The forecast calls for anywhere from 1-5 inches of snow today. Sounds like the worst of it will be further north, which — if the goal is to play all five of today’s games — is a major positive. There are no Dutchess County teams involved in today’s games and just one (Putnam Valley) in Putnam. It should also help that most schools are not in session.
Anyway, it was a pretty decent first round (plus two outbracket games) for us. Did we pick almost all favorites? Sure. But 45-5 is 45-5.
Can you do better? Let us hear your picks this week.
First, here are ours…
2013-14 Records —
Josh: 71-13 (23-2 in first round)
Dan: 66-18 (22-3 in first round)
Class B quarterfinals
No. 6 Woodlands at No. 3 Palisade Prep, 6 p.m. –
Josh’s pick: Woodlands, 68-61. This should be fun and certainly the fastest pace of any Class B quarterfinal. Palisade Prep would be well-served to keep the game close until the final minutes, when 1,000-point-scorers Isaiah Ward and Kevin Sabino will give the Phoenix an upper hand. I don’t think it will be easy against a team as deep and balanced as Woodlands, which has five or six different players who can be “the man” on any given night.
Dan’s pick: Woodlands, 66-63. The Phoenix have never lost a game on their home court since it was built last season, a daunting challenge for Woodlands to take on. With that being said, I still put my faith in the Falcons. It seems like Woodlands’ scoring is a bit more balanced, and I think they’ll hold the advantage on the boards.
No. 7 Rye Neck at No. 2 Blind Brook, 6:30 p.m. –
Josh’s pick: Blind Brook, 55-53. Rye Neck really impressed me on Sunday. After watching the first half and thinking the teams were pretty even, the Panthers dominated North Salem in the second half. But this is a step up in competition. Blind Brook beat Rye Neck 64-58 despite Ryan Aquino scoring 15 points. With Aquino out, the Panthers will have an even greater gorge to span.
Dan’s pick: Blind Brook, 62-58. These two faced off about a month ago with the Trojans coming away with the victory at home. Blind Brook holds the advantage in the backcourt, but the Trojans have a major weak point in not having a player anywhere near Matt Franks’ size. Jeff Visoky has come up big in the sectionals for Blind Brook before, and I think he will continue to.
No. 9 Briarcliff at No. 1 Irvington, 6:30 p.m. –
Josh’s pick: Irvington, 52-50 (OT). The Bulldogs escaped with a 49-47 win on a last-second 3-pointer when these teams met at Briarcliff last month. The Bears are a dangerous team because of their youth. They might either sink or swim playing in a tough environment against a senior-laden team. I think it’s the former, but Irvington’s experience will be just enough.
Dan’s pick: Irvington, 57-50. The Bulldogs have so many scoring options it makes it really hard to pick against them. The Bears haven’t played like the young team they are, but going against a senior-laden Irvington squad is no easy task.
No. 5 Croton-Harmon at No. 4 Putnam Valley, 7 p.m. –
Josh’s pick: Putnam Valley, 65-53. Croton has not lost since Jan. 10, but I don’t think the Tigers have played a team like Putnam Valley either. With his size and athleticism at the guard position, Zach Coleman might prove to be a tough matchup for Croton. If he’s on, it could be a long night — or a good one if you’re from Put Valley.
Dan’s pick: Putnam Valley, 60-52. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: This Putnam Valley team is on a mission. I think Putnam Valley really took exception to the way last season ended in the sectional semifinals. The seniors should lead the way as they get back to the County Center.
Class C quarterfinals
No. 5 Tuckahoe at No. 4 Children’s Village, 4:15 p.m. –
Josh’s pick: Tuckahoe, 77-64. Children’s Village struggled a bit down the stretch, but the real mystery is Tuckahoe. With a schedule consisting of almost all Class A and B schools, the Tigers played just one Class C team all season (MLK). Now is time for the payoff.
Dan’s pick: Tuckahoe, 56-50. I give the edge to the Tigers due to their difficult schedule. Expect a big game out of Max Pearce as Tuckahoe returns to the County Center.