Webster Schroeder earned a bye as the No. 1 seed in the Section V Class AA1 boys basketball tournament.
The Warriors lost just one game during the regular season, and later beat Fairport after two overtime periods to earn a split of the regular season series.
“They know that this is the best team that Webster Schroeder has had,” coach Matt Spadoni said. “I think they are proud of what they have accomplished. They should be.”
The bye and Webster Schroeder’s 17-1 record however, are not exactly shortcuts to the Class AA1 Tournament finals on March 3, one of two championship days for boys basketball at the Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester Community War Memorial.
“You’ve got to win three tough games,” Spadoni said. “There are teams out there that are very good and no one is talking about them.”
Hilton (14-3) weathered scoring issues and injuries to beat everyone on its schedule except for Fairport, Greece Athena and Batavia.
Hilton starters Andy Miller (knee ligament) and DJ Logory (broken hand) are back in the lineup for the tough-rebounding Cadets.
“We feel like we’re playing better offense,” Hilton coach Troy Prince said. “We focused so much on pounding the ball inside, the guys stopped looking at shots for themselves.”
McQuaid (14-4) has its largest win total since 2003-04, including five victories in its last six games. The Knights have come up with the right defenses to slow opponents with different styles.
Zack Ayers is a 6-9 forward who can cause matchup problems with his mid-range jumpshot. The Knights also take and make 3-pointers. Jake Fenlon, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, has 16 3-pointers in McQuaid’s last three games.
“He’ll shoot it from 25 feet and it’s like a layup,” Spadoni said.
Then there is Bishop Kearney, the No. 7 seed that promises not to be a walkover. The Kings were No. 1 in the Democrat and Chronicle‘s Section V large schools coaches’ poll and immediately began to take lumps in a challenging schedule.
“Kearney is a wild card, regardless of record,” McQuaid coach Jack Ruppert said. “They have some weaknesses, and they do some things you can’t matchup with.
“I don’t think anyone says, ‘Give us them.’ “
Syracuse University recruit Chinonso Obokoh, a 6-10 senior, will try to play with a sprained foot ligament. Thomas Bryant, a 6-9 sophomore, is taking advantage of more mismatches on the offensive end for Bishop Kearney (9-7).
With all of that, it will be tough for Bishop Kearney to advance past the Class AA1 quarterfinal. If the Kings beat Gates Chili on Tuesday night at Bishop Kearney, they play at Fairport next Friday.
No. 2 seed Fairport (16-2) also has a bye, and it’s well-earned. It’s losses to Webster Schroeder and Buffalo Canisius, the state’s top-ranked Class A team, came on back-to-back days.
“We went out and played people,” Fairport coach Scott Fitch said. “We had a tough 17 hours.”
What makes Webster Schroeder and Fairport the co-favorites to win the AA1 tournament, is that both teams clearly click on offense. Both teams have capable shooters more than willing to work with their post player.
The other top seeds in Section V include:
* Class AA1: Irondequoit (16-2), which has held all but four opponents to less than 50 points.
* Class A: Charlotte (15-3), a team willing to pressure ballhandlers nearly all game.
* Class B1: Batavia (15-3), which seems to have more offensive punch with seniors Justin Washington and Jalen Smith.
* Class B2: Hornell (16-2), Aquinas and York are the only teams to trip up the Red Raiders. No shame there.
* Class C1: Batavia Notre Dame (18-0), up a classification and the last undefeated boys team in Section V.
* Class C2: Caledonia-Mumford (16-2), a No. 1 seed for the first time since 1998-1999.
* Class C3: Naples (16-2), which just about reversed its record and can think about its first sectional title since 1960.
* Class D1: University Prep (14-3) has a pair of eighth-graders in its backcourt. What happens when or if, the Griffins face No. 3 Fillmore (14-4) or No. 2 Jasper-Troupsburg?
* Class D2: Whitesville (14-4). The Blue Jays finished second last season.