The final day of Championship Week is here. The only question now is if it goes off as scheduled.
Unfortunately, it looks like there will be some kind of winter weather today. The extent of it will determine what is played today and what isn’t. Section 1 won’t make any decisions until today, but at least some of the games are in jeopardy.
If I hear changes to the schedule, I will let you know.
In the meantime, after two more correct picks last night, I’m now 12-1 this week and 41-8 in the playoffs. Of course, it’s easy when you pick the favorites and they win, and today could be another one of those days. Both Mount Vernon and Spring Valley have been expected to win their respective titles since they met here on this day a year ago. A lot has happened since, but has anything changed? I guess today we’ll find out.
Class AA championship
No. 2 Mount Vernon vs. No. 5 Clarkstown South, 12 p.m.
The key: Rebounding. It’s going to be hard enough for South to contend with Mount Vernon’s depth, but the Vikings will have to protect their backboard to some degree. Mount Vernon will outrebound them, but if the Knights start pulling down double-digit offensive rebounds and turn them into points, the gold ball ceremony will be formality.
The pick: Mount Vernon 71, Clarkstown South 54. This game was going to be tough enough for South anyway, but you have to think the team will be physically and mentally exhausted after Friday night’s superb semifinal. I just don’t see how the Vikings can keep up with the size and depth of Mount Vernon. The teams played way back on Dec. 5 and the Knights won 89-60 despite 25 points from Conor McGuinness. Things change, but that much?
Class A championship
No. 1 Spring Valley vs. No. 3 Byram Hills, 7 p.m.
The key: Byram’s shooting. The Bobcats can’t play at Spring Valley’s pace. And they’re going to turn the ball over at times. What can keep them in the game is staying out of foul trouble and making outside shots. They’ll have to answer Spring Valley’s inevitable runs with deflating 3s. I don’t know if Byram can keep up on the scoreboard otherwise.
The pick: Spring Valley 64, Byram Hills 58. This matchup reminds me of Byram’s championship game matchups with Poughkeepsie two years ago. The team will compete and be there in the end. I’m just not sure the Bobcats have enough talent to win. Spring Valley has played its best basketball yet in recent weeks. If Kai Mitchell gets going, the Tigers may even run away with it.