Sherman probably played its best half of the season during Saturday’s Class D Far West Regional.
The Wildcats and their fans have to be hopeful that some more bests are yet to come, because they’re headed to Glens Falls.
Sherman hit 10 of its 20 three-pointers in an outstanding first half in which it claimed a 20-point lead and rode to a 57-52 victory over private school Batavia Notre Dame before an estimated 1,000 at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.
“I don’t know how much better we can play than in the first half,” said Sherman coach Cory Emory, “or how much better we could shoot.”
Senior Ryan Robson had 22 points, including five three-pointers, for Sherman, while senior Andrew Graham had 14 points and four threes. Devin Moorehead added three threes for nine points as the Wildcats went 13 for 32 (40.6 percent) from three-point range.
“I think the best we’ve played throughout our whole career,” said Robson. “Once we get our groove on, no one is stopping us shooting those threes. We did it, and we got our groove on, and it happened.”
With the win, Sherman (21-1) advanced to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association final four at the Glens Falls Civic Center. It is the school’s fourth trip to the state semifinals and their third trip to Glens Falls, all of which have come in the last 15 years under Emory (it went in 2000 and 2002).
The two-time Section VI Class D champion Wildcats – who lost in the regionals last year to Rochester charter school University Prep (which was moved up to Class B this year) — will play in the semifinals at 10 a.m. Friday. Their opponent will be Section IX (Dutchess County area) champion Coleman Catholic, which beat Section XI (Suffolk County, L.I.) champion Shelter Island, 73-46, Saturday.
For the Wildcats and their boisterous blue-and-yellow-clad student section, it will be its second straight game against a private school in the Class D state tournament.
Notre Dame (19-4), based in a Class B-sized city (that’s what classification Batavia High is), had won its four playoff games by 35, 22, 25 and 33 points, but Sherman put up its own big numbers early on.
Sherman took a 16-5 lead after one quarter and pushed it to 40-20 at halftime. Graham had all four of his threes in the first half, while Robson had three.
Senior Tim McCulley finished with 15 points for Notre Dame, but only had two points in the first half.
The Irish got only as close as the five-point final margin when McCulley hit a shot in the final seconds.
“I’m just so proud of the boys — they’ve worked really hard since they were very little,” said Emory. “They deserve to be here, they deserve everything. … I’m sure there are some Sherman fans out there that remember last year who are pretty happy that we pulled this one off.”