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      Section III champs try their luck in state tournament

      After winning Section III titles last week, Central New York high school basketball teams began their run in the state tournament, beginning with the regional finals on Saturday.

      In Class AA boys action, Henninger trailed by 12 to Troy after three quarters, but made a run that fell just short, losing their regional final 60-52. In the loss, Romero Collier scored 17 points.

      In Class A, the Bishop Ludden boys outlasted a late Scotia run that brought them within one, but big baskets by Dan Kaigler and Zach Walser were enough to grant Ludden the 58-53 victory. Ludden will play Buffalo McKinely in Glens Falls on Saturday.

      In Class B, Westhill and Norwich boys battled to the bitter end with Westhill narrowly edging out Norwich 59-58. Westhill led for much of the game, but Norwich made key steals down the stretch, and even had the ball on the last possession of the game, but the Westhill defense toughened up and caused a scramble for the ball which took valuable seconds off the clock.

      "That possession just told you we want it as much as anybody," sophomore Jordan Roland, who scored 27 points, says. "We saw that we wanted it and everyone got on the floor and tried to get it."

      Westhill advances to Glens Falls, and will play in the state semifinals against Babylon (Section XI) on Friday at 6:45.

      In Class C boys action, Section III champs Beaver River dropped their regional game to Moravia 65-42. Alex Hall scored 19 points in the loss.

      In Class D, the New York Mills boys gave coach Michael Adey his 301st win over Marathon 70-57. New York Mills plays Argyle (Section II) on Saturday at 11:45 a.m at Glens Falls.

      In girls action, Class AA Section III champs Cicero-North Syracuse battled Albany, and withstood a late second half run to win a barnburner 51-49. Free throws were huge down the stretch, with C-NS' Abbey Timpano leading the charge with 10 of her 20 points coming from the charity stripe.

      C-NS will face Gates-Chili at 8 p.m. on Friday at Hudson Valley Community College in the state semifinals.

      In other girls action, Oriskany defeated Franklin 51-46, Oneonta defeated Notre Dame 57-52, and Harpursville defeated Cooperstown 45-43.