The first weekend of March is always a busy one in the world of Valley Sports, and while this one includes the last day of February, it is no different.
I am down at the NYSPHSAA wrestling championships in Albany, while Seth Lang will be covering the Section VII/Class D girls championship game at the PSUC Fieldhouse tonight at 4 p.m. He will also be doing triple-header coverage of the Class D, C and B boys games on Saturday, starting at noon.
In the girls D final, ELCS takes on Moriah for the third time this season, banking on the expression that it is tough to beat a good team three times. Lily Whalen and Jasmin Barnes lead the Lions offensively, a team that received big contributions as well from Emma Disogra and Savanah Graves in their semifinal win against Keene. Head coach Don Ratliff also credits the defensive effort of Angel Barnes as a key factor for the team going up against the top-seeded Vikings. Obviously, the on-paper edge goes to the team who won the regular season meetings in Moriah, but this game will be played at, "The Great Equalizer," what I call the Filedhouse.
The first game Saturday in the Class D boys game between Moriah and Westport at noon. This matchup is as tight as it can be, with the Eagles losing a two-point contest at Moriah and a one-point, triple-overtime instant classic at the Fieldhouse to start the season. Westport truly is a balanced team that can get scoring from any of their five starters and hang their hat on the defensive end of the ball as they proved in beating Schroon Lake in the semifinals. As for Moriah, it was not the height of Adam Jaquish as much as the ability of the Vikings to make the right passes to get him and others the ball. Scoring 60 points against Keene in the semifinals, the Vikings had 14 assists in the game. Adding three pointers along with and-one conversions, over half their points came as the result of a pass from a teammate. The key for Westport is simple, they lost two close games that they were trailing by double-digits at some point in the second half. Do not give Moriah a run, and the Eagles should be in it to win it.
In Class B, AuSable Valley and Plattsburgh High have their rubber match after winning on their home courts in the regular season. That may be deceiving however, as the Patriots looked to be the better team in both games (controversial statement alert: I only saw one game all season where I would say officiating had a direct impact on the game...). These teams are carbon copies of each other: fast, strong defensively, led by quality point guards, I could go on. Needless to say, this 3:30 p.m. scheduled start should be a good one.
We will let you know here how the wrestling finals are going. Also this weekend are state championship meets in bowling, swimming and indoor track and field. Good luck to all of our local athletes this weekend.