What a tournament! Section one basketball shines

Section One Athletics wrapped up another exciting and successful March tournament season for our student-athletes, featuring highlight-reel shots, Cinderella-story post-season runs, and continued dominance by some powerhouse programs.

The caliber of play and sportsmanship on display at Pace University’s Goldstein Center was worthy of celebration. Nearly 10,000-fans turned out for the action over two weekends, with another nearly 5,000 tuning in to the live stream generously provided by the Pace Sports Network.

We’re proud of every one of the athletes, including five regional champion teams, who participated in every one of our programs across schools in four counties.

Here, though, are just a few of the highlights that helped set March 2018 basketball apart.

The “McGarvery Miracle”

Ardsley trailed Tappan Zee by two points with 3.9 seconds remaining in the Class A final when senior Julian McGarvey launched a million-to-one shot nearly the length of the court.

His aim was true.

The 63-foot buzzer-beater that gave Ardsley a 52-51 win shocked a jam-packed Goldstein Center at Pace University and handed Ardsley its first Section One championship in 60 years, sending them to the state regional semifinals.

The play topped ESPN’s Top 10 plays of the day and solidified McGarvey’s place as an Ardsley legend.

Ossining Girls notch 8th Title

The Pride of Ossining hoisted a gold ball for the eighth straight time, winning the Class AA title with a 75-63 win over Lourdes.

Trailing much of the game to a Lourdes team that had only lost once all season, Ossining staged a comeback behind the strength of MVP junior Aubrey Griffin’s 46 points. The Pride went onto to a come-from-behind win against West Genesee in the state semifinal before falling to defending state champion Baldwin.

“We knew this was going to be a war,” Baldwin coach Tom Catapano told Newsday after the game. “It’s Ossining.”

Mount Vernon wins 32rd sectional title

For the defending Section One and New York State champion Knights, this was familiar territory.

Top-seeded Mount Vernon and Coach Bob Cimmino entered the matchup against upstart Ramapo a decided favorite but taking nothing for granted against a dangerous opponent.

Seniors Demetre Roberts and Jason Douglas-Stanley, 32 points and 14 points, respectively, performed as expected in leading the team on a state championship run that would fall just short.

Ramapo rides 18 seed to Section One finals

No one likes to have their bracket busted, but there’s few things more fun than watching the team that busts it. Ramapo boys did just that, leveraging an unlikely 18 seed to make a run at a Section One title.

The Gryphons knocked off No. 3 Mamaroneck for a shot at mighty Mount Vernon, eventual winners in the AA championship game.

Underdog Ardsley goes far

It wasn’t just Julian McGarvey’s last-second marksmanship in the sectional final game that distinguished the Panthers’ amazing postseason.

The run that ended with a state championship game loss to Amityville began with the eighth seed in Section One’s Class A.

Ardsley had to make its way past No. 1, No. 4 and No. 6 seeds - Rye, Hendrick Hudson and Tappan Zee, respectively - first. They won by margins of nine, five and one point, respectively.

McGarvey himself put the experience in proper perspective after the Amityville game. “That team was the best team I've probably ever played in AAU or high school,” he told lohud.com, “but this journey is something I'll probably never forget."

Irvington Girls: Key quartet makes it 4 straight

Winning championships is hard, but keeping a championship unit intact may be even harder. Irvington did just that.

Seniors Olivia Valdes, Heather Hall, Mary Brereton, and Kelly Degnan led the Bulldogs to a Section One Class B, where they raised the gold ball following a win over Briarcliff. The number 1 seed won 74-64 at Pace University.

Remarkably, this wasn’t just the quartet’s fourth-straight title. It was also Irvington’s second four-in-a-row title run since 2010.

Can anyone say “one for the thumb”?

Briarcliff Boys move on to state tournament

Falling just short a year ago in a bid for the Section One Class B crown, the Bears followed through on their mission to go one better than they did in 2017.

Briarcliff defeated Blind Brook 48-39 at the Goldstein Center, their second time raising the gold ball in three years. Jackson Gonseth, a senior, was named MVP. Gonseth was on the squad that took the title in 2016.

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