Who: VI-Fredonia Hillbillies (20-6) vs. I-Irvington Bulldogs (23-1)
What: New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association Tournament final four
When: Friday at 11:45 a.m. at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy
NYS Sportswriters Rankings: Irvington is ranked No. 2 in the poll. Fredonia is ranked sixth.
How they got here: Fredonia rose from a No. 6 seed in the Section VI tournament to win the championship and advanced to its first state semifinal by defeating Section V champion Mynderse, 55-46, in last weekend's Far West Regional. With top scorer Hannah Cybart limited to five points due to foul trouble, others stepped up to lead Fredonia, winners of nine in a row. Katie Price scored 17 points, while Hannah Gullo and Caitlyn Cybart added 15 and 13 points, respectively, to lead Fredonia.
Irvington overwhelmed XI-Mattituck, 62-37, in a state quarterfinal to reach the final four. Kelly Degnan scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Bulldogs to their second semifinal appearance in three years.
Fredonia key players: Senior Hannah Cybart, 5-8 (17.8 ppg., 8.5 rpg.), senior Caitlyn Cybart, 5-8 (10.2 ppg., 38 percent from three-point range), junior Katie Price, 5-7 (10.3, 3.0 assists), junior Hannah Gullo, 5-4 (4.9 ppg., 3.1 assists), senior Zoya Katta, 5-6 (2.9 ppg., 3.9 rpg.).
Irvington scout report: The Hillbillies' first state semifinal comes against one of the state's most-decorated programs in Irvington. The Bulldogs have won five state titles in their history, including a run of four straight from 2010-13.
While Degnan led the scoring in Irvington's last game, 5-5 senior Lindsay Halpin is perhaps its best player. The Geneseo-bound guard can drive, dish and shoot the three and will take on whatever role (scorer or distributor) is necessary for the team to win. Olivia Valdes is another quick guard who has caused teams problems. The 5-6 junior scored 23 points in the Section I championship game. Irvington can get after it defensively as it held Mattituck under 30-percent shooting. The Bulldogs like to switch defenses to keep teams off-balance and fuel their offense.
Next: The winner advances to Saturday afternoon's championship game at 4 p.m. against either IV-Binghamton Seton Catholic or VII-Beekmantown.