Championship Week is scheduled to begin at 3 this afternoon at the County Center. Every morning this week, I’ll give my prediction for each semifinal and final.
I picked 10 of the 12 Class AA, A and B semifinals correct last week, giving me a 29-7 mark so far in the playoffs. I misfired on Fox Lane over Clarkstown South and Croton over Briarcliff.
So let’s go 15-0 this week. I mean, why not?
Class D semifinals
No. 2 MLK vs. No. 3 Children’s Village, 3 p.m.
The key: Turnovers. The guard-oriented Tigers can push the ball and work the scoreboard, and they’ll focus on trying to force Children’s Village into making mistakes.
The pick: MLK 70, Children’s Village 59. The big floor should give MLK plenty of space to make it happen — starting with veteran point guard Chris Sanchez.
No. 1 Clark Academy vs. No. 4 Biondi, 4:45 p.m.
The key: Finishing strong. Biondi has failed to do that often enough this year, but it has a legitimate chance to win here. The gap is not as great as the nine-win difference between them would suggest.
The pick: Clark 66, Biondi 60. Don’t expect Biondi to lay down. This one won’t be decided until the fourth quarter, but Clark, the defending champ, has the balance, depth and experience to win.
Class C semifinals
No. 2 Hamilton vs. No. 3 Tuckahoe, 6:30 p.m.
The key: Experience. The Raiders have five of their top six back, which pales in comparison to Tuckahoe’s young roster. Can the Tigers play beyond their years?
The pick: Hamilton 59, Tuckahoe 44. Hamilton has the better team and is much more experienced. Its senior leaders want their chance at a gold ball and won’t be denied.
No. 1 Haldane vs. No. 4 Solomon Schechter, 8:15 p.m.
The key: Schechter dealing with Haldane’s size. The front line of Edmund Fitzgerald, Peter Hoffman and Garret Quigley will be troubling for the young Lions, who lack size and will have no seniors in the lineup.
The pick: Haldane 54, Solomon Schechter 38. The Lions haven’t played at the County Center in eight years. It was an achievement for them to get back here, but Haldane has championship aspirations.