(Monty Shoemaker & the Olean Huskies enter sectionals on a 14-game win streak / Photo: Olean Times Herald)
The Section VI postseason begins Tuesday night with seven First Round matchups. The winner moves on to participate in the Pre-Quarterfinal round on Wednesday night at 7 pm. On Friday, 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 A2 bracket is awesome for several reasons. Amherst has been the highest ranked from that bunch all year and are the only local public school to knock off Williamsville South since 2015. Cheektowaga has Dom Welch leading the Warriors and chasing the all-time scoring record, which very well could happen under the bright lights at Buff State. South Park won the Yale Cup, which gives them a 70% chance of winning a Section VI crown based on past history. Olean is the defending Class B state champion with the area's all-time winningest Hall of Fame coach and they just beat Timon by 10. Maryvale owns a win over Olean this season.
Sleepers from each bracket
AA - Niagara Falls: They are the #5 seed, so the Wolverines would qualify under this category. Despite finishing 4th in the NFL, Falls is more than capable of winning the whole thing. They've defeated the likes of UPrep, Kenmore West, Lockport, & North Tonawanda this season, along with going to overtime against Park.
A1 - Sweet Home: The Panthers are still young, but have a win over Williamsville North this season and have shown the ability to hang with a couple large school top 10 teams...this month they only lost by five to both Amherst & Kenmore West.
A2 - Maryvale: They were my sleeper in this bracket last year also. The fact that the Flyers are one of two teams to defeat Olean this season, who they visit in the Quarterfinal Round this Friday night, says it all.
B1 - Dunkirk: The #5 seed has been all over the place this season, but when they're on...look out. A quarterfinal win at Springville would have them facing East Aurora in the semifinals at Buff State. I'm willing to bet the Marauders are the one team East Aurora had hoped to avoid until the final.
B2 - Wilson: The Lakemen are the classic team that will make you pay for not showing up...or sleeping on them. They knocked off Niagara Wheatfield this season and also played Medina within four points.
C1 - Allegany-Limestone: The Gators have improved after dropping their first four games to start the season. They competed with Nichols in a nonleague contest, knocked off Wellsville late in the year, and spent the regular season taking their licks in CCAA I East. They can hang with the rest in this bracket.
C2 - Maple Grove: The Red Dragons just beat Dunkirk a week ago, swept Fredonia, knocked off Clymer (top seed in Class D), and have been to Glens Falls three times in the last decade, with two state titles.
D - Pine Valley: The Class D bracket only has six teams. I'll go out on a limb and make the #6 seed Panthers my sleeper.
Top 10 Pre-Quarterfinal Games (Wednesday, February 22nd)
10. Iroquois @ Starpoint
9. Silver Creek @ Global Concepts
8. Frontier @ Orchard Park
7. Fredonia @ I-Prep
6. CSAT/Riverside @ Depew
5. Roy-Hart @ Lafayette
4. Alden @ Burgard *at MST Seneca
3. JFK @ Gowanda
2. Lake Shore @ Pioneer
1. Niagara Wheatfield @ Clarence
Top 10 Quarterfinal Games (Friday, February 24th)
10. West Seneca East @ McKinley
9. Barker @ Holland
8. Maryvale @ Olean
7. Allegany-Limestone @ Salamanca
6. Wilson @ Lackawanna
5. Burgard @ East Aurora
4. Sweet Home @ Grand Island
3. Maple Grove @ Frewsburg
2. Middle College vs. Health Sciences *at Daemen
1. Niagara Falls @ Loclport
Most Exciting Potential Semifinals
8. Olmsted vs. Lackawanna (B2)
7. East Aurora vs. Dunkirk (B1)
6. Health Sciences vs. Medina (B2)
5. Ellicottville vs. Franklinville (D)
4. Kenmore West vs. Lancaster (AA)
3. Jamestown vs. Niagara Falls/Lockport
2. Olean vs. Amherst (A2)
1. Cheektowaga vs. South Park (A2)
Most Exciting Championship Games
5. Class B2
4. Class A1
3. Class AA
2. Class C2
1. Class A2
Winning streaks heading into sectionals
Olean - 14 (and 16 of last 17)
Medina - 13 (and 15 of last 16)
MST Seneca - 10 (and 12 of last 13)
South Park - 10
Randolph - 9 (and 12 of last 13)
Kenmore West 8 (and 11 of last 12)
East Aurora - 7 (and 11 of last 12)
Clymer - 7 (and 11 of last 12)
Franklinville - 6 (and 12 of last 13)
Lockport - 6 (and 7 of last 8)
Springville - 6
* Olmsted has won 15 of its last 16
* Amherst has won 14 of its last 15
* Frewsburg has won 13 of its last 14
* Ellicottville has won 10 of its last 11
* Williamsville South has won 8 of its last 9
AA - Niagara Falls
A1 - Williamsville South
A2 - Olean
B1 - East Aurora
B2 - Health Sciences
C1 - Chautauqua Lake
C2 - East
D - Franklinville