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Girls basketball state semifinals at a glance

Friday

Class AA: Williamsville North (24-0) vs. II-Shenendehowa (22-2), 6:15 p.m.: The Plainsmen have size, skill and are well coached. Welcome to the final four, North. Junior Carly Boland has the ability to take over games. The Spartans will have to keep her along with Sydney Brown in check. Shen starts four who stand close to or at 6-foot. Coach Bill Shaw believes the teams are mirror images of each other with one exception. The Spartans have senior Ericka Taplin (19.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg), who has taken over games this postseason. Winner advances to 8:45 p.m. Saturday final against either I-Ossining or XI-Commack.

Saturday

Class D: Panama (21-4) vs. II-Fort Edward (21-3), 9 a.m.: The-early-to-bed, early-risers special tips off a long day of basketball action at HVCC. It’s been the Panthers’ mission to return to the site of their heartbreak last season when they lost in their first state semifinal appearance to eventual state champion Heuvelton of Section X. While Panama has seven returnees from last season, the keys to smooth operation include Emilee Sperry (14.0 ppg), Natalie Angeletti (11.8 and 8.3 rpg) and Taylor Bowen (11.7). Panthers have to remain poised on offense and work the half-court offense. They almost must make Fort Edward feel uncomfortable playing a state semifinal game that’s in its home section. Winner faces either unbeaten Heuvelton or IX-Eldred.

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