What: The New York State Federation of Secondary School Athletic Associations Tournament of Champions includes the winners of the Public High School Athletic Association (of which Section VI is one of 11 member sections), the Catholic High School Athletic Association (of which the Monsignor Martin is a member), the Association of Independent Schools (of which Immaculata is a member) and New York City’s Public Schools Athletic League.
Where: Times Union Center, Albany.
Saturday’s semifinal: CHSAA-Cardinal O’Hara Hawks (27-1) vs. PSAL-Scholars’ Academy Seawolves (28-0), 10 a.m.
Sunday’s final: PHSAA-Irvington Bulldogs (23-2) vs. O’Hara/Scholars’ winner, 1 p.m.
New York State Sportswriters Association Class B poll: 1. Irvington (last week: 1); 2. Oneonta (last week: 2; lost to Irvington in PHSAA final); 3. Cardinal O’Hara (last week: 3); 4. Waterloo (last week: 4; lost to Irvington in PHSAA semifinals); 9. Scholars’ Academy (last week: 9) . 11. Olean (last week: 11; lost to Waterloo in PHSAA regional).
Federation history: This is the second straight trip to the Federation for the two-time state Catholic Class B champion Hawks. Last year’s first trip in school history ended with a 74-57 loss to eventual Federation champion Irvington. This is the fourth straight year that the Monsignor Martin small-school (Class B) representative has won the state Catholic title to earn the trip to the Federation; St. Mary’s advanced the two previous years.
Cardinal O’Hara players: Keyonte Edwards (5-8 jr.), Kayla Brown (5-4 sr.), Jailyn Dickson (5-7 jr.), Gina Draksic (5-5 so.), Mary McDermott (5-4 sr.), Kelsey McCarthy (6-1 jr.), Aisha Shabazz (5-6 jr.), Sara Dipasquale (6-0 sr.), Leah McDonell (5-5 sr.), Lizzy Edwards (5-4 fr.). Coach: Dan McDermott (15th season).
Scholars’ Academy key players: Junior Jessica Glaz (15 ppg; 19 points in PSAL final); sophomore Emma Michaels (12 ppg; 15 in final); senior Taylor Gallagher (16.5 ppg; 11 in final; four-year starter). Coach John Coscia (replaced Janet Kleiner, who has more than 400 wins, during the season).
How Cardinal O’Hara got here: The Hawks beat Good Counsel, 63-41, in the CHSAA final two weeks ago. The Hawks’ only loss was in the Monsignor Martin championship to Sacred Heart (52-33), a team it had beaten during the regular season.
How Scholars’ Academy got here: The fourth-year program won its third straight PSAL Class B title by defeating Jamaica, 58-35, at St. Francis College in Brooklyn on Sunday. The Seawolves are 0-2 in Fed semifinals.
Bracketology: Federation byes are set years in advance, but it is fitting that Irvington has what amounts to a free pass to the championship game. The Bulldogs are the three-time reigning PHSAA champions and have won two of the last three Fed titles (last year and 2010).
McKinley plays today: State public school champion McKinley (22-3) also takes on a PSAL champion in John Adams (24-5) at 1:30 p.m. in the boys Class A Federation semifinals at the Times Union Center. The second semifinal has CHSAA champion Nazareth (23-5) meeting independent representative Albany Academy (15-4)at 3:15 p.m.
Winners advance to Saturday’s 5 p.m. final.
At buffalonews.com: There will be a live blog with play-by-play coverage for all Western New York games in Albany.
– Keith McShea