No. 6 Sleepy Hollow (16-4) vs. No. 2 Tappan Zee (18-2), 6:30 p.m.:
What we know: Both teams are coming off close victories. Tappan Zee was able to squeak out a 56-52 home win over Byram Hills; Sleepy Hollow a 54-43 road win over Ardsley in a game that was much closer than the final score. These teams are actually similar in many ways: both will be playing their first County Center sectional games and both run their offenses through their point guard (Tappan Zee with Regina Argenzio, Sleepy Hollow with Jamie Bucci).
Stats: Tappan Zee Points per Game: 61.5. Point Allowed Per Game: 42.8; Sleepy Hollow Points Per Game: 57,2. Points Allowed Per Game: 39.6
Star Watch: Tappan Zee is led by senior point guard Regina Argenzio, who is one of the best point guards in the area. She’s a great ball handler, can penetrate as well as anyone, has an incredible ability at getting shots off in the paint at weird angles, and can hit the 3. She’s also a great passer.
Sleepy Hollow’s offense goes through Jamie Bucci. Bucci is a lefty who can shoot from anywhere inside of the half court line, and get to the basket. Sleepy Hollow runs a ton of high pick and rolls for Bucci (as opposed to Tappan Zee who runs more of a motion offense and has Argeznio operate in some 1-on-1 situations), and Argenzio, as well as her help defenders, will need to find a way to shut these down if they want to advance.
Potential Difference Makers:
- Tappan Zee’s size. Tappan Zee has one of the bigger, and better frontcourts in the area. Devona Paul and Val DiMuro can both score, rebound and defend the paint. Against a small Sleepy Hollow team (one that was out-rebounded by Ardlsey 38-24) this could be the difference in the game.
- Sleepy Hollow’s defense. It’s not that Tappan Zee isn’t a good defensive team. It’s that in it’s win over Ardsley, Sleepy Hollow showed that it has the ability to shut down a team’s star-guard (holding Toni Pilla to 4-15 shooting). This is a role that Jessica Tucci, who guarded Pilla for most of the game, will probably draw again, and if she can shut down Argenzio, that could mean a Sleepy Hollow win. Two other points on Sleepy Hollow’s defense: 1) Tappan Zee can get sloppy with the ball, which is something that Sleepy Hollow may be able to exploit. 2) Daniella Carissimo is a great shot-blocker, and may be the kind of player who could give Argenzio and the rest of Tappan Zee’s guard’s trouble in the paint.
Prediction: Tappan Zee over Sleepy Hollow.
No. 4 Albertus Magnus (16-4) vs. No. 1 Pearl River (18-2), 8:15 p.m.:
What we know: Pearl River swept the season series (a 60-52 win at Albertus Magnus, a 61-43 home win). Both teams have also had easy paths to the County Center, although the fact that Pearl River made its game against a good John Jay team seem easy is a testament to it.
Stats: Pearl River Points per Game: 61.7. Point Allowed Per Game: 42.9; Albertus Magnus Points Per Game: 58.2. Points Allowed Per Game: 47.7.
Star Watch: Pearl River is led by Christa Scognamiglio, who is the school’s all-time leading scorer and averaging 17.8 points per game. Scognamiglio is a great passer, shooter, and one of the best scorers in the area. However, she does fall in love with her jump shot at times instead of taking the ball to the basket.
Albertus Magnus is led by Maeve Parahus who is averaging 18.6 points per game, and Kelly Guarino, who is averaging 14.3 points per game. Parahus is a great shooter, and is very good in the paint, but she too can be taken out of her game; she’s not always the greatest at creating her own shot, which was evident when Pearl River held her to 2-14 shooting in the two team’s previous matchup. Guarino, the Falcons’ point guard, is averaging 14.3 points per game, and her ability to control the ball against Pear River’s press will be key.
Potential Difference Makers:
- Pear River’s press. I know it probably seems like we keep repeating the same points, but the fact of the matter is that very often, a team’s inabilty to break the Pirates press prevents them from having a chance at beating Pearl River. This was certainly the case the last time these two teams met.
- The supporting casts and depth. Christa Scognamiglio gets all the attention, but her teammates can play, too. senior guard/forward Allison Cook is averaging 10.6 points per game, and making 2.2 3-pointers a game. Cook has been on of Pearl River’s best clutch shooters all season. And Pirates forward’sChrisy Carty and Kerry Sullivan can be counted on for about eight points and eight rebounds every game. Albertus Magnus isn’t as deep as Pearl River, which could cause the Falcons problems.
- Experience: Pearl River is full of seniors in its rotation (Christa Scognamiglio, Allison Cook, Kerry Sullivan and Christy Carty) while Albertus Magnus is a young team. (Parahus is a junior, Guarino is a sophmore.) Who knows whether this will end up mattering, but it certainly could.
Prediction: Pearl River over Albertus Magnus.