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MHS Hoops’ Journey to the Tourney Nears Finish

 

The MHS Girls and Boys basketball teams will find out Wednesday morning where they will begin Sectional play.

The MHS Girls and Boys basketball teams will find out Wednesday morning where they will begin Sectional play. (Image Courtesy: Kyle MacKenzie)

February is a month of heightened tensions on the high school basketball floor. The crowds are bigger and louder. Each game may be the last for the senior scholar athletes. Young players are eager to make their first mark on the big stage. Those that handle these tensions best are often the teams that play into March.

Both boys and girls basketball teams will enter this crucible later after they conclude their regular seasons on Tuesday night. The Lady Raiders host undefeated Holy Names while the boys travel up Route 4 to face rival Stillwater.

The MHS girls, led by leading scorer Courtney Pingelski, come into the season finale as winners of two of three. An overtime win at Ravena last Friday brought Coach Bob Murphy, Sr.’s team to a 9-8 overall record, 8-7 in the Colonial Council. Junior forward Alydia Zecca had a double-double in Ravena (12 points, 12 rebounds), including 6 of MHS’ last 13 points. The Lady Raiders lost at Holy Names earlier this season, but led by 3 at the half.

Coach Rian Richardson’s Red Raider boys team features a more experienced team than the girls, led by their troika of senior guards Mike Cannizzo, Nico Dumas, and senior transfer Logan Polsinello. The Raiders stand at 13-4, 9-4 in the Colonial, and beat Stillwater 55-35 in the season opener. They’ve won five of their last six games since dropping a home game against Fonda-Fultonville in early January.

boysseeds

At this point, the MHS boys team is ranked 7th in Class B based purely on winning percentage. It is likely that an unblemished non-conference record, with wins over Hudson, Heatly, Cambridge, and Stillwater, will bump Mechanicville up to the #5 or #6 seed and grant them a home game. Another non-conference win on the road in Stillwater would certainly add to their case.

“I think we will be a #5, but you never know,” Coach Richardson said.

The outlook is not as clear for the Mechanicville girls is somewhat less certain. With nine Class B schools bunched between six and nine losses, the Selection Committee will be left with a lot of tough decisions.

girlsseeds

“I hope we can get a home game and go into Sectionals winning three of our last four games,” Coach Murphy said.

The Lady Raiders are ranked 12th based purely on winning percentage. A loss to undefeated Holy Names will marginally affect seeding, but a win against the #5 Class A team in NYS would almost certainly vault Mechanicville up a few slots.

While we look forward to the Section II Tournament, both teams are focusing on the business at hand: concluding their regular seasons with a ‘W’. The Section II Basketball Committees will meet Wednesday morning (Feb. 12th) to decide where the chips will fall.

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