While Moriah was the Class D favorite all season in Section VII boys’ basketball, Madrid-Waddington took the hard road to regionals, plowing through the Section X tournament as the seventh seed.
Both teams ended up in the same spot — today’s NYSPHSAA Class D regional final at SUNY Canton. The winner will book a spot in next week’s state semifinals.
Coach Brian Cross said the Vikings (20-2), who lost just one game in Northern Basketball Conference play, are confident — but not overconfident.
After easily winning its first-round game, Madrid-Waddington (14-10) knocked off No. 2 seed Morristown and No. 3 seed Lisbon to get to the Section X championship game, where it defeated No. 4 seed Chateaugay 68-52. The Yellowjackets trailed 24-12 at halftime of the final before rallying to win.
They had a bye in this week’s regional semifinals.
Jacob Barney leads Madrid-Waddington with a 12.9 points-per-game average, while fellow senior Zach Brock averages 8.9 points per contest. Sophomores Dave Odendahl and Aaron Armstrong are also scoring threats.
“They play a lot of different defenses,” Cross said. “They have some size — not a lot of size. They play man, zone; they try to pressure full court. So I think they’ll try to get at the basketball a little bit.”
Moriah, which has been powered by NBL scoring leader Adam Jaquish all year, had the edge inside during its 50-40 regional semifinal win over Argyle on Tuesday. Jaquish, a sophomore center, had 25 points and 20 rebounds in that game and averages 18.1 points per night.
“I think (the Yellowjackets) have got a couple kids who are (6 feet 2 inches), so we’re definitely bigger than they are,” Cross said. “Whether or not that’s an advantage, we’ll soon find out.”
Madrid-Waddington ended Moriah’s season last year. Cross said while that might be on the Vikings’ minds a little bit, just two players on their roster played in last year’s game.