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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 5, 2006

Voorheesville boys' basketball

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville boys’ basketball team had a fun night on Tuesday, beating arch rival Watervliet and in convincing fashion.

The Blackbirds used a strong defensive effort in the second quarter to break open a 14-11 lead and cruise to a 59-39 victory.

"Last night was fun," said Voorheesville Coach Don Catellier on Wednesday. "There’s a rivalry there and they are the benchmark for the Colonial Council. If you want to win the league, you have to go into Watervliet and win a game. We’ve done that twice in two years."

The Blackbirds were ahead, 14-11, at the end of the first quarter but then held the Cannoneers scoreless for the first six minutes of the eight minute second quarter to build a big lead.

Voorheesville outscored Watervliet, 18-8, in the stanza.

"We played real well," Catellier said. "We did everything right. We shot five for nine in the paint and that was our game plan. We wanted to do that. We wanted to stay with that and get the ball inside to our big kids and our offense was able to do that."

Forward Nick Duncan scored 11 points and center Mike Hopper scored 10. Forward Evan Christner added nine points.

But it was guard Greg Klopfer who led the Blackbirds with 13 points. Andy Catellier chipped in 11 points for Voorheesville.

"We were balanced," Coach Catellier said. "It was nice. We definitely played real well."

Hopper and Christner also did a good job of stopping Watervliet’s big man, Ismael Maxwell.

Maxwell finished the contest with 21 points but only scored two points down low.

"We forced him to the outside," Catellier said. "Most of his points were on three-pointers or foul shots. Evan Christner and Mike Hopper did a good job. They frustrated him."

Coming of age

During the Christmas break, the Blackbirds beat another Colonial Council rival.

Voorheesville defeated Mechanicville, 40-34, on Dec. 27.

"It was okay," Catellier said. "We did not play that well. Klopfer had still been out with bronchitis. So I played Mackey Lloyd who is a sophomore. He played most of the first quarter. He settled in."

Klopfer played after the first quarter but was still feeling the effects of being ill.

"He didn’t shoot the ball real well," Catellier added. "Physically, he was able to go. We missed a lot of shots. But Evan came of age in that game. He scored 19 points and did a good job."

The Blackbirds were still down after suffering their first league loss of the season against Cohoes and did not shoot the ball well.

"But it was nice to get a win," Catellier said. "And Mechanicville is always a tough game."

"Skipped a few beats"

The Birds were in a bit of disarray before the Cohoes game on Dec. 21.

"We found out at four o’clock that Greg couldn’t play," Catellier said. "We moved Andy over to the point guard position and he did a good job for the most part. But they started pressuring us and we didn’t handle it well. We usually have two guys in the backcourt I know I can count on. But with one missing, we skipped a few beats. But we had a 13-point lead with three minutes to go."

The Blackbirds committed 30 turnovers and missed 10 or 11 free throws, Catellier said.

"We were not in sync," the coach said. "But it might be a case that a loss is good. It shows the kids that we are not invincible. It got us focused and hopefully we can build on that."

Next up for the Blackbirds is a home game against Colonial Council newcomer Broadalbin-Perth on Friday and another home game against Cobleskill on Tuesday.

Guilderland hockey vs. Burnt Hills/Scotia

By Tim Matteson


After being on the cusp many times this season, the Skating Dutchmen got their first win, beating Burnt Hills/Scotia-Glenville, 5-3, on Friday night.

"This is great," said Guilderland Coach John DeRubertis. "I’ve never experienced going winless over 11 games. It was killing me to get a win."

Looking back at the season, he went on, "The first weekend we played ugly hockey but, since then, the games we are losing, we are right there in the third. We came back to tie and lost in a shootout or we lost a one-goal game."

On Friday at the Achilles Rink at Union College, the Dutchmen were involved with another close game, but this time they were able to pull it out in the third period.

The game was tied late in the second period when Guilderland got its biggest goal of the season to date.

The Dutchmen got the puck in their defensive end as junior Ben Fogel got the puck to senior captain Tim Montgomery.

The speedy Montgomery started a breakaway and found freshman Colin Burg who had a one-on-one with Burnt Hills goalie Nick Wilson.

Burg shot from the left and fired the puck low between the goalie’s leg pads to give the Dutch the lead, 4-3, with just three seconds left in the period.

Montgomery added a goal in the third period that sealed the win for Guilderland. Burg and Fogel assisted on the final tally of the game.

"He has been a great leader on and off the ice," DeRubertis said of Montgomery. "He definitely isn’t lacking in any area for me."

Back and forth

Burnt Hills scored first in the contest. Brian Boni, assisted by Matt Fitts, got the first goal with 9:31 left in the opening frame.

But Guilderland tied the game with 5:58 left in the first period. Aaron Cahill scored on a well-placed slap shot from just inside the blue line. Montgomery and Burg assisted on the score.

Burnt Hills/Scotia-Glenville scored first in the second period, too, with 12:12 left in the frame. Eric Nichols got the tally with an assist going to Steven Nichols.

Again, Guilderland came back to tie the game.

With 5:11 left in the middle period, Jeff Geisendorf made a long-distance shot. Geisendorf’s shot found the lower right corner to tie the game. John Moran got the assist on the goal.

Montgomery gave the Dutchmen the lead with 2:38 left in the second stanza.

Cahill took another hard shot that bounced off the dasher behind and right of the goal. The puck bounced to Montgomery who fired it into the net to give his team the lead.

Steve Culver tied the game for Burnt Hills with 42 seconds to go in the period. Culver scored on a power play after a Guilderland penalty by Nick Koss.

Culver got to a loose puck in front of the net and buried it into the goal. He was assisted by Mike Desormeaux and Matt Relyea.

But then, just 39 seconds later, Guilderland got the game-winning goal.

"Burnt Hills was 7-1 coming into the game and you have to go back three or four years since they were close to beating us," DeRubertis said. "We’ve had some great teams here. But this was definitely not a gimme. We obviously can’t take anybody lightly. They haven’t had a win against us but we knew Burnt Hills was hot. They beat Saratoga and lost to Shenendehowa in a game that was a lot closer than the score."


Though the Dutch got a lot of offense, goalie Adam Gray was probably the first star of the game. Gray made 38 saves to anchor a young defense that looked inexperienced at times. Gray stopped 15 shots in each of the first two frames and made eight saves to hold up the Guilderland lead.

Gray made all the saves he should have, but also stopped some point-blank shots in impressive fashion.

"He faced 42 shots," DeRubertis said. "We are young on defense, and there have been one or two games where we outshot the other team. If you look at it, they had 42 shots but they didn’t have many solid rebound opportunities. He keeps us in the game."

The win improves the Dutchmen to 1-2 in the Capital District High School Hockey League and 1-8-2 overall.

"It’s kind of a new season," DeRubertis said.

Loss to Saratoga

The win came after a 4-2 loss to Saratoga last Wednesday.

Saratoga had a 2-0 lead late in the second period until Montgomery put the Dutchmen on the board.

Montgomery scored with 5:10 left in the period, getting assists from Koss and John Potts.

Guilderland tied the game with 8:56 to go in the third period on Montgomery’s second goal of the contest. Burg and Jon Fogel assisted on this goal for the Dutchmen.

Saratoga regained the lead just a couple of minutes later on a goal by Alex Stone.

Stone sealed the win for the Blue Streaks with an empty-net goal with 44 seconds left in the contest.

Gray made 33 saves in goal for the Dutch.

"Game by game"

DeRubertis pushed his guys to keep working despite the constant losing.

"I’ve been trying to go game by game and really challenge them," the coach said. "I don’t take a single player and berate them. I challenge them individually. If a kid does not have a goal, I challenge him to try and put the puck in the net.

"We are just going game by game," DeRubertis added. "Certainly each game we’ll be there. This was really big for us. It shows that the kids are capable."

DeRubertis definitely has faith in his team.

"I’m proud of them," the coach said. "You can take any team in New York State that also has a 0-9 record and they couldn’t compete with us."

Guilderland girls' basketball vs. Colonie

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Lady Dutch came out with intensity Tuesday night.

And the intensity was all the Guilderland girls’ basketball team needed to propel it to a 54-43 win over arch rival Colonie.

"For three quarters, we played tremendous," said Guilderland Coach Frank Cacckello. "We played great on both ends of the court. Every time they tried to come back at us, we threw a counter punch."

The Lady Dutch clamped down on the Garnet Raiders in the first quarter. Guilderland outscored Colonie, 11-6, in the first frame to set the tone for the contest.

Colonie got on the scoreboard first after Kelly VanValkenburg stole the ball and went in for a lay-up.

But the Lady Dutch were able to settle down against the vaunted Colonie pressure defense and got their first points on a foul shot and a jump shot by Nikki Branchini.

Colonie then tied the game on a foul shot by Amarando Taylor, but Guilderland regained the lead when Rachel Rabbin stole the ball on a pass and went the length of the court for a lay-up.

Taylor made another foul shot and Stephanie Sweeney made an inside basket to put Colonie up 6-5.

But Guilderland used its tough defense to shut out Colonie for the final four minutes of the frame and pulled ahead after beating the Garnet Raiders’ pressure defense.

Lead for good

Kristin Pezze made a steal and lay-up to give the Lady Dutch the lead again—this time for good.

Rabbin scored on a drive to the basket and Branchini made a jump shot to round out the scoring for the Lady Dutch in the quarter.

Guilderland outscored Colonie in the second quarter, 16-11, and held a 10-point lead, 27-17, at halftime.

Guilderland added to its lead in the third quarter.

The Lady Dutch outscored the Garnet Raiders, 15-8, in the stanza.

Guilderland got two three-point baskets from Rabbin in the frame and five points from Mary Kate O’Connell. Jessica Tice and Branchini also scored in the frame for the Lady Dutch.

Guilderland led, 42-25, at the end of the third frame.

But Colonie kept battling, and made things interesting in the fourth quarter.

Though the Garnet Raiders never cut the lead to less than the 11-point final margin, the game had the intensity of a closer match.

Pezze was the clutch player for Guilderland as she scored six points in the stanza — including four foul shots.

O’Connell also came up big with four points in the frame, and Rabbin added two points.

Colonie made the score 44-30 after a basket off of a rebound by Logan Pintka.

But, with 4:39 left in the game, Pezze answered with a lay-up to break Colonie’s mini-run.

Colonie came back with three points on an inside basket by VanValkenburg and a foul shot by Stephanie Sweeney.

But, again, Guilderland answered—this time on a jump shot by Rabbin.

Rabbin’s basket put the Lady Dutch up by 15 points.

Pezze then went four-for-four from the free-throw line and O’Connell banged in a jump shot with 48 seconds left to seal the win.

Starting to click

"The number-one thing we got through was we handled their press," Cacckello said. "We did not break the press; we beat it early. We had problems against the press in the second half, but that’s basketball. We were clock-watching at times. But, in five or six minutes, in the fourth quarter, they only had cut the lead by five points."

Cacckello said he wanted to attack the press but was happy the Dutch were able to build up the lead early.

Rabbin led the Lady Dutch with 14 points. Pezze scored 13 and O’Connell added 11. Tice and Branchini each scored seven for Guilderland.

VanValkenburg led Colonie with 15 points. Amarando scored 12 and Pintka added 11.

Cacckello was pleased with the job his team did defending VanValkenburg; Pezze guarded her most of the night.

"I thought we did a good job on Kelly," Cacckello said. "Kristin plays on both ends."

Cacckello was also happy with the way the team played in the halfcourt on offense and their ability to run some plays.

"We were able to spread out the floor and dribble penetrate," the coach said "We were able to score in tight and that was big for us. We’re starting to click."

Cacckello challenged his seniors to step up for this big Suburban Council showdown.

"I put it on the board," Cacckello said. "I wrote that this might be their only opportunity to beat these guys this year."

And the two seniors in the line-up — Rabbin and Tice — responded.

Guilderland also got strong minutes off the bench from Tricia Loux and sophomore Danielle Burns.

Holding court

The Lady Dutch won their own holiday tournament, posting resounding wins over Ballston Spa and Bishop Maginn.

Guilderland beat Maginn, 58-28, in the second round of the tournament on Thursday.

Rachel Rabbin led the Lady Dutch with 13 points. Kristin Pezze, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player, added 11 points.

Mary Kate O’Connell scored 10 points for the Lady Dutch and Nikki Branchini chipped in with nine points.

Guilderland opened the tournament by beating Ballston Spa, 40-17.

Pezze led all scorers with 13 points.

The Lady Dutch were the only team to finish with a 2-0 record. Ballston Spa beat Shaker in the second round, 48-34. Shaker had beaten Maginn in the first round of the tournament.

It doesn’t get any easier for Guilderland. After the big win over Colonie, the Lady Dutch have to face two of the other top teams in the league.

Guilderland plays Shenendehowa on Friday and Averill Park on Tuesday.

Guilderland boys' basketball

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland boys’ basketball team carried over its play from a first-round win over Bethlehem in the Dutch Holiday Classic to the championship game the next night.

The Dutchmen won their own tournament by pounding Troy, 68-52, on Thursday night.

However, the Dutchmen lost to Colonie, 54-45, on Tuesday night.

Against Troy on Thursday, the Dutch used a great defensive effort in the second quarter to overcome a three-point deficit.

Troy led 21-18 at the end of the first quarter, but Guilderland outscored the Flying Horses, 21-3, in the second stanza to take a 39-24 lead at halftime.

The Dutch held off Troy in the second half. They outscored the Flying Horses, 14-12, in the final quarter.

Jimmy Googas led the Dutchmen with 18 points. Googas was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Luke Pagano scored 14 points and Brett Marfurt added 11 for the Dutchmen.

Andy Pelletier led Troy with 19 points. Aaron Fagan added 13 for the Flying Horses.

Colonie edged out Bethlehem in the consolation game of the tournament, 48-41.

Kashan Haches led the Garnet Raiders with 25 points. Kevin Stempsey led the Eagles with 15 points.

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