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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 28, 2006

Blackbirds clipped in comeback attempt

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Birdcage was roaring as tensions were high in the final minutes of Friday night’s game.

The raucous students cheering for Voorheesville had a lot to cheer about as the boys’ basketball team almost pulled off a big upset. But the home team dropped a competitive contest with the front-running Colonial Council team from Cohoes High School, 56-55.

"The kids played hard," said Voorheesville Coach Don Catellier after the game. "I can’t ask for anything more from the kids."

The game came down to the final seconds as Blackbird senior Chris Thompson took a shot but was fouled with 3.4 seconds left in the game.

Thompson stepped to the foul line, with Voorheesville trailing by one point, but he couldn’t convert either of the two foul shots and Cohoes rebounded the basketball and the Tigers escaped with the win.

"Chris played a great game," Catellier said. "It was his best game of the year. The ends don’t always represent the means. He’s down, but in the long run, it’ll be great for him. He did a nice job tonight."

The outcome can’t be blamed on Thompson at all. The Blackbirds battled with the tough Tigers throughout the contest but gave up a couple of leads that put Cohoes back in the game.

Voorheesville led, 12-10, at the end of the first quarter, and extended that lead to 23-17 late in the second quarter.

But Cohoes scored six points in the final 30 seconds of the frame, and tied the score at halftime, 23-23.

A lay-up by Bill Keeler and then a steal and another lay-up by Keeler were the big plays for the Tigers in that run.

"We got careless with the ball," Catellier said. "They scored six points in 30 seconds. They beat us back on the ball and got a couple of turnovers."

"A lot of heart"

But Voorheesville didn’t get down after allowing Cohoes to tie the game.

The Blackbirds scored the first five points of the third quarter on a three-point shot by Justin Arico and an inside basket by Evan Christner.

Cohoes stuck around and then went on a run midway through the third quarter.

Cohoes then took the lead on two foul shots by Keeler.

Keeler had cut the lead to one point by hitting four consecutive foul shots — two after he was fouled on a shot and two more after the Voorheesville coaches were assessed a technical foul.

Thompson gave the Birds the lead back with a three-pointer and Kevin Klembczyk added two more after stealing the ball and going to the hoop for a lay-up.

The Tigers went on a 11-0 run to take a lead in the third quarter and gave them the lead at the end of the stanza, 46-42.

But the Blackbirds made things interesting in the fourth quarter.

Thompson opened the stanza with a three-pointer and, after Arico stole a pass, Klembczyk made a jump shot to give the Birds the lead, 47-46.

Voorheesville added to the lead on a three-pointer by Arico and an inside basket by Greg Carson.

Cohoes came back with seven straight points, to regain the lead, 53-52, with 2:29 left in the contest.

Arico made a three-pointer for Voorheesville but that was answered by a foul shot for Keeler as Cohoes pulled within one, 55-54, with 1:15 left in the game.

About a minute later, Nick Benoit made an inside basket to give the Tigers a 56-55 lead and Cohoes was able to hold on for the win.

"For the kids, it was a real let down," Catellier said. Referring to last Tuesday’s game, he went on, "Against Schalmont, we didn’t play extremely well. But tonight we played with a lot of heart."

Voorheesville was led by Christner’s 15 points. Arico scored 14, and Thompson added 12.

Keeler led Cohoes with 21 points and Benoit added 20 for the Tigers.

Those two Tigers were the only ones to hurt Voorheesville on Friday night. And they even struggled at times against the Blackbirds’ 1-3-1 zone defense.

"It’s something new and we’re working on it," Catellier said. "It’s a good change-up for us and it is something that other teams haven’t seen us do. And that gives an advantage to us.

"It took them out of the game," Catellier added. "We got lazy with it at times, but I thought we did it well."

The loss drops the Birds’ record to 3-3 in the Colonial Council and 3-5 overall. Voorheesville owns wins over league rivals Lansingburgh, Ravena, and Mechanicville.

The Birds will be in the Saratoga Spa Catholic Tournament and will take on Greenwich to open the event on Thursday. The tournament concludes on Friday.

The season continues to be a learning process for an inexperienced team.

"A lot of the kids have not played varsity before," Catellier said. "By the time we get to sectionals, we are going to be a dangerous team. Everybody is feeling confident. We are making great progress."

And Friday’s game, despite being a loss, is another building block for the Blackbirds.

"It was a great confidence builder," Catellier said. "The kids are down, but they are also excited. They know they can play. If the ball bounces our way or we get a couple of breaks, we come through with a win."

BKW teams split for the holiday

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — The Berne-Knox-Westerlo basketball teams earned splits in their tournament games before celebrating Christmas.

The boys’ team won the consolation game of the Tamarac Tournament after losing in the opening round on Friday night.

BKW beat Waterford, 72-50, after losing to Watervliet in the opening round.

The Bulldogs took a big lead early and never looked back. They led, 19-5, at the end of the first quarter and 31-26 at halftime. BKW opened up the score by winning the third period, 23-10.

Lenny Coons led the Bulldogs with 23 points. David Sikule scored 12 points, all on three-point baskets, and Joey Conklin added nine points. Rich Geist, Matt Lounsbury, and Greg Mulson each scored seven points for BKW.

Against Watervliet on Friday, BKW fell behind early and couldn’t keep up with the Canoneers. The Bulldogs trailed, 18-13, at the end of the first quarter and watched the game slip away from them in the second stanza, getting outscored 25-9.

Coons had a big game for the Bulldogs with 24 points, but was the only BKW player to reach double figures in scoring.

The BKW girls’ team opened with a win in the Greenwich Tournament on Friday night, but lost in the championship game to the host school on Saturday.

The Lady Bulldogs beat Hudson Falls, 44-32, by using a strong defensive effort in the second half. Hudson Falls scored just nine points in the final 16 minutes.

The Bulldogs were up just three points at halftime, 26-23.

Andrea Van Dyke scored 14 points to lead BKW. Brittany Krimsky added 11 points and C.J. Vincent chipped in with nine points for the Lady Bulldogs.

In the championship game of the tournament, BKW scored only seven points in the second and third quarters and fell to the host Witches.

The game was tied, 14-14, at the end of the first frame but BKW scored just one point in the second quarter and six in the third.

Vincent and Anna Kusler each scored eight points for the Lady Bulldogs. Krimsky added seven points for BKW.

The BKW boys’ team was in action on Wednesday night at the St. Johnsville Tournament. The Bulldogs played Herkimer on Wednesday. They play in the second round of the tournament on Thursday. They get back to Western Athletic Conference play on Jan. 3 against Schenectady Christian.

The BKW girls’ team will be off until after the new year. The Lady Bulldogs will host Schoharie — the favorite in the league — on Jan. 3.

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