South Kortright boys, CV-S girls have sights set on final four

Mar. 8—The high school basketball state tournaments have whittled their respective brackets down to eight teams with this weekend's regional title games determining who will be moving on to the State Final Four.

The South Kortright boys and the Cherry Valley-Springfield girls will both be in Long Island and both facing Section XI champion Smithtown Christian for the right to play in Glens Falls and Troy, respectively, in next weekend's state semifinals.

Here is a look at how each team got to this point as well as some facts and figures for this weekend's matchups.

South Kortright (22-2) vs. Smithtown Christian (18-4)

At SUNY Farmingdale, Saturday, 10 a.m.

The Rams have already made history in 2023-24 and will be looking to make even more on Saturday.

South Kortright won its third consecutive Section IV Class D title with a 49-39 victory over Edmeston and followed that up with a dramatic 75-70 overtime victory over Greenburgh-North Castle in Tuesday's sub-regional game.

The Rams will be looking to return to the final four for the second time in three years after reaching the state semifinals in 2022 before falling to Heuvelton 68-47. They fell to Chapel Field Christian 68-58 in last year's Regional Championship.

Connor Quarino has been on an absolute tear for SK, scoring 38, 42, 36 and 39 points in the team's last four games.

While Quarino is the go-to scorer, South Kortright wouldn't have won its sub-regional game without the efforts of Darren Dengler, Jack Byrne and Boston Quarino, who combined for 36 points in the overtime victory.

Byrne helped seal the win with two clutch free throws that gave SK a three-point lead with 16 seconds left in OT.

The Rams were dominant through most of the season with an average margin of victory of almost 20 points, though they were nearly tripped in the Delaware League title game by rival Charlotte Valley in a 59-58 decision.

South Kortright's only two losses came against a pair of much larger schools in Frankfort-Schuyler and Maine-Endwell. They enter Saturday's game having won eight in a row.

The Smithtown Christian boys enter the regional final off a sub-regional victory of their own, routing Chapel Field Christian 56-27 on Monday.

The Knights are ranked fifth in the state by the New York State Sportswriters Association and feature a balanced lineup that has three players averaging more than 16 points per game: Isaiah McCarter, Lorenzo Crilly and Nehemiah Yuen.

At SUNY Farmingdale, Sunday, 10 a.m.

The Lady Patriots are in uncharted territory having won their first sectional title in program history.

After falling just short in the 2023 sectional final to eventual-state finalist Oxford, CV-S broke through with a hard-fought 41-37 win over Edmeston/Morris last Saturday at SUNY Delhi.

CV-S has relied all season long on a defense that has held opponents to less than 39 points per game. That's been paired with an offense that can rely on several different players to reliably score baskets.

Daphnee West, Morgan Huff, Mia Dubben and Brin Whiteman have each had multiple double-digit point performances during the Patriots' playoff run, with Dubben scoring a team-high 14 in the sectional final.

CV-S opened the season with five straight victories, which included winning the Schoharie Tournament, and comes into Sunday's contest having won 10 games in a row.

Their only losses this year have been three league defeats to Edmeston/Morris, Richfield Springs and Schenevus. The Patriots got revenge for two of those three with wins over E/M in the sectional final and Schenevus in the Tri-Valley League title game.

Smithtown Christian has overcome a brutal start to the year that featured eight straight losses to open the schedule. The Knights punched their ticket to Sunday's regional with a 51-34 win over Eldred in Tuesday's sub-regional contest.

Both games will be streamed live on the NFHS Network.