Aquinas Institute vs. Catholic Central Live Girls Basketball Playoff Semifinals (3/15/2024)

The 2024 NYSPHSAA Girls Basketball Championship (Class A) reaches a fever pitch today as the Aquinas Institute Little Irish (18-5) lock horns with the undefeated Catholic Central Crusaders (23-1) in a neutral-site semifinal at HVCC. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:30 PM ET.

Aquinas Institute vs. Catholic Central Game Info:

What it is: New York high school basketball
Matchup: Catholic Central Crusaders vs. Aquinas Institute Little Irish
Date: Friday, March 15, 2024
Time: 12:30pm ET
Venue: HVCC
Live Stream: Watch live on the NFHS Network!

This intriguing matchup features a battle between opposing narratives. Aquinas Institute, despite a strong overall record, entered the contest dropping two of their last three games. However, they boast a perfect record (1-0) on neutral courts this season, demonstrating their ability to adapt to unfamiliar surroundings. Catholic Central, on the other hand, went undefeated boasting a dominant record of 23-1. Their nearly flawless campaign has been fueled by a potent offense averaging over 70 points per game, while their stifling defense surrenders an average of just 39.6 points.

Here’s an in-depth look at the strengths each team brings to the table:

Despite their recent hiccups, Aquinas possess a balanced and experienced squad. Their ability to win close games is a testament to their resilience. With a scoring attack that distributes the scoring load effectively, they don’t rely on a single player to carry the offensive load. Additionally, their success on neutral courts throughout the season suggests an ability to adjust and perform under pressure.

Catholic Central presents a formidable challenge with their high-powered offense and suffocating defense. Their relentless scoring attack, over 70 points per game, is a force to be reckoned with. Furthermore, their stingy defense, allowing a paltry 39.6 points per contest, has been the backbone of their success.

Although HVCC is designated as a neutral site, its location in Utica, New York, may give Aquinas Institute a slight geographic advantage over Catholic Central, which hails from Troy, New York. However, this is unlikely to be a significant factor.

Several key questions will be answered during this highly anticipated semi-final match:

Aquinas’ ability to shake off their recent defeat and rediscover their winning formula will be crucial. Executing their game plan efficiently and maintaining composure in a pressure-filled environment will be key to surviving a disaster.

Catholic Central’s offensive prowess has been instrumental in their dominant run. Aquinas’ defensive strategy will depend on limiting their scoring opportunities, forcing turnovers and contesting shots effectively. Can they disrupt the Crusaders’ attacking rhythm and put the game within reach?

While both teams have experience playing away from home, it will be important to adapt to the specific environment of the HVCC. The team that demonstrates greater adaptability and executes their game plan more effectively will likely win.

This Class A semifinal promises an enthralling clash between a hungry underdog and an undefeated powerhouse. The winner will secure a coveted spot in the state championship game, taking an important step toward hoisting the coveted NYSPHSAA girls basketball Class A trophy.

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