Saturday's semifinal games
Jamestown Red Raiders (19-3) vs.
II-Christian Brothers Academy (23-0), 12:30 p.m.
I-Mount Vernon Knights (19-5) vs.
XI-Half Hollow Hills West Colts (18-5),
Sunday's final: 3:15 p.m. (televised on Time Warner Cable)
Jamestown starters: Darin Butts-12 (6-3), Joey Campion-12 (5-8), Tommy Campion-10 (5-8), Jaysean Paige-11 (6-1), Ben Wrazen-12 (6-3). Key reserves: Chris Carlson-12 (6-4), Adam Cecchini-11 (6-1), Kevin Diaz-11 (5-6).
Coach: Ben Drake (13th season, 224-72).
Jamestown's final four history: First trip to Glens Falls; Red Raiders were 0-3 in regionals (2010, 1999, 1980).
State rankings: 1. Albany CBA (last week: 2); 5. Mount Vernon (9); 6. Jamestown (11); 9. Half Hollow Hills West (13).
Bracketology: A year of firsts for Jamestown, having beaten Niagara Falls for the first time in a decade of trying to win the Section VI championship, then earning its first trip to Glens Falls by beating Irondequoit in overtime in the regionals. Paige averages 26 points per game and has hit huge shots in those last two games. Butts' slashing, driving, passing and defense have been key. The Campions, Cecchini and Diaz are all three-point threats. Wrazen and Carlson hold down the middle with Carlson providing tough defense down the stretch. Albany CBA is the state's lone unbeaten AA team and the defending champion and the Brothers are coming off a 31-11 second half in a regional rout of Section III (Syracuse area) champion Henninger. Galal Cancer, a 6-2 senior guard, has verbally committed to Cornell while nearly every player is reliable from three-point range. Mount Vernon is a familiar name in Glens Falls, but this is the program's first trip since 2008. Leading the way is West Virginia signee Jabarie Hinds, a 6-foot guard who is the co-recipient of this year's Mr. Basketball Award (with Villanova-bound Achraf Yacoubou of Long Island Lutheran). Half Hollow Hills West and standout 5-9 guard Tavon Sledge, who's headed to Iowa State, are back after losing to Albany CBA in last year's final. Jamestown is the first Section VI AA team not named Niagara Falls ('04, '05, '06, '08, '09) to make it to the final four since the bracket was created in 2004. Only four Section VI teams have won NYSPHSAA titles in the tournament's largest class: Sweet Home (1984) and LaSalle (1995, 96) won in A and Niagara Falls (2005) won in AA.
Friday's semifinal games
International Prep at Grover Cleveland Presidents (19-3) vs. VIII-Friends
Academy Quakers (15-4), 5 p.m.
III-Syracuse Academy of Science Atoms (21-2) vs. II-Greenwich Witches (19-4), 1:30 p.m.
Saturday's final: 7 p.m. (televised on Time Warner Cable)
I-Prep starters: Maurice Cheatom-11 (6-1), Kadeem Hillman-12 (6-5), Chris Holland-12 (6-1), Kenny Pringle-12 (5-8), Dartwon Brooks-12 (5-1). Key reserves: Malik Evans-11 (5-6), Tajae Walker-11 (5-11), Devonte Whitsett-11 (5-6).
Coach: Shaun Ryan (first season, 19-3).
I-Prep's final four history: It is the second trip to Glens Falls; former longtime coach Earl Schunk, who retired after last season, and first-team All-Western New York selection Jose "Ace" Narvaez lost in the semifinals in 2004.
State rankings: 1. I-Prep (last week: 1); 2. Syracuse Science (4); 3. Greenwich (6); 4. Friends Academy (18).
Bracketology: Holland is a four-year varsity player for the Presidents who quarterbacked the football team to the sectional championship game and he plays the same role on the basketball court. Multidimensional with his ability to score, set up teammates, drive, hit threes, defend the dribble and block shots. Hillman is a major presence inside and his game has become more composed on defense and more dangerous on offense as the season has gone on. Pringle can take over point-guard duties from Holland while driving, dishing and causing trouble with his quickness on defense. Cheatom and Brooks are very active on both ends and have combined to average 17.7 points per game. Friends Academy, from the North Shore of Long Island, is a rarity in that it is a private school member of Section VIII (Nassau County). Most Long Island private schools compete either in the Catholic or independent state tournaments. As the only Class C school in the Section VIII tournament, Friends needed to win two games to get to Glens Falls, beating Port Jefferson for the Long Island title and Tuckahoe of Section I (Westchester County) in the regional. Syracuse Science is a charter school in its fifth year; the Atoms went 0-15 in their first season, then won three games, then six, then went 20-4 last year before losing to New York Mills in the Section III Class D final. Greenwich of host Section II (Albany area) is located just over a half-hour southeast of Glens Falls. Joe Estramonte, a 5-7 junior guard, had 41 points to help the Witches clinch a final four berth. In nine of the last 12 years, the Class C state champion has been the winner of the Far West Regional game between Section VI and Section V (Rochester area), including OTC Middle College last year.
On the Web: There will be live blogs of each game at buffalonews.com.