Section V basketball is down to the final four.
Mercy, Livonia and South Seneca have advanced to the semifinal rounds of the high school girls tournaments, which start Friday at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, Rensselaer County. Aquinas is the only team from the region that has made it that far in the boys tournaments, where the final two rounds take place in Glens Falls, Warren County.
South Seneca, 21-3 and No. 3 in the New York State Sportswriters Association’s Class C state rankings, takes on No. 2 Northern Adirondack of Section VII , 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The winner plays either No. 1 Cooperstown-III or No. 4 Pine Plains-IX, 11:45 a.m. Sunday.
Class B girls
Matchup: Livonia (21-4) vs. Canton (21-4).
When/where: 10 a.m. Friday at Hudson Valley Community College.
On the court: No. 5 state-ranked Canton-X and the No. 3 Bulldogs have faced each other this season, but it may be fool’s gold because the matchup was a scrimmage in November. “They are aggressive, they play in your face, man-to-man defense for 32 minutes,” Livonia coach Karen Schuster said. The Bulldogs, which have four senior starters, defeated an Olean team in the prior round that has a similar style. Bad first quarters in the girls state final four tend to bury chances of winning.
Livonia scores with a good inside-outside punch with 5-foot-10 Niki Templeton (11.2) and leading scorer Molly Stewart (15.3), a 5-9 guard. Madeline Herzog (6.4), a junior guard, has sparked the team off the bench more than once. “They are excited, it’s a once in a lifetime experience,” Schuster said. The winner plays either No. 1 Westhill-III or No. 2 Marlboro-IX, 4 p.m. Saturday.