“We would certainly be disappointed if we don’t make it just because we’ve been in this game two years in a row and we haven’t been able to get over the hump with these kids,” he continued.
To beat the Jugglers, two factors could be key: tempo and post play.
Miller said UND plays very much like Section Four Class A champion Maine-Endwell — a fast-paced team OHS beat, 50-34, in a Southern Tier Athletic Conference semifinal Feb. 13.
“I think M-E is a very good comparison,” he said. “Obviously, M-E doesn’t have an individual like the Durr kid, but they push like crazy, they try to defend, get up on you and create turnovers. I expect the tempo to be quick. They’re more of a guard-oriented team.
“They haven’t applied much full-court pressure, but they pick up real high in the half-court — right at half-court,” he continued. “It’s mostly man but they do play a 2-3 zone.”
Miller added that when OHS and Utica ND scrimmaged before the season, the Jugglers played man-to-man defense throughout.
“If they came and watched the Seton game, they played all man and we struggled a little bit, so I imagine that’s what we’ll see,” Miller said.
Ruff, a junior, said following the Seton game that she’ll need to protect the ball better.
“I think we need to work on free throw shooting, especially me,” Ruff said after going 5-for-13 from the line to contribute to OHS’ 18-for-36 performance against the Saints. “I need to clean up my ballhandling and my passes.”
It would also help if Ruff could replicate her performance in the STAC final against Section Four Class AA champion Horseheads, when she had 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in 57-56 overtime victory.