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Sun., Oct. 26
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OFA, Voorheesville collide on rolls

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Section 10 Champion OFA and Section 2 Champion Voorheesville will both be riding a tidal wave of momentum when they meet tonight at Saratoga High School at 6 p.m. in the Class B regional semi-finals of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Boys Basketball Tournament.

Section 2 officials notified OFA Athletic Director Tony Bjork on Monday that the 1500-seat Saratoga High gym would open at 5 p.m., that tickets are $8 per person and that ticket sales would end when the gym is full.

“I would advise that anyone traveling to the game to get there as early as possible. The booster club has arranged for a spectator bus and we anticipate a large crowd” said Bjork.

Tonight’s winner will play Section 7 Champion Plattsburgh at 1:45 p.m. at SUNY Plattsburgh.

TWO STREAKING TEAMS

After suffering a two-point loss at 2013 Federation Champion Albany Academy, OFA has averaged 83 points, 21 assists, 39 rebounds, five steals and five blocks in winning 21 straight games. The Devils raced away from all their competition in the Northern Conference Central Division season and the Section 10 Tournament which culminated in an 86-49 victory over Class A Champion Massena in the Overall Championship Game on Saturday.

The Devils enter the contest ranked second in the latest NYS Sportswriters Association Class B Poll behind 22-0 Section 3 Champion Westhill.

The Blackbirds of Voorheesville also stand at 21-1, have won their last 20 games and are ranked fourth state-wide. The Blackbirds’ last loss came against Watervliet in a 77-63 loss on Dec. 13.

Like OFA in Section 10, the top-seeded Blackbirds claimed the Section 2 title in impressive fashion by dumping second-seeded Broadalbin-Perth 61-37 at the Glens Falls Civic for their first sectional title since 2005.

“We came out strong. We’ve been strong ever since the Watervliet game” said the 5’ 10” senior guard Noah Crawford to the “Post Star” of Glens Falls after the game.

Crawford, who averages 18 points a game, was very strong, very versatile and very creative at getting to the basket as the Class B MVP of the Section 2 Tournament. In the title game he delivered 10 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block.

Dylan Hensell, who has hit 50 three-pointers on the season tallied 20 points to lead the winners. The Black Birds also feature a 13-pointer scorer in physical 6’ 2” forward Logan Hotaling.

“Voorheesville starts five seniors. The are very disciplined and well coached. What we have seen on defense is that play a an extended 2-1-2 zone that falls back to a 2-3 with 6’6” Joe Vogel in the middle. But they do mix in some man to man,” said OFA Coach Mark Henry

“Their Class B MVP Noah Crawford is a slasher that gets to the rim. He has made only two three-pointers all year so we need to keep him in front of us. We have to take care of the ball and we have to rebound. We have been shooting the ball very well and we need to keeping doing it because they are a zone team.”

4 ALL-STARS LEAD OFA

The Devils move into the state tournament looking to continue their season-long excellence based on fundamentals on both sides of the ball, unselfish offensive play and arguably the ability to shoot the basketball better than any team ever assembled in Section 10.

Against Massena in the Overall Section 10 Championship Game, the Devils struck for 17 threes with seven different players connecting from behind the arc.

Coach Henry’s squad features three First Team All-NAC Central Division selections in 6’ 4” five-position junior player Kinnon LaRose (53 3s, 23.3 pts, 8.5 reb, 4.8 assists, 4.2 steals, 1.7 blocks PG) who was the first junior to ever win the Joe Jukoski Award and seniors in point guard Matt Piercey (50 3s, 14.4 pts, 6 assists, 2 steals PG) who shoots 50-90 from 3-pt range and high energy swingman Colin Ross (35 3s, 13.7 pts, 2.6 assists PG).

At 6’ 5” junior center Jack Manke (6.5 pts, 6.4 reb PG), a Second Team All-Star, has developed a medium range jumper to complement his skilled and active inside presence and junior defensive stalwart Seth Pinkerton who has produced his best offensive games in the stretch run of the season. Senior guard Conor Hannan (4.9 PPG with 25 3s) and juniors in 6’ 5” center Al Fisher (4 RPG), 6’ 1” wingman DaKota Brady (3.8 PPG) and guard Tristan Moore (2.5 PPG) lead the reserves.

“Everyone has worked extremely hard. our team chemistry is great and we are ready for the states,” said Colin Ross.

“And it is not just about the starters, its about everybody on the team.”

NOTE: ESPN 1400 Radio of Ogdensburg will broadcast the game.

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