RICKY ST. CLAIR
PLATTSBURGH — When the Peru and Beekmantown boys’ basketball teams square off in today’s Section VII Class B title game, area fans can expect two contrasting philosophies on the court.
The top-seeded Indians (13-6), who heavily rely on their athleticism and depth, will look to fend off an intimidating Eagles (12-7) post presence in a championship bout at the Plattsburgh State Field House for 3:30 p.m.
High School Sports Magazine
The two teams split the regular-season series at one game apiece.
Peru lost the first of two contests on the road Jan. 10, 66-57, before collecting a 56-50 win Feb. 13.
“It’s definitely going to be a defensive battle,” Indians coach John Clemons said. “We’re really expecting a tough, physical game. Keegan (Ryan) is probably averaging close to 15 rebounds a game, and we’ve got a couple of guys with some size that can hopefully put a body on him and limit his offensive and defensive rebounds.”
Peru, which advanced to the championship game with a 51-46 defeat of Plattsburgh High last Saturday, is led in scoring by Tim Remillard and Conor Casey. The two average 12.1 and 11.3 points per game, respectively.
Clemons said his team’s ability to spread the floor will potentially influence the outcome of the game.
“We have four or five guys who can shoot from outside,” Clemons said. “We would like able to run the floor as much as possible and use our athleticism. I feel like we’re a very athletic and deep team.”
Bret Boyer (9.4), Mackenzie LaRocque (7.6), Tyler Lemza (5.1) and Hunter Bruno (4.9) are all likely to receive significant playing time, while Clemons said others will come off the bench and make notable contributions.
“We have Nick Demarais, a senior, who comes out as a guard and plays pretty good defense,” Clemons said. “Ian Spear is our big defensive stopper and gives us some very good minutes. Rivelino Hendricks is only a sophomore, but he did an excellent job against (Ryan) last time inside.”
Beekmantown kept its title hopes alive with a 48-36 semifinal defeat of Saranac one week ago.
The Eagles own arguably the league’s most intimidating post player in Ryan. The 6-foot-7 inch senior averages 27.4 points per game and combined for 57 points in two games played against the Indians this season.
Greg Manney is the team’s force from the perimeter, hitting 32 3-pointers on the year and contributing 7.7 points per game. Justin Stevens has also figured into an important role in the Beekmantown offense, averaging 4.6 points per game.
“We’ve made an effort to play inside-out from the beginning of the season,” Eagles coach Ryan Converse said. “(Ryan) has been consistent for us and when we have other guys step up and create a little balance around him, we’ve been very successful.”
Converse said Peru’s plethora of weapons will make it difficult to key on just one player.
“They are a tough team to guard because they have good depth and balance,” Converse said. “They’ve had different guys step up at different times throughout the season. One thing we try to do as a team defensively is take away their strengths as best as we can.
“Peru plays a very physical style of basketball and we’ve had some battles. We need to be ready to play, try and match their intensity and not get outworked.”
Peru has not won a boys’ basketball championship since 2005-2006 when they were Class A program, while Beekmantown has played without a Section VII title since the 1996-1997 season.
GP FG FT P AVG
Remillard 18 84 45 218 12.1
Casey 16 62 23 181 11.3
Boyer 19 79 21 179 9.4
LaRocque 15 51 13 115 7.6
Lemza 18 31 21 92 5.1
3-Point Leaders GP No.
Casey 16 34
Bruno 19 12
Lemza 18 9
Demarais 18 7
Remillard 18 5
GP FG FT P AVG
Ryan 19 195 135 521 27.4
Manney 19 48 18 146 7.7
Stevens 18 30 20 83 4.6
Trombly 19 25 19 71 3.7
Koktowski 15 23 7 53 3.5
3-Point Leaders GP No.
Manney 19 32
Begor 17 8
Stevens 18 3
Trombly 19 2
Remchuk 11 2