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Five local teams seek sectional hoops championships

Mar. 1—The calendar turning to March means it's time to crown some sectional basketball champions.

Five teams from the local ranks will be in action Saturday hoping to advance to the regional and subregional portion of the postseason.

Here is a look at Saturday's matchups with facts, figures and names to keep an eye on.

CLASS C BOYS

Delhi (18-4) vs. Moravia (18-3)

At Tompkins Cortland Community College, 3:45 p.m.

Last season, the Delhi boys were the top seed in the Class C tournament only to fall victim to eighth-seeded Tioga in their first sectional contest.

This time around, the Bulldogs flipped the script, defeating number one seed Candor 44-40 in Wednesday's semifinal game to reach their first sectional final since 2017.

Coach Warren Kelly and his squad will be looking to capture the program's first section championship since 1978 when they take on the number three seed Moravia.

Defense has been the name of the game for the Bulldogs as they've averaged just 41 points allowed per game in four playoff contests between sectionals and the MAC Tournament.

On offense, Delhi has gotten contributions from up and down its lineup.

Junior Chuck Haight has scored in double-figures in all four playoff games while Angelo Krzyston, the lone senior on the squad, scored 21 in the MAC title game against Sidney and 18 against Union Springs in the semifinals.

League MVP Ivan Richardson was held to five points in the semifinal victory but hit some critical free throws at the end of the game while Lucas Nealis, Rocco Schnabel and Seamus deMauro have all cemented themselves as key contributors as well.

CLASS D BOYS

South Kortright (20-2) vs. Edmeston (18-4)

At SUNY Delhi, 3:45 p.m.

South Kortright is hoping to make some history on Saturday.

The Rams are one win away from clinching a third straight sectional championship, something no Section IV boys team has done since Norwich won three straight Class B titles from 2012-2014.

The key to the team's success this season hasn't been much of a secret: as Connor Quarino goes, so go the Rams.

The senior sharpshooter and two-time Daily Star Player of the Year is averaging more than 29 points per game but has taken his game to another level in the playoffs, averaging 33.3 points in his last four games including 42 in SK's 59-43 semifinal win over Morris.

Darren Dengler and Jack Byrne provide secondary scoring and big-game experience from recent playoff runs while players like Boston Quarino, JB Trimbell and Jacob Staroba have stepped up after the loss of last year's excellent senior class.

Edmeston, meanwhile, might not have anyone who will put up 40 on the scoreboard but instead has a deep, versatile lineup with a strong mix of upper- and underclassmen.

Freshman Braymon Clark has emerged as a difference-maker for the Panthers, scoring a team-high 16 points in the 67-41 semifinal win over Schenevus and averaging over 11 points per game in the playoffs.

Izek Richards, who has scored 47 points in his last three games, is a three-point threat, while Gavin McEnroe and Preston Graham are difference-makers on offense and defense.

Freshman Gavin Zinger has also made an impact as a late-season call-up, scoring 10 points in Wednesday's semifinal victory.

The Panthers are in the sectional final for the first time since 2019 and are seeking their first ever title.

While these two teams haven't met this season, the game will be a rematch of sorts: both rosters feature players who appeared in the soccer sectional final last fall that saw South Kortright defeat Edmeston 1-0.

CLASS D GIRLS

Edmeston/Morris (20-2) vs. Cherry Valley-Springfield (18-3)

On the girls side, these two teams will be plenty familiar with each other.

Saturday will mark the third meeting this season between Tri-Valley League rivals Edmeston/Morris and Cherry Valley-Springfield with each team claiming a win over the other.

E/M notched a 34-22 victory way back on Nov. 29 while CV-S got revenge in the league playoffs with a 57-52 win on Feb. 7 en route to its title game victory over Schenevus.

The Lady Patriots are back in the sectional final for the second straight year once again looking to capture the program's first sectional title.

It's been an impressive return campaign considering the talent lost from last year's squad, including First Team All-State selection and current St. John Fisher standout Joleen Lusk.

But players like Daphnee West, Morgan Huff, Mia Dubben and Brin Whiteman have all stepped up, with each one capable of being the team's top scorer on any given night.

West in particular has shined in postseason play, averaging 17.3 points in four playoff games including 24 in CV-S's 51-41 semifinal win over South Kortright.

Edmeston/Morris features a roster full of players looking for sectional titles in consecutive sports after winning the Class D girls soccer title last fall.

Molly Rifanburg serves as the focal point of E/M's offense. A recent addition to the 1,000-point club, Rifanburg has scored at least 20 points in each of her last three games and is averaging nearly 19 per game for the season.

Haylie Lund and Brenna Bolton are also capable of putting up points as part of a deep lineup.

The Edmeston girls have never won a sectional title while Morris' last championship came in 1985.