Amanda Lynch, a senior at John S. Burke Catholic, is a big college basketball fan, but she doesn't follow any one team in particular.

Amanda Lynch, a senior at John S. Burke Catholic, is a big college basketball fan, but she doesn't follow any one team in particular. This season, she has jumped on the bandwagon of Jimmer Fredette, the sharpshooter from Brigham Young University.

"He's just remarkable," Lynch said.

A shooting guard herself, Lynch has taken on additional responsibilities this season. She can play any position, from the 2-guard to power forward, and has averaged more than 16 points per game. Lynch scored 16 points for Burke Catholic, the No. 3 seed in the Section 9 Class B tournament, in a 51-36 quarterfinal victory over Onteora on Saturday. The Eagles (14-4) will play a semifinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday at No. 2 Tuxedo.

Lynch also plays volleyball (back hitter) and lacrosse (midfielder) at Burke Catholic.

She will join the college basketball ranks next season when she suits up for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which plays in the Liberty League, a Division III conference. Lynch plans on majoring in biomedical engineering or biology.

What position do you play? "My role changed this year. Before I had always been the shooting guard, but this year I'm the tallest player (at 5—foot-9). I play all around. I go wherever I can be the most effective."

How excited are you to play Tuxedo a third time? "The first time, at their place, they held me to three points. I think we feel much better now going in and knowing a lot more about how they play."

How has the team gotten better over the course of the season? "We've come to improve a lot on our defensive energy. We're stopping people and getting those big stops. And we've gotten going offensively over time. It just takes patience."

Is Tuxedo's cramped gym intimidating? "It's definitely a challenge. The 3-point arc on the sidelines, there is barely any room. It's a very difficult court to play on."

Any favorite memories from the season so far? "I have two. The first was our game against Monroe-Woodbury, when we were down by 19 points. I was thinking, 'Oh my gosh, where are we going to go from here?' But we came back and brought it within two with only a few minutes to go. It was great that we didn't give up against a (Class) AA school like that. The second was the game against Tuxedo at home. We really went out and took over and everyone really had their hearts in it."

Have you gained anything from sharing a gym with the No. 3-ranked boys' team in the state? "It always felt like the girls were barely known with the boys being so good. But we're going to make ourselves known. We want people to know that we can get better and that we can be just as good as the boys."

What made you choose RPI? "At Rensselaer, the coach and the girls were so great and really welcomed me and made me feel at home."

William Montgomery

It's March Madness for high school athletes this week

The week ahead will be full of championship competition for winter sports.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the state skiing championships will be held in the Lake Placid area at Whiteface Mountain (Alpine) and Mount VanHoevenberg (Nordic). Patrick Burke, a senior at Goshen, and Warwick's Brielle Antonelli figure to be among the Alpine favorites on the boys' and girls' sides, respectively.

Saturday's action includes the state boys' swimming and diving finals on Long Island, the boys' and girls' indoor track and field championships at Cornell and the girls' gymnastics championships at Shaker High School in Latham, as well as sectional basketball tournament games closer to home.

Pine Bush senior Larry Virgilio, who set a state record in the 50 freestyle at the Section 9 championships on Feb. 18, will be one swimmer to watch at the swimming championships, which begin Friday at the Nassau Aquatic Center in East Meadow. On the diving board, Warwick senior Reid Wilson leads a group of five Wildcats, a Section 9 record for most divers from one team at the state meet.

Cornell University's Barton Hall will host the boys' and girls' indoor track championships. The Middletown boys' 1,600-meter relay team, the fastest in the state and the third fastest in the nation, will put its talent on display. On the girls' side, look out for Cornwall's Olivia Jebb, who qualified in both the long jump and triple jump.

James I. O'Neill freshman Alex Hartke, who was the Section 9 all-around champion, will represent the Raiders at the state gymnastics meet. Her O'Neill teammate Darby Germain, who was a close second behind Hartke at the Section 9 meet, will also contend for a state title.

Section 9 ice hockey champions Monroe-Woodbury (Division I) and John S. Burke Catholic (Division II) take on their counterparts from Section 1 in the state quarterfinals Saturday. The winners of those games earns berths in the state frozen four in Utica.

The Section 9 Class AA boys' basketball championship game will be played at 5 p.m. Saturday at SUNY New Paltz. Can No. 1 Newburgh Free Academy and No. 2 Middletown make it through two rounds of playoffs for a third meeting this season in the title game? Middletown posted a 66-63 victory over NFA on Feb. 17, NFA's first loss to a Section 9 team since the 2008 sectional championship game.

The Section 9 Class AA girls' basketball game will precede the boys at 3 p.m. at SUNY New Paltz.

Here are the rest of the Section 9 basketball tournament finals:

Class A – Friday at SUNY New Paltz, girls at 6 p.m., boys at 8 p.m.

Class B – Thursday at SUNY New Paltz, girls at 6 p.m., boys at 8 p.m.

Class C – Sunday at SUNY New Paltz, girls at 1 p.m., boys at 3 p.m.

Class D – Monday March 7 at SUNY New Paltz, girls at 5 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.