For many fans around the area, Wednesday will feature one of the most-anticipated in-section match ups all season when the undefeated Red Raiders of Hamilton (11-0) host the powerhouse Pride of Ossining (8-3) in a late-night showdown and our obvious “Game of the Night.”
Both teams are currently ranked at the top of their respective classes by the NYSWAA, and both are undefeated against in-section opponents (all three of Ossining’s losses came at the Nike Tournament of Champions in December, all to top 25 ranked teams in the nation).
Many believe that if any team can hand the Pride their first Section 1 loss in two years, it will be Hamilton. Backed by the dynamic duo of Maia Hood and Tiffany Corselli, the Red Raiders are poised to make a deep run for the gold ball, and beyond. Ossining, armed with UConn-recruit Saniya Chong, has played its starters for only three quarters most of the season, so if they get a chance to play all 32 minutes, things could get interesting.
* CHONG TRACKER * Another story line for tomorrow’s game will be Chong potentially moving up the all-time section scoring list. The senior enters the game 27 points shy of Peekskill alum Sheila Wagner for second place on the all-time female scoring list for Section 1. Chong, who is averaging over 30 points per game in mostly three quarters, should all but definitely pass Wagner on Wednesday.
Whether Pride coach Dan Ricci decides to play her for a few minutes in the fourth quarter, or whether she surpasses Wagner by halftime, it’s something to watch.
No surprises here, both Phil and I are going with the Pride to win this one, so should Ossining be victorious, our scores will break the tie. Our trusted colleague Brian Heyman will be covering the game live, so make sure you follow him on Twitter (@BHeyman99) to track the action as it happens.
PHIL SEZ: Too often, whenever an excellent matchup like this one comes around, people lose sight of the big picture. While I expect Ossining to win comfortably, that’s the farthest thing from a knock on the Red Raiders. From my perspective, this game isn’t going to severely impact what either team goes on to do for the rest of the season (the only exception would be a Hamilton upset).
Ossining’s clear goal is make a serious dent in the AA landscape and the same can be said for Hamilton in Class C. I expect both teams to make noise at the Section and State level come playoff time in their respective classes.
For tonight, my pick is Ossining over Hamilton, 88-70. The Pride’s pedigree and depth will be more than the talented Red Raiders starting 5 seniors can handle since they have been playing with a shorthanded roster.
MIKE SEZ: Playing in the Nike TOC exposed the Pride to a completely different level of competition. That, along with the fact that they rarely play their starters all game, should give Ossining the edge in this one. I say Ossining takes it home in a shootout, 96-75.
Of course, the Ossining-Hamilton match is just one of several marquee match ups slated for Wednesday. On any other day, the “Battle of the Bridges” game between Pearl River at Irvington would be our “Game of the Night,” but unfortunately they fall on the same day as Ossining-Hamilton. My partner in crime Phil Terrigno will be covering that one live, so make sure you also follow him (@PhilTerrigno) for the latest updates!
I also think the Horace Greeley at Blind Brook game is going to be a great match. Greeley can shoot with the best of them, but with the Trojans coming off a bad loss to Hamilton on Monday, they may have their eyes on redemption.
Here’s a complete look at Wednesday’s scheduled games:
Wednesday, January 16
St. Joseph at Maria Regina, 1 p.m.
Masters at Sacred Heart, 4 p.m.
North Salem at Kennedy, 4:15 p.m.
Nyack at Tappan Zee, 4:15 p.m.
Pleasantville at Byram Hills, 4:30 p.m.
Holy Child at King, 4:30 p.m.
Pearl River at Irvington, 4:30 p.m.
Horace Greeley at Blind Brook, 4:30 p.m.
Croton-Harmon at Fox Lane, 4:30 p.m.
Lakeland at Peekskill, 4:30 p.m.
Clarkstown North at North Rockland, 5:30 p.m.
East Ramapo at Suffern, 5:30 p.m.
Rye at Rye Country Day, 5:30 p.m.
Nanuet at Albertus Magnus, 5:30 p.m.
Good Counsel at Aquinas, 5:45 p.m.
Brewster at Carmel, 6 p.m.
Mahopac at Somers, 6 p.m.
Keio at Valhalla, 6:15 p.m.
Yorktown at Panas, 6:15 p.m.
Ossining at Hamilton, 6:15 p.m. — GAME OF THE NIGHT
Game of the Night:
Phil Terrigno: 1-0
Mike Zacchio: 0-1
Today’s record: 0-0
Season record: 140-48