What: New York State Public High School Athletic Association Final Four
When: Friday at 9:30 a.m. at Floyd L. Maines Memorial Arena, Binghamton.
Records: Olean 25-0, Glens Falls 27-1.
Rankings: Olean is ranked No. 1 in the Buffalo News’ Small Schools poll and No. 1 in the New York State Sportswriters’ poll. Glens Falls is ranked No. 2 in the state poll.
How they got here: Olean defeated Section V champion Greece Odyssey, 61-47, in the Far West Regional at Greece Athena High School. Matt Droney recorded 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Huskies, while Mike Schmidt finished with 10 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. It’s the 21st time Olean held an opponent to less than 50 points this season. It’s coach Jeff Anastasia’s 602nd career win. Josh Bihler had 11 points and eight rebounds and Alex Weakfall had 12 points.
Section II champion Glens Falls advanced by defeating X-Ogdensburg Free Academy, 84-76, as the Indians received contributions from others early to survive a slow start by Syracuse-bound star player Joseph Girard III, who scored 41 of his game-high 46 points after the first quarter. After a 2-for-10 start, he made 9 of his last 13 shots and finished with nine 3-pointers, six assists and five rebounds.
Olean key players: Sr. Mike Schmidt, 5-11 (13.6 ppg, 9.0 apg, 5.6 rpg, 3.0 steals), Sr. Matt Droney, 6-5 (14.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg), Sr. Josh Bihler, 5-9 (7.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.0 steals), Sr. Jack Dwaileebe, 6-0 (6.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Sr. Brian Ramarge, 5-8 (9.0 ppg).
Glens Falls key players: Sr. Joseph Girard III, 6-2 (49.3 ppg), Sr. Trenton Girard, 5-6 (9.5 ppg), Jr. Nick Danahy, 6-6 (7.8 ppg).
Scouting report: The task is simple for Olean. Find a way to stop New York State Mr. Basketball Joe Girard and convert its own offensive chances. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Every team goes in with plan to try to stop Girard only to see the 4,000-points career scorer Girard lead his team to victory.
Olean, which prides itself on playing sound defense, will try to come up with something to throw him off balance. The Huskies will look to make him take tough shots and find ways to make him uncomfortable.
Anastasia is Western New York’s all-time winningest coach and has guided the Huskies to their seventh Final Four, with the crew winning state championships in 2008 and 2016.
Next: The winner advances to the state championship game at 5:15 p.m. Saturday against either III-Lowville or XI-Center Moriches.