Cambridge’s Tony Bochette and Madrid-Waddington’s Bryan Harmer have been impressed with what they have seen from each other’s teams.
It’s tough to tell on video just how good a basketball team is, but both coaches have seen a lot of similarities heading into their Class C state girls basketball regional final.
The teams meet Saturday at 1 p.m. at SUNY Canton, with a berth in the State Girls Basketball Tournament final four at stake.
“From everything I’ve seen and heard, we’re really looking at our mirror image here,” Bochette said. “They run an uptempo style, they rely on pressure defense to create turnovers, and they have a balanced offense. They’re not as big as us, but they have some length.”
“It looks like two teams who play the same style,” Harmer said. “They’re very athletic, they get up and down the floor very quickly, they transition from offense to defense pretty well. They have a little bit more size than we do. Anyone watching the game is going to get their money’s worth.”
Cambridge, 24-1 and ranked second in the most recent state poll, is coming off a 75-50 regional semifinal win over Seton Catholic. The Indians’ freshman trio of Fiona Mooney and twins Sophie and Lilly Phillips combined for 47 points in the victory.
“Seton’s a decent team, I think they got caught off guard with our press,” Bochette said. “I think they had an off night and we played one of our better games of the season.”
“I’m impressed at the speed they play with,” Harmer said. “We don’t see that kind of pressure defense and pace in our league — we’re looking forward to playing against it. We have to keep them off the offensive boards, limit their possessions and make our shots.”
Madrid-Waddington (19-4), actually a Class D team that is playing up a class, has not played a game in 10 days. The Yellowjackets won the Section X title on Feb. 23, 46-23 over St. Lawrence Central, then lost to Canton 52-43 in the overall Section X semifinals on Feb. 28. This is M-W’s third straight trip to regionals — it lost to Northern Adirondack the last two years.
The Yellowjackets are a very balanced team led by senior guard Danielle Hough, a four-year varsity player, and point guard Kellsie Tiernan and forward Morgan Burns, both juniors.
“We have a four-hour bus ride, but we’re coming off one of our better games,” Bochette said. “They haven’t played in a while, but they’re used to this stage. I think it will even out.
“We have to keep doing what we’re good at, keep executing our duties, and hopefully that will be enough to take us,” he added.
The winner of the game advances to the state semifinals, set for Friday at Hudson Valley Community College.