Here’s a look at the three teams representing Class B in this year’s state Federation tournament:
Irvington Bulldogs (23-2, NYSPHSAA)
Key players: Brittni Lai, Sr., G; Lexi Martins, Sr., F; Ryan McMahon, Sr., G; Alyssa DiCampli, Sr.,F.
How they got here: The three-time reigning state champions were untested by everyone but Ossining entering the state tournament, winning games handily all season. Finally, Oneonta gave them a battle. The top-ranked team in the state, Irvington edged Oneonta 55-53 in the state semifinal, before running over Waterloo 78-40 in the state championship.
Team notes: After winning the public school state title, the Bulldogs received a bye in the Federation semifinals and will go straight to the championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Times Union Center in Albany … Forward-center Lexi Martins has been on an absolute warpath this postseason, recording 20-20 games with relative ease … Irvington guard Ryan McMahon (pictured right) is ending her Bulldog career with a bang, putting up career-high scoring performances against Coleman Catholic (25 points) in the state regional semifinal, then again against Waterloo (26 points) in the state final … The Bulldogs are extremely up-tempo and well-conditioned, making them a nightmare for teams like Cardinal O’Hara, who like to run a press defense … Irvington also had one of the best defenses in the state this year, allowing under 40 points per game to opponents.
Cardinal O’Hara (27-1, CHSAA)
Key players: Keyonte Edwards (5-8), Jr., G-F; Kelsey McCarthy (6-1), Jr., F-C; Leah McDonnell (5-5), Sr., G.
How they got here: The Hawks defeated Good Counsel 63-41 in the CHSAA state championship.
Team notes: Like Irvington, the Buffalo-based squad hasn’t been tested all that much this season, winning by an average of more than 25 points per game … The Hawks are a defense-first team, allowing just 39.7 points per game to opponents … The team has three players each averaging over three steals per game, and 7.7 rebounds per game … Very poor free-throw shooting team at just 63 percent … With the exception of six-footers McCarthy (12 PPG, 9.3 RPG) and Sara DiPasquale (6-0, 9 RPG), the Hawks do not have a whole lot of height to them, as most of the roster is 5-foot-6 or shorter … The height disadvantage could be too much to overcome against Irvington, should the Hawks defeat Scholars Academy in the Federation semifinals.
The Scholars Academy (19-0, PSAL)
Key players: Taylor Gallagher, Sr., 16.5 PPG; Jessica Glaz, Jr., 15 PPG; Emma Michaels, So., 12 PPG.
How they got here: The Seawolves defeated Jamaica 58-35 in the PSAL state championship.
Team notes: In just four years of existence, the Seawolves have already established a dynasty in the PSAL circuit, winning three consecutive state championships … I don’t know what the quality of play is like in the area, but either its awful or the Scholars defense is just impenetrable. Never mind allowing under 40 points per game, the Seawolves have allowed 40 in a game just once, and have held teams to 25 points or less in 10 of their victories … The roster features just four seniors, so depending on what kind of a look we get at them, it will tell us whether or not we have to worry about them for years to come.
Scouting reports for the Class AA Federation tournament will be posted at a later time…