Four teams enter, two will leave.
The championship matches in the Class A and C section tournaments will be held Friday at Hen Hud at 5:00 and 7:30 p.m., respectively. All four teams will be seeking their first section titles under their current coaches, so there’s sure to be plenty of excitement. Here are my previews to the two Section 1 tournament finals:
CLASS A CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
Who: No. 1 Yorktown (18-1) vs. No. 2 John Jay (17-3)
Where: Hendrick Hudson High School, 5 p.m.
Background: A match that has been nine weeks in the making, the champion of the gauntlet that is Class A will finally be crowned. Yorktown has been dominating in its second half of the season, outscoring opponents an incredible 975-425 during its 13-match winning streak. John Jay (pictured right) has been equally impressive, sweeping defending champions Panas in the semifinals somewhat handily. This match will earn bragging rights for not only the teams, but their boisterous fan sections, as well. Pegged as, “The Tribe vs. The Crop,” (I may have had something to do with that) this match has spawned a full-fledged Twitter war between the two schools. With the Panthers, my pick to win the tournament, now eliminated, my bracket officially has no stock in this match, making my prediction for this match, well, somewhat meaningless. I’ll give it a go anyway. My prediction: This couldn’t be a more even match. Both teams feature exceptional coaching, stellar defenses and balanced, powerful offensive attacks. Despite being at a neutral site, I know that Yorktown fans will come out in droves, which can give the Huskers the feel of a home match. The Huskers have never made a section final, so just being here is an incredible feat. John Jay will be making its sixth final in 11 years under coach Tom Rizzotti, although it will be its first since 2006, so none of this year’s players have any experience in the final. I could see this match being a long one, with lengthy rallies at seemingly every turn. This match will be won by the defenses, plain and simple. It’s hard to pick against Yorktown, given its incredible run and fan support, so I’m going with the Huskers in five: 25-22, 25-27, 25-23, 22-25, 25-22. I will be handling the game story and video work, so make sure you check for them both on lohud.com later.
CLASS C CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
Who: No. 1 Dobbs Ferry (20-0) vs. No. 2 Blind Brook (19-1)
Where: Hendrick Hudson High School, 7:30 p.m.
Background: That Class A finale will be one tough act to follow, but these two will definitely give it a shot. Top-seeded Dobbs Ferry (pictured right) will be looking to make history and capture its first section title in program history with an undefeated season. This youthful nine-player roster has stunned everyone this year and has become one of the best stories of the season. Looking to spoil the fun will be Blind Brook, another team looking for its first section title. Armed with slightly more experience, the Trojans feature a solid defense and front-row attack that will keep the Eagles busy in the evening. Neither team played an overly-tough schedule, although the Trojans did get some nice tournament experience during the season. My prediction: I picked Blind Brook to be in the finals in the preseason, then jumped on the bandwagon for the section tournament. With the Trojans still alive, I have to go with my bracket prediction and say that Justin Goldstein’s squad wins it. I think the Trojans win it in four: 25-20, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20. My colleague Chad Jennings will be handling the game story and I will be shooting video once I’m done with my Yorktown-John Jay gamer. Look for both on lohud.com later.