The Our Lady of Lourdes High School boys basketball team earned the right to a long week of preparation, which may be complicated by winter weather.
The Warriors will take on Section 11 champion Southampton in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A semifinals Saturday at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, after defeating Poughkeepsie in the regional finals this past Saturday.
Lourdes kept its celebration light after that victory, and coach Jim Santoro wasn’t planning to do anything differently in practice than he has all season, despite the magnitude of the coming weekend.
Snow, however, may change things for him, with Dutchess forecast to see as much as 24 inches of the white stuff. On Monday, Santoro was already resigned to losing Tuesday’s practice, but hoped Wednesday could go on as scheduled.
“We’ve got some stuff to do,” Santoro said. “We’re trying to get a scrimmage lined up. If we miss one day (of practice because of the weather) it’s not terrible, but you don’t want to miss two days.”
The Warriors practiced on Monday and are planning to hold a team practice after school on Friday, before heading to Binghamton.
For the past six weeks, the coach has had his team train for two hours, then go into an hour of film study. Then, each player takes 1,000 shots before the session wraps up.
Santoro doesn’t plan on changing preparation methods before the big game.
“We’ll run our sets,” he said. “Do our defensive stuff first, do some shooting, introduce some things based on film and we’ll prepare.”
In beating Poughkeepsie, senior center James Anozie scored 18 points, with backup from Kevin Townes (13 points), Joe Heavey (12 points), Brady Hildebrand (nine points) and Aidan Hildebrand (eight points).
The Warriors (19-6) had beaten Tappan Zee, 42-39, in the Section 1 final on March 5. Southampton defeated Elmont Memorial, 60-53, in its Class A regional final. Competing in Class B a year ago, Southampton lost to Marlboro in a regional final.
Santoro took his team out to dinner after the win over Tappan Zee, but kept celebratory matters to a minimum after beating the Pioneers.
“We weren’t in the mood to celebrate,” the coach said. “We have a long road ahead of us.”
Santoro traveled a long road after the win over Poughkeepsie.
After returning to the school on Boardman Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie Saturday evening, the Lourdes coach drove to Massachusetts to watch Keene State play Babson in the NCAA Division III quarterfinals. His son, 2014 Lourdes graduate Kyle Santoro, plays for Keene. In team’s 102-79 loss to Babson, he played three minutes and recorded an offensive rebound.
Santoro then returned to Poughkeepsie, before driving to Stony Brook University on Long Island to scout Southampton’s game against Elmont Memorial.
“It was crazy, Santoro said of the hectic weekend. “But it was par for the course. It’s was just basketball. It was great.”
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports
Class C state semifinals
Where: Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton
Who: Section 5’s Irondequoit vs. Section 3’s Jamesville-DeWitt at 9 a.m., Section 1’s Our Lady of Lourdes vs. Section 11’s Southampton at 10:45 a.m.
Finals: Sunday at noon
Live updates: Follow Journal reporter Stephen Haynes on Twitter, @StephenHaynes4, for the latest news