The Smoke Signal

North 1 Group 3 State Tournament Preview: Boys Basketball

Alex Lin (14) against West Milford. Heading into the first round of the state sectional tournament, Lin is PV's leading scorer, averaging 19 points per game.

Patricia Ocelotl

Alex Lin (14) against West Milford. Heading into the first round of the state sectional tournament, Lin is PV's leading scorer, averaging 19 points per game.

Josh DeLuca, Sports Writer

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Pascack Valley vs. Northern Valley Demarest: Round 1 of North 1, Group 3 State Sectional Playoffs

When: Tuesday, Feb. 28

Location: Pascack Valley High School

Time: 6 p.m.

2016-2017 Records:

Pascack Valley (No. 6 seed): 12-11, 59.88 points per game, 58.79 opponents points per game

Northern Valley Demarest (No. 11 seed): 15-9, 54.71 points per game, 46.83 opponents per game

Bracket Breakdown: Teaneck, the No. 4 seed and The Record’s pick to win, has given nearly every team in the bracket a run for its money, going 11-1 against the eight North 1 Group 3 opponents it has faced, including a 2-0 record against PV. If No. 1 seed Old Tappan can win its first round matchup against No. 16 Montville, a rematch between Old Tappan and Teaneck is a real possibility in the semifinals, and that season series is tied 1-1. The Indians will have to get past the winner of River Dell-Dwight Morrow, and if they do, they appear poised to make a run.

 

Round 1

PV Perspective: Pascack Valley (Ranked No. 14 in the Bergen Record’s Top 25) has had an up and down season thus far.  Valley dropped five of its first six games, with the Indians first win coming on Dec. 22, when they beat Demarest 53-45.  2016 did not fare well for the Indians, but the turn of the calendar year brought a new life for the PV boys basketball team.  Starting with a Jan. 10 win against Ridgewood, Valley rattled off seven consecutive victories, propelling the Indians’ winning percentage to above .500. However, after that, Valley’s midseason surge came to a screeching halt, as the Indians dropped their next five games, which included a 65-64 loss at home to Demarest.  Recently, the Indians have fared better, and have managed to get their record back above .500 with a win against Delbarton last Thursday, their third win in four games.  If PV wins, the Indians will face the winner of the River Dell-Dwight Morrow matchup in the next round, and will look to rely on the shooting touch of senior Matt Vasel (14.2 points per game) and junior Alex Lin (19 points per game), as well as the post presence of senior Matt Domville to stay competitive the rest of the way.

Northern Valley Demarest Lowdown: Although Northern Valley Demarest (Ranked No. 17 in the Bergen Record’s Top 25) was coming off a losing record during the 2015-2016 campaign and a first round exit in the 2016 NJSIAA North 1, Group 2 Tournament, they have bounced back with a winning season.  Like Pascack Valley, Northern Valley Demarest got off to a rough start this season, dropping their first six games.  However, the Norsemen were able to turn their season around, winning seven straight games, and twelve of thirteen. In fact, after losing its first six games, Demarest has only lost three games. Due to their rough start to the season, the Norsemen did not qualify for the Bergen County Jamboree, but their turnaround earned them the No. 1 seed in the Bergen Invitational Tournament.  They rode their heat wave to the final of the Bergen Invitational Tournament, where they beat Ramsey 60-45, giving them 9 wins in their last 10 games. 

For a complete North 1, Group 3 Tournament bracket, click here.

-Jake Aferiat also contributed to this report

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North 1 Group 3 State Tournament Preview: Boys Basketball