The top two teams in Section II advanced to the class AA finals with lopsided semifinal victories over Saratoga County's finest last Friday in Glens Falls.
Bishop Maginn downed Suburban Council Blue Division champion Saratoga 79-48, and Christian Brothers Academy defeated Shenendehowa 70-39 to get to Monday's title game in Albany, which Maginn won 48-43.
Saratoga tried to run with Maginn in the opener, but the Blue Streaks' strategy backfired. The Golden Griffins forced 17 Saratoga turnovers in the first half on their way to a 44-14 halftime lead.
This team wanted to run with us, and that's how we play. So, we liked our chances, said Bishop Maginn coach Rich Hurley. "It's something that we practice every day, and that was the tempo tonight."
Jalaun Taylor got Maginn going by scoring seven of his team's first nine points. Talor Battle then added a buzzer-beating basket to put the Golden Griffins ahead 19-6.
"We came out right from the jump and were ready to go," said Battle, who finished with 24 points. "We missed a couple of early baskets, but Jalaun Taylor got us off to a great start."
Meanwhile, Saratoga's primary offensive weapons never got on track. Jordan Stevens finished with only 11 points, and Garrett Bishop had to battle to reach 17 points. Vonzel Legall contributed 12 points.
"They definitely brought their top-flight game tonight and played as well as they could," said Saratoga coach Mitch Snyder, whose team made only 26 percent of its shots from the field. "We made some sloppy and lazy passes, and they feasted on them by turning them into points."
Maginn increased its lead to as many as 43 points in the second half before Saratoga put together a surge to get the deficit back down to 30 points.
"They were ready to play, and they played a superb game," said Snyder.