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Nassau Girls Hoops Bracketology

Baldwin High School #3 Amber Harrison, right, looks

Baldwin High School #3 Amber Harrison, right, looks to drive past North Babylon #5 Makeda Nicholson in the third quarter. (Dec. 28, 2011) Credit: James Escher

The Nassau brackets will be announced Tuesday night. Below are projected brackets based off this season’s standings, previous year’s brackets as well as conversations with those directly and indirectly involved in the seeding process. This is simply one man’s opinion as to how the brackets will be assembled based on how teams and conferences were seeded in the past, each team’s total body of work this season, statistical analysis and observation from games this season.

Class AA:

The only major issue left to resolve in Class AA appears to be which Conference AA-III co-champion is seeded higher between Herricks and Mepham. The teams split their season series (Mepham won the latter of the two games) and have identical records against the rest of their conference, with each splitting with third-place Elmont.

This leaves significantly less important non-league games to ultimately separate the teams. Herricks went 3-0 in non-league with an impressive 53-36 win over Conference A-II champion Sewanhaka. Mepham went 2-1 in non-league with a 56-46 win over Hicksville and a 41-31 loss to Lower Merion (PA) without Kristen O’Brien in the lineup. Lower Merion is the 10 seed in the Pennsylvania District 1 Class AAAA playoffs.

Making it all the more challenging is once Herricks and Mepham are separated where does Freeport fall in? If the committee chose to seed the Conference AA-III champion as No. 5, as they did last year, it would logically mean Herricks and Mepham would be No. 5 and 6 since they’re so hard to separate and Freeport would be No. 7. Although this scenario seems unlikely there is something to be said for being a conference champion.

Projected Class AA bracket:

8 Valley Stream Central

vs--------------------1 Baldwin

9 Elmont

5 Freeport

vs--------------------4 Uniondale

12 Long Beach

6 Herricks

vs--------------------3 MacArthur

11 Hicksville

7 Mepham

vs--------------------2 Massapequa

10 Farmingdale

Note: By rule, if Valley Stream Central gets a home game in the playoffs it cannot play in its home gym because it is not the largest gym in the district.

Class A:

There appears to be two major seed battles in Class A: No. 2 and No. 5. Garden City and Lynbrook are vying for No. 2 and Wantagh and Floral Park are two primary candidates for No. 5. The decision on who No. 2 is has a direct effect on who No. 5 will be because Garden City and Wantagh are Conference A-I and Lynbrook and Floral Park are Conference A-III. Logic would dictate the No. 2 seed came from a more competitive league and since Wantagh and Floral Park each split with Garden City and Lynbrook respectively their seeds would fall in line with the same thinking which ultimately decides who the No. 2 seed is. A consequence would be the No. 3 and 6 seeds possibly being from the same conference and having a potential rematch in the quarterfinals but the committee has shown no preference to avoiding such a scenario in the past.

 

Garden City
(15-2, 9-1 Conference A-I)

Who’s No. 2?

Lynbrook
(13-4, 11-1 Conference A-III)

52.7

Points For

52.4

33.5

Points Against

38.6

Won 9

Streak

Won 1 (8 straight vs publics)

5-0

Last 5 Games:

4-1 (5-0 vs publics)

8-2

vs playoff teams

7-4

6-2

vs Nassau A playoff teams

6-2

2-2

Common opponents

5-0

1-1

vs Wantagh

1-0

0-1

vs Manhasset

2-0

1-0

vs Great Neck North

2-0

The case for Garden City:
The defending Class A Long Island champions returned all but one player from last year’s squad and won Conference A-I. The Trojans avenged their only conference loss (Wantagh) in which Sam Auricchio did not play and Christina Mangels came off the bench. Garden City’s road loss to Manhasset came on Dec. 17 and Manhasset was 5-0 at the time and GC was 6-0. The Trojans offense is also more balanced than Lynbrook's by comparison. While Auricchio has been the most prolific scorer, Kim Ryan, Christina Mangels and Katie Trimmer have all led the way in games as well.

The case against Garden City:
You don’t earn anything this year based off last year’s accomplishments. The 2-2 record against common opponents compared to Lynbrook’s 5-0 record is a staunch difference. While the loss to Manhasset, who finished third in Conference A-III, was not “bad” at the time and looks better after Monday the fact remains the Trojans lost the game and Lynbrook swept Manhasset.

The case for Lynbrook:
Brooke Gerstman is possibly the best public school player in Nassau and is tied for fifth on the Island in scoring (20.9). The 5-0 record against common opponents is outstanding and there is nothing wrong with a single one of its four losses. North Shore and Baldwin are the top teams in their respective classes, Floral Park came in second in Conference A-III and a road loss to them is no different than Garden City’s loss to Wantagh and Saturday’s loss to Sacred Heart is not embarrassing at all. The four teams to come out of Conference A-III all have over-500 records.

The case against Lynbrook:
While none of its losses are “bad,” at what point do “not bad” losses exceed Garden City’s two losses? The Owls have secondary scorers in Danielle Amaya, Shannon Baker and Joelle Church but Lynbrook relies heavily on Gerstman while Garden City is more balanced.

Projected Class A bracket:

1 North Shore

vs

16 Plainedge

8 Bethpage

vs

9 Manhasset

5 Floral Park

vs

12 New Hyde Park

4 Sewanhaka

vs

13 Valley Stream North

6 Wantagh

vs

11 Great Neck North

3 Garden City

vs

14 Mineola

7 Island Trees

vs

10 Division

2 Lynbrook

vs

15 South Side

Projected Class B bracket:

1 Cold Spring Harbor

vs

4 Wheatley

2 Carle Place

vs

3 Locust Valley

Projected Class C bracket:

1 Friends Academy

Vs

2 East Rockaway

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