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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 25, 2007


BKW’s Dogged defensive effort beats undefeated team

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — The Berne-Knox-Westerlo girls’ basketball team might have gotten the win that shows they belong with the top teams in the Western Athletic Conference.

The Lady Bulldogs beat previously-unbeaten South Division front-runner Schenectady Christian in resounding fashion on Friday night.

The Lady Bulldogs got defensive in the second half to bite the Falcons, 51-31.

"We played very well," said BKW Coach Tom Galvin. "It was tied at halftime, 18-18. We outscored them, 15-5, in the third quarter and 18-8 in the fourth"I think that will get us over the hump a little bit. Last year, we played them tough and had chances to beat them. They beat us on a buzzer-beater at our place. This gets us over the hump and headed in the right direction."

BKW was competitive with Schenectady Christian, even though the Bulldogs had lost the first game of the season to the Falcons.

"This year, we put the hammer down in our victory," Galvin said. "But both games it could’ve been a flip of the coin. Either one of us could have won it. That’s a sign of a good team. We are evolving into a good basketball team. We’re playing good ball at the right time."

Tough defense on the perimeter aided in the win even though the Falcons’ best player, Sarah Child, had a good game inside.

"Child is their best player," Galvin said. "We knew she would score her points. We conceded that she would score points. But we limited their guards on the perimeter. They only had four players score and that was key. It was hard for them to penetrate most times. They wanted to play slow and bang inside. We wanted to speed up and play a full-court game. And we were successful."

"Balanced"

Andrea Van Dyke led the Bulldogs with 21 points. She scored 16 of those points in the second half.

Brittany Krimsky, Anna Kusler, and Lauren Ford each scored eight points. Child led Schenectady Christian with 16 points and was the only Falcon in double figures.

"It’s been our m.o. lately to be balanced," Galvin said of his scorers. "We have five starters that have 100 points [for the season] and different players have stepped up in the past three games. Anna Kusler has been scoring points for us lately. And C.J. Vincent, it looks like her numbers are off, but she does a lot of other things. She plays good defense and she is dishing the ball and running the offense. She makes our motor go and then we’re tough to stop."

Galvin said that his team was able to solve a special defense designed to stop Vincent and Van Dyke.

"They used a triangle and two on Andrea and C.J.," Galvin said. "But they were out of that by halftime. Other kids were hurting them. When we are able to do that, we are tough to beat.

"This is a team without a star," Galvin added. "And that is fine with me. Everyone chips in and we have a different star each game."

Fight for the top

The win on Friday and a 55-34 win over Duanesburg last Wednesday bumps the Lady Bulldogs record to 7-2 in the WAC and 8-5 overall. The Bulldogs are in a fight for the top two spots in the South Division of the WAC with Schenectady Christian and Schoharie. If the teams end up in a three-way tie for first place, BKW will have an advantage.

"It will go to a points system and one of the criteria is overall difficulty of schedule, which would favor us," Galvin said. "We played four tough tournament games and then we play Fonda and Galway and they are two of the better teams in the North Division [of the WAC]. We played some tough teams in our non-league games."

The Bulldogs will face North Division leader Fonda on Friday and then play Galway on Monday.

"Fonda is undefeated," Galvin said. "It would be great to upset another undefeated team. We just want to prepare ourselves for the WAC cup and possibly match-up with them. And Galway is a good team. It’s at their place and they are well-coached."

The Bulldogs got a week off to savor their big win and prepare for the final stretch of the season.

"It’s nice," Galvin said on Monday. "I’ll give them the day off tomorrow and they need that this time of year. We play every Wednesday and Friday. It’s hard to believe that we’re in the final eight games of the regular season."

Galvin sees his team as being confident as the sectional playoffs approach.

"It’s done wonders for them," the coach said. "I say to them that, if they listen to me, they can do this and this. I say it to them all year. They did this and this and we won. So now they believe that they can do this and this and be successful."

He concluded of the victory over the Falcons. "That win was a confidence booster. In the past few years, they’ve been our rival more than any other team in the league."


Short-handed Dutchmen start fast

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — Guilderland boys’ basketball coach Ron Osinski is wondering when he will have his two best players on the court for more than just one game.

Just when junior Drew Smith returned from a hand injury, leading scorer Brett Marfurt missed the last two games while sick.

The Dutchmen missed Marfurt in a loss to Shaker last Tuesday, but didn’t miss him on Friday as Smith ran the show and got help from his teammates to cruise to a 69-43 win over Ballston Spa.

The win came after the varsity girls’ team from Guilderland defeated Ballston Spa.

Smith scored 16 points to lead the Dutchmen, but his overall athleticism sparked his team as they played at a much faster pace than in previous games. Smith pushed the ball up the court, not only scoring points himself, but dishing the ball into the waiting arms of many of his teammates.

"Drew makes things happen," said Osinski. "He helps the other guys score. We had four in double digits. We shot the ball well against their zone."

Mark Domaracki scored 13 points for the Dutch, Stephen Doak added 11 points, and Dan Gejay chipped in with 10 points.

Fast start

A fast start gave the Dutch the early lead and they never looked back against a fatigued Ballston Spa squad that had played the night before.

Domaracki got the scoring started with two foul shots and then scored an inside basket for the Dutchmen. Doak scored on a fast-break lay-up and Domaracki scored inside again to give the Dutch an 8-2 lead. Smith added a lay-up on a fast break to give Guilderland an eight-point advantage.

After a Scotties basket, Smith banged in a jump shot and Domaracki knocked down a three-pointer to put the lead in double digits, 15-4.

Guilderland stretched its lead on a three-point basket and an inside basket by Doak.

Uwana Okure scored on a lay-up to round out the scoring in the half for the Dutch.

Guilderland led, 22-11, at the end of the first frame and was never threatened again as it led, 37-20, at halftime and 59-34 at the end of the third frame.

"We came out and had a good start," Osinski said. "We knew when we step on the court that we had to play. They probably had tired legs, because they played last night."

Getting a good start was imperative in Friday’s game, after losing in the first game Marfurt missed.

"In our last game, against Shaker," Osinski said. "We were there for 26 minutes. Drew was in foul trouble, but we played a pretty good game. I was disappointed with the outcome but they wore us down without Brett."

"Tough season"

Osinski said that Marfurt is out with mononucleosis but should be back soon.

"He’s recovering from it," Osinski said. "He’s had it for a week or two. It’s day to day. We’re hoping to get him back soon."

Osinki can’t wait to see his two juniors on the court at the same time, which has been a rarity this season.

"The two have played together in three out of 14 games," the coach said. "Hopefully, we get them both back for the stretch run. We can move up and do what we can do to get the best spot for seedings and go from there."

Smith just recovered from a broken bone in his hand and has only practiced a couple of times around the three games he’s played.

"It seems like a long time ago when he first got hurt," Osinski said. "This week, we started to get stuff going. We’ve had some sickness. Steve Doak’s been sick, but we are starting to get healthy. Uwane has played the best he has all season and Dan Gejay is playing his best at a time he should. I’m happy that we responded that well. We played some tough ball early."

Osinski is happy with the way his team has played for the most part. The Suburban Council is a very balanced league and the Dutch have played tough against skilled teams.

"It’s been a tough season, mentally," Osinski said. "But there is enough time for us to really start and get everything turned around. Hopefully, we got everybody back healthy. We got Drew back two weeks later than we expected and then Brett goes out. Who would ever thought that we would lose two starters that mean a lot. Drew sees people and gets them the ball and Brett is our leading scorer, rebounder, shot blocker, and probably leads us in some other categories. You take that out of our line-up and you lose a lot each game."


Short-handed Dutchmen start fast

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — Guilderland boys’ basketball coach Ron Osinski is wondering when he will have his two best players on the court for more than just one game.

Just when junior Drew Smith returned from a hand injury, leading scorer Brett Marfurt missed the last two games while sick.

The Dutchmen missed Marfurt in a loss to Shaker last Tuesday, but didn’t miss him on Friday as Smith ran the show and got help from his teammates to cruise to a 69-43 win over Ballston Spa.

The win came after the varsity girls’ team from Guilderland defeated Ballston Spa.

Smith scored 16 points to lead the Dutchmen, but his overall athleticism sparked his team as they played at a much faster pace than in previous games. Smith pushed the ball up the court, not only scoring points himself, but dishing the ball into the waiting arms of many of his teammates.

"Drew makes things happen," said Osinski. "He helps the other guys score. We had four in double digits. We shot the ball well against their zone."

Mark Domaracki scored 13 points for the Dutch, Stephen Doak added 11 points, and Dan Gejay chipped in with 10 points.

Fast start

A fast start gave the Dutch the early lead and they never looked back against a fatigued Ballston Spa squad that had played the night before.

Domaracki got the scoring started with two foul shots and then scored an inside basket for the Dutchmen. Doak scored on a fast-break lay-up and Domaracki scored inside again to give the Dutch an 8-2 lead. Smith added a lay-up on a fast break to give Guilderland an eight-point advantage.

After a Scotties basket, Smith banged in a jump shot and Domaracki knocked down a three-pointer to put the lead in double digits, 15-4.

Guilderland stretched its lead on a three-point basket and an inside basket by Doak.

Uwana Okure scored on a lay-up to round out the scoring in the half for the Dutch.

Guilderland led, 22-11, at the end of the first frame and was never threatened again as it led, 37-20, at halftime and 59-34 at the end of the third frame.

"We came out and had a good start," Osinski said. "We knew when we step on the court that we had to play. They probably had tired legs, because they played last night."

Getting a good start was imperative in Friday’s game, after losing in the first game Marfurt missed.

"In our last game, against Shaker," Osinski said. "We were there for 26 minutes. Drew was in foul trouble, but we played a pretty good game. I was disappointed with the outcome but they wore us down without Brett."

"Tough season"

Osinski said that Marfurt is out with mononucleosis but should be back soon.

"He’s recovering from it," Osinski said. "He’s had it for a week or two. It’s day to day. We’re hoping to get him back soon."

Osinki can’t wait to see his two juniors on the court at the same time, which has been a rarity this season.

"The two have played together in three out of 14 games," the coach said. "Hopefully, we get them both back for the stretch run. We can move up and do what we can do to get the best spot for seedings and go from there."

Smith just recovered from a broken bone in his hand and has only practiced a couple of times around the three games he’s played.

"It seems like a long time ago when he first got hurt," Osinski said. "This week, we started to get stuff going. We’ve had some sickness. Steve Doak’s been sick, but we are starting to get healthy. Uwane has played the best he has all season and Dan Gejay is playing his best at a time he should. I’m happy that we responded that well. We played some tough ball early."

Osinski is happy with the way his team has played for the most part. The Suburban Council is a very balanced league and the Dutch have played tough against skilled teams.

"It’s been a tough season, mentally," Osinski said. "But there is enough time for us to really start and get everything turned around. Hopefully, we got everybody back healthy. We got Drew back two weeks later than we expected and then Brett goes out. Who would ever thought that we would lose two starters that mean a lot. Drew sees people and gets them the ball and Brett is our leading scorer, rebounder, shot blocker, and probably leads us in some other categories. You take that out of our line-up and you lose a lot each game."


Lady Dutch on a roll, win eighth-straight games

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland girls’ basketball team continued its touring clinic of defense and on Friday it was in Ballston Spa.

The Lady Dutch held the Scotties to just seven points in the first half and cruised to 40-23 win. The girls’ game preceded the varsity boys’ contest between the two schools, starting at 6 p.m. instead of the usual 7:30 start.

"We played a great first half at both ends of the floor," said Guilderland Coach Frank Cacckello. "I think it was one of the better first halfs we’ve had all year. We shut them out in the first quarter; that says a lot about our defense."

Guilderland swarmed the Ballston Spa players on defense and even stopped the Scotties’ best player, Casey Wright, in the first period. The Dutch forced turnovers — five in the opening frame — and pressed the Scotties into taking bad shots.

Guilderland led, 11-0, at the end of the first quarter and 24-7 at halftime.

The starting five of Kristin Pezze, Nikki Branchini, Mary Kate O’Connell, Danielle Burns, and Tricia Loux got into the act early and dictated the tempo of the game.

Pezze made a jump shot to open the scoring. That was followed by a jump shot by Branchini. Burns made two foul shots and scored inside to give the Dutch an 8-0 lead.

Burns made another foul shot and O’Connell knocked down a jump shot to round out the scoring in the frame and give the Dutch the double-figured lead, 11-0.

The game wouldn’t get any closer as Guilderland controlled the ball on offense and continued to be tenacious on defense.

After holding a 17-point lead at halftime, the Dutch didn’t let up and only allowed nine points in the third quarter. Though the Dutch scored only six in the frame, they led, 30-16, heading into the final stanza.

Guilderland held Ballston Spa to just seven points in the fourth quarter and was able to cruise to the win.

"We got sloppy once we got the big lead," Cacckello said. "We knew they would play hard, especially on their home court. I called one of my time outs to get us back in the game. I was not worried about them coming back. We have high standards and a responsibility to play with those high standards."

Eight in a row

The win was the eighth in a row for the Lady Dutch and tough defense has been used at the forefront in each of those games.
"That has been our m.o.," Cacckello said of defense. "We know we’ve won eight straight. We’re starting to change. We’re getting scoring from everybody. Everybody is defending and everybody is contributing.

"We can go deeper and that really helps," Cacckello added. "And the kids that don’t see many minutes in the games are so good in practice, that helps us."

Cacckello said that all the players on the roster come to work every day.

"All 12 players can play," he said. "That makes for some nice practices. That will really help us down the stretch and help us when we are in foul trouble. Today we were able to go with four guards. And to do that is impressive."

The Dutch had a week off as they don’t play until Friday when they host Burnt Hills.

"You always need a break in January," Cacckello said. "With the number of games and practices, it certainly helps. We play Burnt Hills on Friday, and it’s Senior Night. I’m not worried about them getting up for that one."

Guilderland is now 11-3 overall and 8-2 in the Suburban Council. The Lady Dutch currently sit atop of the Gold Division of the league, though Columbia is close behind. The Dutch will face the Blue Devils on Friday, Feb. 2, in East Greenbush.

With the way the defense has been playing, Cacckello believes his team will be ready for the final tough stretch of games.

"Defense has been it," the coach said. "When you hold teams to 20-something points, you are going to do well. Our players have formed a cohesive defensive unit."

The Dutch hope to be sitting in a high spot when the sectional seedings come out in mid-February.

"We’ve definitely put ourselves in position to get a good sectional seed," Cacckello said. "We have four more league games, and they are all tough. To win eight games in a row, you’ve got to do some things right. We got off to a slow start, but the girls know what to do now."


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