In the Class A boys bracket, the team traveling the shortest distance to Cool Insuring Arena is Albany Academy. Having traveled to South Carolina, Massachusetts and New York City to compete this year, the Cadets are happy to be playing closer to home than usual.
The rest of the field, which includes Brooklyn Law and Technology, Park School and Amityville, understands the proximity advantage the Cadets might have, but it doesn’t concern any of the three schools.
The Cadets are the only returning team in the Class A bracket this year and won titles in 2017, 2016 and 2013.
Brooklyn Law and Technology: With four seniors on the Jets’ roster, coach Michael Levy said Brooklyn Law and Tech’s run to the Federation Tournament actually started last season.
Playing in the 2017 city championship, the Jets lost on shot at the buzzer. Since then, Brooklyn Law and Tech has put together a 22-3 record and has an eye on its first Federation championship in school history.
“From that moment, the feeling that our returning seniors felt has been the driving force that got us here,” Levy said. “Starting with Larry Moreno, who has been our team leader all season, we hit the ground running with a lot of offseason workouts and played in a lot of tournaments.”
Moreno is a 6-foot-1 combo guard who has scored more than 2,000 career points.
Park School: Pioneers coach Rich Jacob has more than 30 years of basketball coaching experience in the Buffalo area, but he is in his first year as head coach at Park School.
In his short time as the program’s leader, he already has the Pioneers vying for a shot at the Class A boys Federation championship.
“The leadership has come from Noah Hutchins this year,” Jacob said. “He is our point guard. We have a three-guard combination that has been together for a couple years, and their maturity and willingness to work together has been the difference.”
Daniel Scott and Brandon Smith join Hutchins in Park’s backcourt. Both Scott and Smith average more than 10 points per game.
Jacob inherited a team that includes Scott, Smith, Hutchins and Brandon Smith, the Pioneers’ lone starting senior. All of them are excited to get to Glens Falls.
“This is the best of the best and it is going to be an amazing experience,” Jacob said. “Glens Falls is the place to be at the end of the season for high school basketball.”
Amityville: Warriors coach Gordon Thomas cannot wait to arrive in Glens Falls again. This time, however, he’ll be taking in the Federation Tournament in a different light.
“I’ve always come up to the state and Federation Tournaments in Glens Falls, but I was always a spectator,” Thomas said. “So it feels great being able to coach a team in it.”
In just his second year coaching, the Warriors have a shot at earning its first Federation championship since 2003.
Led by Joshua Serrano (28 points per game) and Jayson Robinson (18 ppg), Amityville is 25-1 and two games away from a title that Thomas said alumni from the last Fed championship team in 2003 are hoping it captures.
“We have a lot of the basketball alumni and people in the community rooting for us,” Thomas said. “It is a nice feeling when you get a call and they tell us to go out and make our own history.”
Albany Academy: If there is one thing the Cadets do not lack, it is talent.
With guard August Mahoney and center Marcus Filien back from last year’s team, Albany Academy is poised to three-peat as Class A boys Federation champions.
Mahoney is averaging 20 points per game, but the Cadets’ most explosive player is sophomore wing Andre Jackson. At 6-5, the lengthy two-way forward is capable of getting off his own shot at will and causes issues for teams defensively.