By Keith McShea
McKinley will play for the state championship on Sunday after another very impressive postseason performance.
For the second straight week, the Macks turned up the defensive pressure while executing at a high level offensively to run away from a private school and advance in the state Class A playoffs. The Macks used a 25-13 third quarter to beat Syracuse's Bishop Ludden, 75-61, Saturday afternoon before an estimated 3,500 at Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Macks (21-3) will play Section IX champion Burke Catholic (18-4) of Orange County at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Civic Center. Burke defeated Section XI (Suffolk County, L.I.) champion Amityville, 68-50, in Saturday's first semifinal.
Lovell Smith led Macks with 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting while fellow senior Marcus Morris had 21 while hitting five of six three-pointers. Senior DaeQuan Warren added 11 rebounds, senior Samuel Smith had 10 points, four assists and three steals and senior Reyjzon Jordan had nine points and four assists.
McKinley shot 31 of 53 from the field (58.4 percent) while limiting Ludden to 19 of 52 (36.5 percent). The Macks were called for 20 fouls -- with Morris and Warren in foul trouble throughout the game -- while Ludden was called for nine. McKinley outrebounded Ludden, 38-26.
It will be McKinley's second state final, but its first since the very first year of the state tournament arriving in Glens Falls. The Ray Hall-led Macks lost the Class B final to Long Island's Malverne in 1981.
McKinley is the first Yale Cup team to make the state final in one of the two largest classes since 1984 (when Bennett won Class B). The state tournament had four classes (A, B, C and D) from its inception in 1978 to 2003; it then expanded to five (AA, A, B, C and D).
McKinley will face a private school for the third straight game. Last week, McKinley beat Rochester's Aquinas, 79-52, in the Far West Regionals.
Here's the live blog from today's game:
taggedBasketball | McKinley