For the first time since the state added Class AA to its boys basketball playoff structure a decade ago, a Big 10 team has failed to make it to the Section II semifinals.
Guilderland (18-2) dismissed Christian Brothers Academy (13-7) from the postseason with Saturday’s 54-43 quarterfinal win at Hudson Valley Community College. The Brothers were the lone Big 10 representative left in the Class AA field after league champion Catholic Central, Schenectady, Albany and LaSalle were eliminated in the opening round.
Meanwhile, three Suburban Council teams are in the semifinals following Saturday’s action. Columbia and Shenendehowa also advanced following their quarterfinal wins, while Shaker was eliminated in a 61-58 loss to independent Green Tech.
“We’re making a statement,” said Guilderland swingman Andrew Platek. “The Big 10 has always been regarded as the better league, and we showed them who’s boss.”
“I think it’s huge,” said Guilderland coach Ron Osinski. “I said before the season that any one of five or six teams from this league could win it.”
Guilderland didn’t take control of its game until the second half. A pair of Billy Floyd three-pointers started a 15-8 run that gave the Dutchmen a 36-32 lead. From there, Guilderland gradually pulled away at the free throw line, as it made 11 out of its 16 foul shots in the fourth quarter.
“I was just running off screens and looking for an open shot, and when I found one I took it,” said Floyd, who scored all 11 of his points in the second half.
“They came out at halftime and decided to get Floyd involved a little bit,” said CBA coach Dave Doemel. “I think we were looking towards (guarding) No. 22 (Platek) because he had a great first half, and we left others open.”
While Floyd was hitting three-pointers, CBA was not. The Brothers missed every long-range shot they took from the second quarter on, thanks in part to Guilderland’s perimeter defense.
“We know who their three-point shooters are,” said Platek. “We got out on them and shut them down.”
“I thought we did a good job of getting through (CBA’s) screens,” said Osinski. “Andrew Platek does a very good job of it.”
Without any scoring from behind the three-point arc in the second half, CBA turned to its big men to keep it in the game. Forward Greig Stire scored 10 of the Brothers’ 19 points after halftime and guard Daniel Owens added six points, but it was not enough.
“I thought we stood around and watched a lot,” said Doemel. “It’s something that has hurt us all season.”
Stire finished with a game-high 22 points, and Owens added 10 points for CBA. Platek had 14 points, while Marc DuMoulin and Matt Cerutti each chipped in with eight points for Guilderland.
Guilderland faces Suburban Council South rival Columbia in Wednesday’s Class AA semifinal game at the Times Union Center, while Shen takes on Green Tech. Guilderland defeated Columbia twice during the regular season by scores of 75-62 Dec. 10 and 82-75 Jan. 31.