After several play-in games, the Section II girls basketball tournaments will pick up momentum starting Tuesday with the beginning of the first round.
Few area teams gained high seeds with the highest seeded team coming out of Class D as the Northville Lady Falcons picked up a No. 5 seed. They will travel on the road to face No. 4 Warrensburg on Friday night at Fort Edward.
Several area teams picked up home games as the Fort Plain Lady Hilltoppers earned the No. 8 seed in the Class C tournament after compiling a 15-2 record during the regular season. They will host Lake George at Harry Hoag Elementary School at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
"That was one of our goals at the beginning of the year to get a home game," Fort Plain coach Phil Karker said. "We're happy about that."
The Canajoharie Lady Cougars routed Whitehall on Friday night in the Cougars' Den and will travel to face third-seeded Berne-Knox-Westerlo on Tuesday night.
In Class B, the No. 14 Fond-Fultonville Lady Braves already had their home game as they hosted a play-in game Friday night, a 61-26 win over No. 19 Cairo-Durham. They will have a much taller task on their hands Tuesday when they visit No. 3 Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk.
The Johnstown Lady Bills will open the tournament at home Wednesday night after earning the seventh seed in the B bracket. They will host No. 10 Greenville at 6 p.m.
The Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots will head on the road to face Schalmont at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
In Class A, The Amsterdam Lady Rams will visit South Glens Falls on Wednesday night.
No. 9 Lake George
at No. 8 Fort Plain
The Fort Plain Lady Hilltoppers met another one of their goals when their conquest of the Western Athletic Conference North was enough to garner them a No. 8 seed in the tournament.
Tuesday night will be their final home game when they lace up their sneakers against the Lake George Lady Warriors of the Adirondack League.
"They're very well-coached," Karker said. "They're very big and athletic and they play in a very tough league."
The Lady Hilltoppers will have to account for Lake George's two top scorers, Hannah Saroff, who has 107 points and Kensie Bennett who has scored 102.
Fort Plain has offensive weapons of its own, however, namely junior Abby Boyer, who scored 308 points. Fort Plain's next best scoring threat is Haley Kilmartin, who has knocked down a team-high 15 3-point baskets on her way to 230 points. Alleha VanLoan also has scored 127 points for Fort Plain.
"We basically have just been kind of going through what we've been working on throughout the whole year," Karker said. "We are really focusing on details. This time of year you can't do anything new."
The winner will likely face No. 1 Hoosic Valley - who will play No. 17 Stillwater on Tuesday - on Friday night in the quarterfinals.
"[Hoosic Valley is] unbelievable," Karker said. "They're a great defensive team. Coach [Walter] Dorman has done a wonderful job with that team. They've won five of the last six sectional titles. That's a long performance. We'll be up against it if we get by Lake George on Tuesday."
No. 14 Canajoharie at
No. 3 Berne-Knox-Westerlo
The Canajoharie Lady Cougars' win over Whitehall on Friday sends them to the No. 3 Berne-Knox-Westerlo, which is fresh from its 61-55 win over Mekeel Christian Academy in the Western Athletic Conference Cup championship game Friday.
The Bulldogs, who are 17-1 under coach Tom Galvin, are led by Elizabeth Harvey, who ran away with the team's scoring lead with 448 points on the season. Three other Bulldogs have scored at least 100 points but no one has come close to Harvey's offensive output.
The Bulldogs' only loss of the season came Dec. 28 when they were edged by Maple Hill, 47-43. Maple Hill is seeded second in the tournament.
The Lady Cougars are coming off Friday's 43-31 win over Whitehall and don't have anyone that has shown an ability to match Harvey's output. Canajoharie has done it with balance.
Jenelle Dillenbeck is the team's leading scorer with 161 points and Alexis Kane has 144 points. Kara Schwab also broke the 100-point barrier with 105 points. Two other players - Dainera Veeder and Lauren Balfe - have scored at least 90 points.
The winner will face the winner of Tuesday's game between No. 6 Waterford-Halfmoon and No. 11 Greenwich.
No. 14 Fonda-Fultonville at No. 3 Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk
No team may be riding higher right now than the Fonda-Fultonville Lady Braves, who smoked Cairo-Durham 61-26 in Friday night's play-in game and will get another crack at Colonial Council opponent Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
"They're a very good team," Fonda-Fultonville coach Wendi Waters said.
The Lady Braves and Lady Indians have met before this season, Jan. 8 in a game RCS won, 66-52.
Kayla Hotaling and Hope Rebeor torched them for 23 and 18 points respectively.
"We didn't do a great job on them defensively," Waters said. "We're going to change it up a little bit."
Hotaling leads the offense with 260 points but Rebeor is the Lady Indians' leading outside shooter with 30 3-pointers and 183 points.
Shelby Preston has 192 points on the season, but only scored four when the two teams met.
Waters said the team turned a corner Thursday night in a one-point win over Watervliet, the defending champion and top seed in the tournament.
"We have a chance to make a good run," Waters said. "We've been tested every game. That was huge. My kids took their game to another level and didn't just fold because it was Watervliet."
The winner will play the winner of Wednesday's game between No. 11 Hudson and No. 6 Hudson Falls at 6 p.m. Saturday at the home of the highest seed of the lower bracket.
No. 10 Greenville
at No. 7 Johnstown
The Johnstown Lady Bills will open the tournament on their home floor against an unfamiliar opponent, the 10th-seeded Greenville Spartans of the Patroon Conference.
The Lady Bills are entering the tournament on a roll having won seven of their last nine games, which included a win last week over Foothills Council champion Queensbury.
Derwin said playing in the Foothills prepares the Lady Bills well for when they drop to classification play during the tournament.
"I think this year, it prepares us quite well," he said. "There hasn't been an easy game all year long. All coaches were at meeting all year long. There's no such thing as an upset. Any team can win. The league wasn't top-heavy but it was even."
Greenville, which enters the tournament with an 11-7 record is led by Heather Carl, who has scored 218 points this season. Three other players - Sarah Amedure, Carly Johnson and Jamie Staunch - also have more than 100 points. Staunch is Greenville's top 3-point shooter with 20 treys. McKenzie Kiefer has 18.
The Lady Bills have two players with more than 100 points - Courtney Cirillo and Hope Cerasuolo - but the Lady Bills have three more players - Emma Heroth, Lexie Swatt and Brianna O'Rourke - with at least 70 points.
"I think we're well-prepared," Derwin said. I can't emphasize how much the win [Tuesday over Queensbury] means to us. It shows on any given night we can compete with the best around."
The winner will face the winner of Wednesday's game between No. 15 Corinth and No. 2 Tamarac on Saturday at the home of the highest remaining seed in the lower bracket.
The Lady Bills faced in the second game of the season, a 54-50 loss on Dec. 4.
"We weren't losing by much then, we changed a few things and now we're winning," Derwin said. "We've turned the corner."
No. 9 Broadalbin-Perth
at No. 8 Schalmont, 6 p.m.
All season, the Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots have been leaning on their top scorer, Kaitlin Wood for success.
That will be no different when they open Section II Class B tournament play on the road Wednesday against the Schalmont Lady Sabres.
Wood has scored 304 points this season and recently reached her 1,000th point of her varsity career. Katie Herba has 175 points, while Kylie Gifford and Rachel Orapello each have 98.
They will be up against a Schalmont team that had a 9-7 record in the Colonial Council and an 11-7 overall mark. The Lady Patriots may have been 2-11 in the Foothills Council, but they didn't lose any non-league games this season, posting wins over Middleburgh, Canajoharie, Stillwater and Albany Leadership.
Schalmont is led by Hailee Metzold, who has scored 291 points and knocked down 21 23-pointers. Alexandra Cardinal has 169 points this season and Rachel Strijek has 101.
The winner will face the winner of Tuesday's game between No. 17 Schuylerville and No. 1 Watervliet, who has been dealing with injuries and suspensions to key players in recent weeks.
No. 9 Amsterdam
at No. 8 South Glens Falls
The Amsterdam Lady Rams earned the last seed - No. 9 - in the Section II Class A tournament and will travel to face the South Glens Falls Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday.
The Lady Rams have stumbled to a 7-11 overall record and were led by Cristiana Johnson, the only player to score more than 100 points on the season.
South Glens Falls, which finished fifth in the Foothills Council, is led by Alexis Smith, who scored a team-high 227 points. Three other players - Sydney Coon (188), Kasey O'Brien (147) and Shannon Higgins (139) - have scored more than 100 points.
The winner will pay a visit to top-seeded Troy at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Amsterdam has lost to Troy twice.
No. 5 Northville
vs. No. 4 Warrensburg
6 p.m. at Fort Edward
The Northville Lady Falcons have the longest wait of any local girls basketball team to start the sectional tournament, waiting nine days from the time the bracket was announced.
They will take the long road trip to Fort Edward, home of the top-seeded Flying Forts, for a 6 p.m. game against No. 4 Warrensburg.
Fort Edward will host the winner of Tuesday's game No. 9 Germantown and No. 8 North Warren.
Northville has been led all season by Lindsey Wadsworth, who scored 266 this season as a junior. Kelly VanNostrand added 105.
Warrensburg has received 292 points this year from Erin Langworthy and 102 from Mika Morehouse.
The winners will meet at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at Adirondack Community College.