It’s March Madness: Basketball Invades Upstate New York
New York State Championship (GFCC, Glens Falls) & Federation Tournament of Champions (TU Center, Albany)
It’s that time of year again. March Madness has infected not only college basketball players, but high school students as well. The battle for the New York State Championship has begun and it gets underway at the Glens Falls Civic Center on March 18th through the 20th, including tournaments from classes D, C, B, A, and AA schools. These classes are separated by the sizes of each school–the larger the school, the closer they are to being ranked as AA. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) contains over 700,000 schools within eleven geographical sections excluding New York City. Glens Falls has hosted the tournament since 1981.
One of the smaller schools, a class D division, is competing in Chateauguay. Last week, Chateauguay beat out Germantown in a battle that ended with a score of 77-51. One of the team’s leading scorers is Junior Michael Boyea who scored 36 points in the previous game. Boyea averages a total of 14.2 points per game, which has led him to achieve 312 points thus far this season. His teammate, Senior Ian Henderson, helped out the team by scoring 19 points in their last match. Henderson has scored a total of 263 season points with an average of 12 points a game. Chateauguay will be facing off against New York Mills on Friday, March 18th at 10am.
Greenwich is an underdog in the Class C division, but they have more than proven themselves this season. The team scraped past Brushton Moira with a score of 66-49. Team all-star, Junior Joe Estramonte reached a career high of 41 points. Estramonte averages a total of 16.2 points a game and teammate senior Ryan McFee helps out the team with an average of 10.2 points a game. Greenwich will meet the Syracuse Academy of Science on March 18th at 1:30pm.
Potsdam is a school known for their basketball skills. Both of their high school and college teams work hard year round to become the most renowned teams in the area. This year, Potsdam high school will be competing in the Class B division. In their last match, Potsdam had an exciting game against Northeastern Clinton with a score of 41-37. Senior John Coleman is a star on and off the court. Coleman was responsible for 23 points in the last round to add to his 409 score of the season; he was also recently awarded the Joe Jukoski Award for basketball excellence and has been selected as the high school’s salutatorian. Potsdam’s next game will be against Rochester Charlotte on March 18th at 6:45pm.
Local team Albany CBA will be representing the area for the AA section. Albany CBA is competing as their third year as section champions. Senior shooting guard, Galal Cancer, who has recently verbally committed to Cornell’s basketball team for the fall of 2011, is the team leader. He scored a whopping 25 points in the team’s previous game against Henninger to lead them to a 69-37 lead. Senior Joe Krong added 18 points. Albany CBA will be continuing their winning streak against Jamestown on Saturday, March 19th at 12:30 pm.
The NYSPHAA tournament is not the only one in the area. The Federation Tournament of Champions will be held at the Times Union Center in Albany. This is a separate tournament that is not the State Championship, but allows locals to compete in more games to continue their season. Celebrating its 33rd year, the tournament will have a new added feature, the “Girls in the Game” program that emphasizes the importance of being a female athlete. Past players who have won the competition will be invited to meet current female players as an inspiration to all who have attempted to play sports in a male dominated world. The event also highlights local players and teams as an opportunity to get others involved in sports.
These events need both local and national support, especially from local fans, so if you have the chance, step out and support your local athletes.
For more information on the NYSPHSAA Championship, visit www.nysbasketball.net/nysphsaa/NYSPHSAA-home.htm. Tickets cost $10 for each session. For information on the Federation Tournament of Champions, visit http://timesunioncenter-albany.com/events/event.aspx?EventID=745
–Juliet Barney is an Assistant Editor for The Free George.
The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our new City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.
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