The McCauly Lions have won three straight State Championships, they have a big talented front line, a deep bench, and the best player in Allie Clement. After crushing Portland in the semi-final one might ask: is there any way that they can lose to 7th-seed Windham?
However, Windham has proven they belong in the final with upsets against 2nd seed Thornton (who handed McAuley their only loss) and Cheverus. Windham has a fighting chance as they may be able to match up well against McAuley.
Center: Victoria Lux 6’1″ McAuley vs. Lonnie Staten 5’10” Windham. Vicky Lux overpowers opponents with size, strength, and good fundamental skills around the basket where she keeps possessions alive with offensive rebounds and put backs. But Staten is a good defensive player who moves the ball well on offense–and has the strength to keep Vicky out of the paint.
Power Forward: Olivia Smith 6’3″ McAuley vs. Haley Batchelder 5’10” Windham. Batchelder will have her hands full with the taller Smith who has a dangerous array of low post moves and drives. Haley’s best bet is to play her long and hope to get help and an occasional charge.
Small Forward: Jaclyn Welch 5’7″ McAuley vs. Luisa Sbardella 5’9″ Windham. Welch is an aggressive hard-nosed player on both ends of the floor and she brings a measure of senior savvy to the court. Sbardella has a similar game but she is longer, more athletic, and has a better handle (she often plays the point) although she is also more emotional and more prone to mistakes.
Shooting Guard: Olivia Delphonse 5’3″ McAuley vs. Sadie Nelson 5’10” Windham. Nelson erupted for 17 second half points to lead Windham. Big, strong, and quick she likes to finish her drives by going high off glass a penchant that could serve her well if she finds herself matched up against the taller Olivia Smith at the 4.
Point Guard: Allie Clement 5’8″ McAuley vs. Sam Frost 5’8″ Windham. Frost has the perfect temperament (diligence, sound fundamentals, toughness, and game smarts) to match up against most guards but Allie Clement isn’t most guards. The McAuley point guard has a great feel for the game, she runs the offense, and shoots 3s. She is tough, cool, and she wins championships. Frost will need to dig deep if she hopes to put the freeze on Clement.
Juggernaut McAuley vs. Cinderella Windham Saturday night.