Newfield girls basketball coach Gary Emerson has had a chance to see some video of Unatego, his team’s opponent in Tuesday night’s Section 4 Class C semifinals.
“They look a little bit like Lansing,” he said, referring to the team his Trojans defeated Friday night, 47-35, in the quarterfinals. “I hope we can have similar success.”
The Newfield girls are two wins from their second Section 4 championship, and hope to take the next step when they travel two hours east to Otego to face the Spartans (16-3). Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.
Unatego advanced to the semifinals with a 34-24 victory against Tioga in their quarterfinal matchup last Friday. Robin Foster led the winners with 11 points, while Sara Mania had nine.
The winner will face either Harpursville (16-3) or top-seeded Elmira Notre Dame (14-3) in the Class C title game at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
Sixth-seeded Harpursville advanced with a 53-51 upset of No. 3 Unadilla Valley, while Notre Dame nearly shut out 10th seed Bainbridge-Guilford, holding the Bobcats without a field goal in a 42-6 rout.
The Trojans shut down smaller Lansing last Friday in their quarterfinal clash, taking a 15-10 halftime lead and stretching its advantage to 12 after the third quarter.
“It was a great win for us,” Emerson said. “I thought we could match up well with them, and we did. We played a really good game; I would have liked for us to be a little sharper offensively and maybe make a few more foul shots in the first half, but we played really good defense. Holding that team to 10 points in the first half was fantastic.”
Emerson, who coached the Micki Volpini-led Trojans to the sectional finals in 2006, said his team’s athleticism on the defensive end has been a key.
“We have some girls who are pretty quick and cover a lot of ground in a hurry,” he said. “Between Lindsey Wood on the back line and Erica Carney up front, we’ve got a couple of defenders who give people fits.”
Carney, a senior, leads the Trojans at around 12 points per game, followed by senior Rebecca Wood — Lindsey’s twin sister — at around 9 ppg. and classmate Megan Pakkala at 8 ppg.
Newfield won its only Section 4 championship in 1980 under coach Sue France.
Emerson said he is hoping a few playoff victories under their belts will allow his players to not get overwhelmed by the enormity of the game.
“The kids are pretty upbeat, relaxed and focused,” he said. “They went out pretty relaxed against Lansing, much more so than we were against Tioga in the (Interscholastic Athletic Conference) divisional playoff game.”
That was the last game the Trojans lost — a 60-35 decision on Feb. 11, that sent the Tigers into the IAC Small School Championship game, where they defeated Groton, 50-20.
* In Class D, Southern Cayuga (11-8) takes on top-seeded Franklin (16-0) Tuesday night in the semifinals.
That winner will meet either seventh-seeded Morris (14-4) — which knocked off unbeaten South Kortright in the quarterfinals — or Davenport in Saturday’s 4 p.m. championship game at SUNY Oneonta.