For the entirety of the Section 1 tournament, I will give my predictions for each game. There are four berths in the semifinals at the County Center on the line today as Class A plays its quarterfinals.
We will cover all three of the Class A quarterfinals based in our coverage area tonight. I’ll probably see some of all three, but I’ll have full updates on Harrison at Tappan Zee at 8 @lohudinsider. Mike Dougherty will get us started with updates from Pelham at Byram Hills at 5. Find him @hoopsmbd. We’ll also have Vin Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) out at Rye at Nanuet at 6.
Friday, Feb. 19
Section 1 tournament
Class A quarterfinals
No. 10 Pelham at No. 2 Byram Hills, 5 p.m. — Byram Hills 55, Pelham 53. Pelham beat Byram 44-41 at home on Jan. 12. Byram returned the favor on its floor, winning 67-63 in OT on Feb. 1. It almost seems unfathomable that this will be anything but a one or two-possession game inside two minutes in the fourth quarter. If the game is called tight, I think it favors Pelham, which is deeper and not so reliant on one or two players. Byram can’t afford to lose Matt Groll, Skylar Sinon or even Matt Milone for any length of time, but if they are on the floor, I like the Bobcats to make or or two key stops late and win a close one.
No. 6 Beacon at No. 3 Lourdes, 6 p.m. — Lourdes 70, Beacon 63. I have been warned by many that Beacon can win it all. I agree. In fact, I will probably pick the winner of this game to win the championship. Still, I’m not going to be a prisoner of the moment. Lourdes might’ve squeaked by Brewster, but the Warriors have been the better of these two teams the last six weeks. They will be at home and have the best player on the floor in James Anozie. This is also a huge game in Dutchess County, and I like Lourdes’ experience playing big games.
No. 5 Rye at No. 4 Nanuet, 6 p.m. — Nanuet 61, Rye 54. There are two more teams I believe can win the tournament, but I really like where Nanuet is right now. I think the Golden Knights have really learned who they are as a team. They have a great backcourt and plenty of toughness. They can run or slow it down, and when they do they really execute in the halfcourt thanks to some of the best screens you’ll see on a high school basketball court. I think that physicality gives Nanuet an edge against a Rye team that can really shoot and plays with great pace. Unless Rye is scorching hot, I like Nanuet to move on.
No. 9 Harrison at No. 1 Tappan Zee, 8 p.m. — Tappan Zee 57, Harrison 56. As I wrote last night in my chat, I think this is the game I’m most apprehensive about — although I could definitely get any of the other picks wrong. I just think Tappan Zee has escaped plenty of pickles this season, especially over the last month or so. Pelham, Nyack twice, Albertus, Pearl River — this list goes on. Harrison is very sound and will be right there with a chance to win. The Huskies cannot match TZ physically, but they are deeper and they will not get discouraged if/when things don’t go their way. I think TZ will have just enough to win at home, but Harrison won’t back down and will be in position to win.
Here are the most recent trips to the County Center for each team:
2015: Tappan Zee, Byram Hills