Friday, March 2, 2012

Sometimes, wishes can be fulfilled

As the high school basketball regular season drew to a close a couple of weeks ago, I wrote that it would be in the best interest of New York's Section 2 to have Troy High & Christian Brothers Academy play a 1-game playoff, if it came to that, for the Big 10 title at a neutral site. The playoff never materialized, as CBA walked right into a trap game against city rival Bishop Maginn, three days after beating Troy, and lost to the Golden Griffins. Troy won its final two games and claimed the league title.

Thursday, I had every intention of being at Times Union Center for the Section 2 Class AA semi-finals, but weather & safety concerns and time constraints prevented that from happening. I will, however, be in Albany on Monday for the finals. Wednesday's snowstorm forced Section 2 officials to reschedule some games in the lower classes, and knocked the Class AA finals out of the Glens Falls Civic Center, where the game was to be played tomorrow night. Instead, the finals will be in Albany, which makes traveling easier for students and families for both Troy & CBA. That means, in all probability, a packed house at the TU Center, equivalent, perhaps, to a Siena home game. While under normal circumstances, CBA would be the home team, since the game is in Albany, Troy is the higher seed, and thus is likely to be designated as the home team.

As we've seen in college basketball and pro football over the years, it's hard playing the same team 3 times in a season, harder still if you had won the first two meetings. CBA split their regular season meetings with both Troy & Maginn, and settled their issue with Maginn on Thursday while Troy completed a 3-game sweep of Suburban Council schools by beating Shaker in the nightcap. CBA won the last meeting vs. Troy, so now revenge may be on the minds of the Flying Horses, who will again be without one of their stars, Javion Ogunymeni, lost for the season with an ankle injury vs. Bethlehem in the quarter-finals. Both regular season meetings were thrillers that came down to the final buzzer, and this should be no different.

One thing will be certain for Troy. Come June's Flag Day parade, it will surprise no one if the basketball team marches in the parade in a spot often reserved for their football brethren, who were eliminated in the semi-finals of their sectional tournament back in the fall. With baseball season soon to start, there's every possibility that the momentum that started on the gridiron and moved to the court could carry over onto the diamond. For CBA, it would be business as usual. For Troy, a win on Monday means a complete change of the guard. You can't script this kind of drama.

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