(Another Williamsville South vs. McKinley battle could highlight Buff State week / Photo by James McCoy)
The Section VI postseason begins Tuesday night with Akron facing Oracle. The winner moves on to participate in the pre-quarterfinal round on Wednesday night at 7 pm. Friday night is when the action really kicks up, as 32 quarterfinal games will decide which teams move on to Buffalo State and JCC for the semifinals.
Below I take a look at some of the best matchups we could potentially see in the pre-quarterfinals, quarterfinals, semifinals, and even the championship games, along with sleepers, some winning streaks, and predictions.
** Please note that many of the games below are based on my predictions of who will win in prior rounds
Most exciting brackets, top to bottom:
- The Class B2 bracket has league unbeaten I-Prep, who advanced to Glens Falls in Class D last season, as the #1 seed. Roy-Hart's only league losses were to N-O champ Medina and the Rams have all the pieces to win it. Gowanda won CCAA I East and finished with a 17-3 record. Health Sciences has been the highest ranked team from this bracket all season, and boasts a win at Middle College & South Park. Emerson pushed I-Prep in both regular season and gave them their two closest games in Yale Cup I. Fredonia has been a top 10 small school all season and nearly defeated Olean. MST Seneca & Wilson are both well coached teams with good players that are capable of pulling off upsets within the bracket.
Sleepers from each bracket
AA - Lancaster: Began the season with a win at Jamestown and did not lose a game until after Christmas.
A1 - South Park: The Sparks have lots of athletes and finished third in Yale Cup I behind McKinley & Middle College.
A2 - Maryvale: As the season has gone on, the Flyers have improved significantly. They won't be out-coached or out-worked and just beat Cheektowaga to help land the #4 seed.
B1 - East Aurora: Can the #3 seed even be a sleeper? My answer - the team in Olean's bracket with the best shot to beat them is the only team worth calling a sleeper, since no one is beating Olean. (Sorry Class B1, feel free to prove me wrong)
B2 - Fredonia: It feels weird to call the Hillbillies sleepers, but since they're the #6 seed, they qualify.
C1 - Chautauqua Lake: One of the best teams in Section VI that no one talks about. These guys just beat Dunkirk by 12, and Dunkirk owns a win over Cleveland Hill - the top seed in Class C1.
C2 - Barker: The Raiders may be the most improved team in Section VI after beginning the year 2-7. They collected recent wins over Newfane and Wilson (the only team to beat Medina in the N-O).
D - Sherman: The Class D champs in 2013 & 2014 and finalists in 2015, are the #4 seed and coming up on their favorite time of year.
Top 10 Pre-Quarterfinal Games (Wednesday, February 17th)
10. Buffalo Arts @ Depew
9. Oracle @ Emerson
8. Clarence @ Niagara Wheatfield
7. Sweet Home @ Grand Island
6. CSAT @ Albion
5. Maple Grove @ Portville
4. Salamanca @ Allegany-Limestone
3. Lackawanna @ MST Seneca
2. Southwestern @ Fredonia
1. Tonawanda @ Newfane
Top 10 Quarterfinal Games (Friday, February 19th)
10. Alden @ Dunkirk
9. Lockport @ Williamsville North
8. Brocton @ Sherman
7. Frewsburg @ Silver Creek
6. Wilson @ I-Prep
5. Barker @ Randolph
4. MST Seneca @ Roy-Hart
3. East @ Chautauqua Lake
2. Kenmore West @ Lancaster
1. Fredonia @ Gowanda
Most Exciting Potential Semifinals
8. Middle College vs. Randolph (C2)
7. Tapestry vs. Olmsted (C1)
6. Starpoint vs. Lew-Port (A2)
5. Cleveland Hill vs. East (C1)
4. Roy-Hart vs. Fredonia (B2)
3. Ellicottville vs. Franklinville (D)
2. I-Prep vs. Health Sciences (B2)
1. Williamsville North vs. Jamestown (AA)
Most Exciting Championship Games
5. Class D
4. Class C1
3. Class B2
2. Class AA
1. Class A1
Winning streaks heading into sectionals
Olean - 20
Panama - 17 (and 18 of last 19)
Amherst - 13 (and 19 of last 20)
I-Prep - 12 (and 16 of last 17)
Williamsville South - 9 (and 11 of last 12)
Gowanda - 8 (and 15 of last 16)
McKinley - 7 (and 19 of last 20)
* Medina has won 10 of its last 11
* Jamestown has won 9 of its last 10
* Ellicottville has won 7 of its last 8
AA - Jamestown
A1 - Williamsville South
A2 - Amherst
B1 - Olean
B2 - Health Sciences
C1 - East
C2 - Middle College
D - Panama