Adam Shinder/Recorder staff Glens Falls’ Greyson Brady (22) and Amsterdam’s Louis Fedullo box out for a rebound during the Foothills Council boys basketball championship game Tuesday at SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury.
By ADAM SHINDER
When the Foothills Council boys basketball regular season came to an end, the South Division standings had the Amsterdam Running Rams at No. 1 and the Scotia-Glenville Tartans at No. 2, with no tiebreakers necessary.
It was justifiably frustrating then, for Amsterdam coach Tim Jones Wednesday afternoon when he got the news that the Rams had been seeded fourth in the Section II Class A tournament — two spots behind Scotia-Glenville.
“I understand that they have what they have to do,” Jones said. “You look at the NCAA bracket, and people are frustrated there. No matter what, whenever there’s a bracket or a system in place, there’s frustration. But, you know what? We’ve got to go play the games.”
A variety of factors led to the Tartans getting the better seed, according Section II basketball coordinator and Ichabod Crane coach Will Ferguson.
Section II uses a uniform points system as a baseline to rank teams for seeding, and even though Amsterdam finished on top in the division standings and split the season series with Scotia-Glenville — with each team winning by the same margin of 23 points — the Tartans finished with the edge with a 16-4 overall record compared to Amsterdam’s 12-8 mark, Amsterdam suffered five losses to Class B teams and with both teams finishing with an 11-3 league mark after this week’s crossover games, Scotia-Glenville had a better overall point differential in Foothills play — plus-147 to plus-104 for Amsterdam.
“A couple years ago, we adopted a points system to track the points over the course of the season for a particular team. Then, we come to the meeting, that’s kind of a baseline for where we start,” said Ferguson, who added he keeps himself impartial as the committee hashes out the brackets for the five classifications. “When we get to the meeting, if further discussion is needed, the biggest point is strength of schedule, and then there’s some other factors in there — head-to-head play, things like that.”
“It goes by who you’ve played and who you’ve lost to,” he added. “The committee looked at their baseline coming in, who they’ve played and who they’ve lost to, and if so how many times.”
So, instead of being the No. 2 or No. 3 seed behind clear No. 1 seed Lansingburgh, Amsterdam slipped behind Scotia-Glenville and Averill Park to No. 4, but still earned a bye into the quarterfinal round, where the Rams will face fifth-seeded Mohonasen in a Feb. 26 game at Hudson Valley Community College.
“We’re gonna go back at it and do what we do,” Jones said. “There’s nothing really else to say. We’ll come to play, that’s what we do. Whoever’s across from us, we’re gonna give them our best effort and see what we can do.”
While the results of the seeding meeting are certainly frustrating for the Rams, Jones said he doesn’t want it to be something his team focuses on as they head into the Class A bracket.
“I don’t care for that chip on the shoulder, because there’s many ways that can go,” Jones said. “We express, as a program, to try and take the emotion a little bit out of it and play as you play. If you play with emotion, too many variables can come into play then. But, I think we always play with a chip on our shoulders.”
If the Rams win their quarterfinal, they’ll advance to the semifinals March 1 at the Glens Falls Civic Center, with the championship game then set for March 4 at 4 p.m. in Glens Falls.
Six other area teams — Broadalbin-Perth, Canajoharie, Mayfield, Galway, Northville and OESJ — also entered the postseason in classes B, C and D, with four of them earning first-round home games.
In Class B, B-P earned the No. 6 seed in a treacherous bracket that includes a pair of undefeated teams in No. 1 Glens Falls and No. 2 Mekeel Christian. The Patriots will host No. 11 seed Cohoes in the first round Tuesday at 7 p.m., with the winner facing either No. 3 Voorheesville or No. 14 Ravena in the quarterfinal round Feb. 24 at 5 p.m. at Shenendehowa High School.
Class B semis will be played Feb. 27, with the championship game set for March 3 at 7:45 p.m. at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Two years after posting a 2-17 record, the Mayfield Panthers earned the No. 6 seed in Class C and earned a home date Tuesday at 7 p.m. against No. 11 seed Mechanicville, with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals Feb. 24 at Shenendehowa.
Canajoharie earned the No. 9 seed and will visit No. 8 seed Hoosic Valley on Tuesday, looking to advance to a Feb. 24 quarterfinal at HVCC. Galway was the lowest seed in the 21-team bracket and will visit No. 12 seed Saratoga Catholic in the opening round Friday at 7 p.m., with the winner moving on to a Round of 16 game Tuesday at No. 5 Schoharie.
Class C semifinals will be played March 2 at the Glens Falls Civic Center, followed by the title game March 4 at 2 p.m.
Both Northville and OESJ earned opening round home games Tuesday in Class D. Fifth-seeded OESJ will host No. 12 Salem at 7:30 p.m., while No. 6 Northville hosts No. 11 Loudonville Christian at 7 p.m., with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals Feb. 25 at Stillwater High School.
Semifinals will be played Feb. 27 and 28 in Glens Falls, with the championship game slated for March 3 at 6 p.m.
The Fonda-Fultonville and Fort Plain boys both opted not to compete in the postseason.
Contact ADAM SHINDER at [email protected]