What: New York State Public High School Athletic Association Final Four
When: 3:15 p.m. Friday at Hudson Valley Community College, Troy
Records: Maple Grove 21-3, Cambridge 23-1
Rankings: Maple Grove is ranked No. 4 in the New York State Sportswriters’ poll. Cambridge is ranked No. 2.
How they got here: The Red Dragons let a 10-point lead slip away against Oakfield-Alabama before coming back to win 44-38 in the Class C Far West Regionals on Saturday at SUNY Buffalo State. Maple Grove had a bye in the subregionals and has advanced to the state semifinals for the first time in school history. The Red Dragons have played the entire season without last year’s leading scorer, junior Riley Caskey, who suffered an injury in the first exhibition game of the season. Maple Grove’s 44 points scored against Oakfield was its fourth-lowest total in a game this season.
Cambridge will play in its second straight state semifinal after defeating Madrid-Waddington and Moriah in the first two rounds. The Indians are the second seed and will try to go one step farther than last year when they were eliminated in the semifinals.
Maple Grove key players: Jr. Bre Hill, 5-11 (12.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.1 spg); Sr. Courtney Hemminger, 5-9 (10.95 ppg, 4.5 rpg); Sr. Marisa Schuppenhauer, 5-5 (10.1 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.3 spg)
Cambridge key players: So. Lilly Phillips, 5-11 (15.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.2 spg); So. Sophie Phillips, 5-11 (16.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.7 spg); So. Fiona Mooney, 5-11 (9.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg)
Scouting report: Maple Grove can play defense, as witnessed by allowing Oakfield just one basket in the fourth quarter of the Far West Regionals. The Red Dragons were able to score 44 points against a stingy Oakfield team.
Cambridge has a young team, and starts four sophomores and Stasia Epler, a freshman. The Indians have what coach Bob Phillips calls “spurtability,” as evidenced by a 32-5 run in a Section II Class C semifinal win over Warrensburg. Phillips’ twin daughters, Lilly and Sophie, are 5-foot-11 guards and can both shoot the 3-pointer. Mooney injured her wrist in early February and was expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks. She did not play against Moriah last weekend. Cambridge held Moriah scoreless for nearly the first seven minutes of its regional win. The Indians jumped out to a 12-0 lead by dictating the tempo of the game.
Next: The winner advances to Saturday night’s championship game at 7 p.m. against IV-Watkins Glen (18-4) or IX-Millbrook (18-3).