ichabod Crane Riders (19-7)

Date: Saturday March 19

Tip Off: 2:45 p.m.

Location: Cool Insuring Arena | Glens Falls, NY

The Gators are the third team out of the five that will be making their first appearance in the Class B final four. They won against Newark this past Saturday 45-30. Senior Tyler Curran came alive and led the way with 22 points. Curran was the only player on both teams that scored in double figures.

Tom Prince talks with Tyler Curran (Allegany-Limestone) after his 22 point performance and helping his team advance to the State Semi Finals @ALCSGator @BasketballGator @ALGatorBaseball @centercourt42 @WNYTomPrince pic.twitter.com/5vQtUfGa2k — WNY Athletics (@WNYAthletics) March 14, 2022

They’ll take on Ichabod Crane, a Section 2 team that has shown to score at a high rate. They won their regional game against Plattsburgh 75-31. Their season-leading scorer and senior Brett Richards finished the game with 20 points and 21 rebounds.

Along with Richards, junior Daniel Warner led the way with 23 points while junior Alex Schmidt had 15.

Head coach Glenn Anderson knows his opponent has multiple scoring threats, but the way his defense has been performing, he believes they’ll be up to the challenge.

“They got three guys that can score the ball, they got weapons all over the place,” said Anderson. “The way we are rebounding and playing defense, we are looking forward to the challenge.”

The winner of this game will face the winner of the Seton Catholic Central/Friends Academy for the Class B state title this Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

***ALL GAMES WILL BE LIVESTREAMED ON THE NFHS NETWORK, BUT WNY ATHLETICS WILL NOT BE BROADCASTING THE GAMES***

Follow me on Twitter!: @Jacob_Fyock

Featured Image Courtesy of Shawn Turri/Special to WNYAthletics.com

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