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Whitehall vs. Germantown boys basketball

Whitehall coach Keith Redmond addresses his team between the first and second quarters of Tuesday's game against Germantown in the Section II Boys Basketball Tournament at Cool Insuring Arena. Whitehall (19-4) plays top-seeded St. Johnsville at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at Cool Insuring Arena for the Class D title.

Whitehall coach Keith Redmond is enjoying the excitement that comes with coaching in a Boys Basketball Section II tournament championship. 

He is also feeling the pressure. 

"There are so many emotions going through the kids' head, my head and even the parents' heads," Redmond said. "This is taking a toll on me and it should, because this is the excitement of it all.

"It is adding a few more white hairs to what I already have." 

Whitehall (19-4) plays top-seeded St. Johnsville at noon Saturday at Cool Insuring Arena for the Class D title. It is the Railroaders' first title-game appearance since 1976. They last won Section II in 1971.

After defeating No. 2 seed Germantown 67-51 in a semifinal that was not as close as the final score indicates, the Railroaders are preparing for St. Johnsville.

Redmond and his staff had the opportunity to scout the Wolfpack when St. Johnsville defeated Argyle 41-31 in the semifinals. 

St. Johnsville (20-2) held the Scots to eight second-half points and leading scorer Peyton Lufkin to nine points on 2 of 15 shooting. 

"We know they play a lot of zone and extend their top two guys out wide," Redmond said. "We are hoping to attack that thing. We have three good ballhandlers who can penetrate zone really well.

"They have two really good shooters in (Devyn) Jones and (Tyler) Leon," Redmond added. "Both are shooters from the outside so we have to make sure that we have wings matched up on those shooters at all times." 

Jones scored a team-high 23 points against Argyle, knocking down two 3-pointers. He also pulled down seven rebounds. Leon added 12 points and grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds in the semifinal game. 

Whitehall hopes to shoot much better than the Scots' 23 percent from the field.

The Railroaders are a longer and bigger team than the Scots and should be able to get off their 3-pointers, even when contested as they have been throughout the playoffs. 

Evan St. Claire leads Whitehall in scoring and is averaging 31 points per game over the Railroaders' last two contests. 

St. Claire is the Railroaders' primary ballhandler and has two talented wing options in Daniel St. Clair and Dawson Procella, who both scored in double figures in the semifinals. Procella scored 22 points on an efficient 9-for-12 shooting against Germantown. 

Though it's been decades since Whitehall played for a section title, the Railroaders are playing like they belong. 

For a team of six seniors, including St. Claire, Procella and St. Clair, this feels like their year. 

"These kids are so prepared and so talented that they have the winning attitude," Redmond said. "That is something that has to be established through years. Now they have that feeling that when they go on the floor, they are going to win every game they play."

Follow Ellis L. Williams on Twitter @BookofEllis



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