March 16, 2013

Patriots set for Bishop Kearney

PLATTSBURGH — Roger Long believes his AuSable Valley girls’ basketball team knows what to do once the game starts today.

What concerns Long, however, is everything that happens prior to tip-off.

The Section VII-champion Patriots (19-2) will oppose Section V winner Bishop Kearney (17-8), from the Rochester area, at 2:15 p.m. today in the NYSPHSAA Class C final four semifinals at Hudson Valley Community College.

The first semifinal of the day has Section I’s Alexander Hamilton going up against Section IV’s Harpursville at 12:30 p.m. The C championship game is set for 1:45 p.m. on Sunday.

“We’re in unchartered waters now,” Long said on Wednesday. “I hope all the stuff that goes on prior to the game isn’t going to be a distraction for us.

“I think we have a good game plan going in. I don’t think we will see anyone who will put us under the challenge where we can’t handle the pressure of the game. But this is monumental for us. Our girls aren’t used to this and we don’t want to get sidetracked.

“I told the girls we have one weekend of basketball left to play.”

The Patriots departed on Friday morning.

“The kids are feeling good right now,” Long said. “It’s been a long season and for about the last month, we’ve been shortening our practices and just tweaking things like how we defend and the pace of the game.

“We’re going down there on Friday and watch a couple of games that day. The (Plattsburgh State) Field House is not an easy place to play because of the depth perception. I’m hoping the experience we had up here at the Field House with help us against Bishop Kearney. The environment will be about the same.”

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