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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 29, 2007

B-K-W b-ball teams tip-off

BERNE — The basketball season got underway last week for both of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo basketball teams.

The BKW boys opened the season last Wednesday with a 55-44 win over Hoosick Falls in the first round of the Rensselaer Tournament.

Matt Lounsbury, David Sikule, and Josh Skinner reached double figures in the contest. Lounsbury led the way with 23 points, Sikule scored 14, and Skinner added 13 points.

The Bulldogs took the lead early and built a 31-16 halftime lead.

BKW lost in the second round of the tournament to Rensselaer, 60-54.

Lounsbury led the way for the Bulldogs with 19 points. Ben Burton added 13 and Skinner chipped in with 11 points.

Keith Britt led the host team with 22 points.

BKW girls’ team opened up the season in a tough tournament in Cohoes.

The Lady Bulldogs dropped the opener of the tournament to Ichabod Crane, 53-32.

Katrina Yakel led BKW with eight points. Andrea VanDyke added six.

The Lady Bulldogs lost the consolation game to Maple Hill, 51-35.

VanDyke led the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points. Amber Pitcher added seven for BKW.

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND - Guilderland boys' basektball Coach Ron Osinski has been eager for the season to start since the end of the last campaign in February.

"I've been waiting for this since the last game, last year," Osinski said at a recent practice. "Unfortunately, it takes too long."

Last season left a bit of a bitter taste in Osinski's mouth and his players', too, as they went through one of the strangest seasons the coach has ever seen.

"We had a lot of weird things happen last year, right up to the end of the season," Osinski said. "Coming in to this year, you can always think back on all those things that happened that were beyond our control. We had injuries and sickness and the whole bit. Those are beyond our control."

There are a few players back who remember last year and hope that this year will be different.

"Waiting for this year"

"We have a lot of key guys back," Osinski said. "When we finished up the year, on the court we had four juniors and a sophomore. And the junior varsity team had a good year and many of those players are up. We have six seniors."

Returning to lead the way for the Dutchmen are seniors Brett Marfurt, who has started since his sophomore year; Drew Smith, Paul Booker, Quinn Connell, Dan Gejay, and Ethan Doak.

Marfurt has earned a full scholarship to play basketball at Colgate University and can play inside and outside. Smith, who has been offered scholarships for football, is recovering from an injury in that sport but will be ready for the basketball season. He is also a three-year varsity player.

Booker is also looking to play football in college and has been offered a few scholarships in that sport. He will provide a big inside presence for the Dutchmen this winter.

"I think that the kids that got a lot of time last year showed they could lead a lot," Osinski said. "Paul is in his second day back to practice after football. He has got some things down that he learned last year. Quinn and Ethan do as well.

"Brett had a good summer and Dan worked hard and is doing well," Osinski added. "We have a couple of guys with targets on their backs from what they've done before. I think we have got some other guys that haven't surfaced yet in a game that are doing well in practice."

"We've been waiting for this year," Marfurt said. "Our major goal is to get a sectional championship. I believe we can do it. We've worked hard. We just have to put it all together."

Osinski is working on a rotation for the season and will not have one worked out until the final scrimmages.

But former junior varsity players, Kevin Kost, Jon Terry, Steve Anderson, Chris Mannarino, and Pat Quinn can find spots in the rotation. Also figuring to find spots are Isiah Folds and Andrew Oteng-Baah.

Folds did not play basketball last year and Oteng-Baah is a transfer student from Toronto.

"Andrew's in a new system," Osinski said. "He's got a lot of the tools; he's just learning the system. Isiah is catching up. He certainly could have helped the JV. How much" I don't know. They only lost one game."

No barometer

In the early practices, Osinski was still getting a feel for his team.

"I don't have a barometer," the coach said. "We've only gone against ourselves. From what I've seen, we are able to put the ball in the basket. I don't know if that means we are good on offense or bad on defense."

The Dutchmen have scrimmaged Amsterdam, Voorheesville, and Schenectady. They open the season on Friday against Spring Valley in the first round of the Bishop Maginn Tournament. The Dutch could face defending Class AA Section II Maginn in the second round of the tournament.

With talented players returning, Osinski is hoping to open up the offense.

"I'm hoping to run a little bit this year," he said. "We have better team speed. We have kids that can play in the post. We have some centers, we're bigger than last year.

"The key will be to get the rebound out and go," Osinski added. "We can't have our guards rebounding all the time."

"We have solid juniors," Marfurt said. "They definitely will help us more. We'll get more scoring inside. We have Jon coming up, and Steve coming up. And Paul is big."

"Tough teams"

Osinski and the Dutchmen will get to try that philosophy against a difficult schedule.

"We have one of the toughest schedules," the coach said. "And it's not so much the league is tougher. But we do have to go to Saratoga, to Shenendehowa, to Averill Park, and to Mohonasen. Those our tough trips. We are in the Maginn tourney and we have CBA on the schedule."

Osinski sees that schedule as making his team better.

"It's always good to play tough teams," he said. "It's a good barometer of who we are. It's good to play better teams. When we went to the sectional finals, our only two losses were against a good Proctor team. We played two great games with them and that made us better."

The Dutchmen played Christian Brothers Academy for the sectional title in 2004.

The goals are just as high.

"Last year was disappointing," Marfurt said. We set our goals high. We set those goals again. We have a really good core coming back."

Osinski is ready for the season to begin, yet he doesn't want to even guess how his team will do this campaign.

"We play Spring Valley first," Osinski said. "If we beat them, we'll play Maginn or Kingston. The one thing I've learned after last year is you can't make a lot of predictions."

New Dutch want to carry on old traditions

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — New faces in new places.

That is the early-season motto for the Guilderland girls’ basketball team. The Lady Dutch have to replace a talented group of seniors, which included the big three of Kristin Pezze, Mary Kate O’Connell, and Nikki Branchini.

"We have new faces and some faces returning," said Guilderland Coach Frank Cacckello. "Our biggest obstacle to overcome is getting on-court experience. That is the biggest key."

There are six players returning and six new players up from the junior varsity team. Among the returning players are Danielle Burns, who got the most time of any underclassman last winter. Junior guard Jen Madsen played some crunch-time minutes and most of the others saw limited action.

"Danielle Burns had significant time," Cacckello said. "Mackenzie Michele got some time. She was a sophomore, and she had some ups and downs that come with being a sophomore. ‘D’ [Burns] was our leader on defense last year. We are looking for her to score more for us."

Returning besides Burns, Madsen, and Michele are Alicia Bowman, Casey Peebles, and Jess Bender.

"Alicia Bowman has improved at the post in the middle," Cacckello said. "She is a little undersized but she is a beast inside. She has a vast array of post moves. She just needs to get more confidence against taller players.

"It is nice to get Jen Madsen back from [cross-country] federation practice," Cacckello added. "She is our point guard and she has to be our leader on the floor. She had picked up things fast. She will be the next of great point guards we’ve had in the program."

Cacckello continued to describe his returning players.

"Jess Bender’s role will change," the coach said. "Michele’s role will change. We have a lot of kids battling for the four position [forward]. A couple of girls have stepped up."

Newcomers to the team are Leanna Tice, Melissa Winne, Amanda Terzian, Marissa Valletta, Katherine Keegan, and Julia Shea.

"The two sophomores have impressed me," Cacckello said of Keegan and Winne. "Winne is a post player. She is a bit outsized but has good fundamentals and has been more physical.

"Kat Keegan for the past two weeks played the majority at the point-guard position," Cacckello added. "It’s helped her grow up. I like the things I see in her. At point guard, I can play two kids on the floor at the same time and that is something I haven’t done since I’ve been here. She has had one of the best pre-seasons."

"Tremendous work ethic"

Cacckello has liked what he has seen in the pre-season from his team.

"Their work ethic in practice has been tremendous," the coach said. "They run drills pretty well. They are good at drills. I’m not sure that equates to victories. That is something we’ve got to get across."

And though Cacckello has two guards, they’re both small.

"We are small at the guard position," he said. "We will be using a zone that we haven’t used since I’ve been here. I’ve changed our press to meet our personnel. We are running some new things on offense."

Good defense has always been a staple of Lady Dutch teams, and that hasn’t changed.

"I’m impressed with our defense," Cacckello said. "We’ll play man-to-man. That is our bread and butter."

Cacckello hopes to find an offense in the early part of the season.

"Our biggest obstacle is offense," he said. "They are learning a new offense. Who puts the ball in the basket and how much" That is a key for this team."

"Climbing uphill"

Though he lost a group of seniors who led the team to the Class AA Section II title game, Cacckello didn’t want to use the dreaded R-word in explaining this year’s team.

"I never want to use an excuse such as rebuilding," Cacckello said. "We lose kids every year, and we gain them."

Cacckello said his team is not the only one in the Suburban Council that lost players.

"I was looking at the Suburban Council first, second, and third team all-stars," he said. "There are 16 players and only five are returning out of the 16. The league lost a lot. We’re not the only ones going through this. We just have to play hard and remain confident."

The Lady Dutch will try to keep the winning ways the program has experienced over the past decade. Guilderland begins the season on Friday against Catholic Central in the Bethlehem Tournament. The Dutch also play Colonie on Saturday in the second round of the tournament.

"They know about it and we talk about it," Cacckello said. "They know what the tradition is. They know the players who came before them. I’m not going to compare teams, because no team is the same. But there is over a decade of tradition here and that motivates us to improve and try to be successful. If you slip, that edge you had, you lose it.

"We haven’t had to gain it," Cacckello continued. "It’s something you fight not to lose. We’ll be climbing uphill again to fight for it this year. When everything comes together I’m not sure. But we’ll definitely surprise some teams."

Skating Dutchmen hope early losses lead to later success

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — When the Kenmores come to town, look out.

The Guilderland hockey team hosted Kenmore East and Kenmore West in a pair of games at Union College in Schenectady last Friday and Saturday, and the results were not as bad as in the past couple of years.

The Skating Dutchmen lost to Kenmore East, 6-1, on Saturday after dropping an 8-2 decision to Kenmore West on Friday.

"We’re ahead of last year’s team," said Guilderland Coach John DeRubertis. "Last year, we didn’t belong on the ice with them."

Scheduling tough competition is all about preparing for the future, not winning in the present.

"Every season since the program started," DeRubertis said, "our goal as a team is to start the season with top-caliber teams and improve steadily as the season goes on to be playing well when we need to be."

It worked last year for the Skating Dutchmen, as the team played well late in the regular season and made some noise in the Section II playoffs. As a number-five seed, Guilderland beat Niskayuna-Schenectady on its home ice in the quarterfinals. The Dutch then almost upset top-seeded Shenendehowa in the semifinals, losing by one goal, 5-4.


But, on the opening weekend of this season, DeRubertis saw some things his team needs to work on if it wants to improve and be a factor at the end of the season.

"Today, penalties killed us," DeRubertis said on Saturday. "One of my coaches between the second and third period said that they had 16 shots on goal. That’s eight shots a period, That’s not terrible. But we were addressing it because we were down 4-1. We were up and down to some degree.

"Through two periods, we would have a breakdown and they would capitalize," DeRubertis added. "We gave up four goals on immediate breakdowns. They are a skilled team. If you have a breakdown in the defensive zone, they are skilled enough to capitalize on it."

The Dutchmen trailed, 3-0, before sophomore defenseman Josh Evans scored with 4:02 left in the second period. Jeff Geisendorfer assisted on the score.

But Guilderland gave up a goal with 1:10 left in the period to drop down again by three goals.

"We had the momentum," DeRubertis said. "But then we give them a power play 20 or 30 seconds later on a bad penalty. A minute-and-a-half of play later, they score and it’s 4-1 at that point and that was the nail in the coffin."

"A mix"

DeRubertis has some inexperienced players on his team this year, especially on the offensive end of the ice.

"We have a mix," the coach said. "Our first four defensemen are four seniors. It’s nice to have that experience on the blue line. Of our forwards, we have one senior. Aaron Cahill came back from the C.D. Selects. And we have a couple of skilled forwards that are young. We need to get the kids in the weight room. The freshmen and sophomores are small in stature.

"We also need to do a better job of sustaining pressure and put pucks on the net," DeRubertis added.

The defense is anchored by senior goalie Brendan Glennon. He missed Saturday’s game because he was in a wedding; freshman Michael Alsante filled in.

"Michael Alsante did a nice job," DeRubertis said. "It was his first high school game. He made some nice saves. We did a nice job of getting in position and not over-reacting to pucks."

Freshman Dan Golderman is another goalie on the roster for the Dutchmen.

Back on defense is senior captain Jeff Geisendorfer. He is joined by classmates Nick Koss and Max Goodknight, and by junior Jon Fogel.

Also on defense are sophomores Shawn Buzzard, Gary Waters, and Evans.

Juniors on the front line will have to contribute some offense for the Dutchmen this winter.

Joe Romano, Collin Burg, and Dan Dickenson have all put the puck in the net in previous years for the Dutchmen.

Sophomores Greg Warnken, Anthony Liguori, Shayne Tybur, Robby King, Jeremy Tobin, and Nate Weinberg, along with senior Brian Hart and freshman Conor Hurley also play forward.

"The goal we got was an ugly goal," DeRubertis said. "We’ll take them any way we can get them. But that was our third line.

"We have some guys on the third line that are on our penalty kill," the coach added. "They did not get the same minutes the other two lines did. But they did a great job."

"We want to be stronger earlier"

DeRubertis said that his players didn’t measure up to the two teams from Kenmore physically.

"Both teams were bigger," DeRubertis said. "They were physically stronger. And it showed itself as they were able to shed our checks. They weren’t affected by the checks we put on them."

DeRubertis believes that his team has the talent to be competitive much earlier in the season than last year.

"We play strong teams early to help us catch up with the pack," DeRubertis said. "We want to be stronger earlier. Last year, we looked like a team on fire at the end of the season and at sectionals. We want to hit that stride earlier. And I think we can with the seniors we have on the blue line."

Marfurt takes skills on and off the court to Colgate

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — After all the letters and phone calls he received, Brett Marfurt was finally able to come up with a college choice.

The senior on the Guilderland boys’ basketball team had been a sought after recruit, but that ended when he gave a verbal commitment in October and then signed his letter of intent to attend Colgate University in Hamilton.

Marfurt earned a full scholarship to play Division I basketball for the Red Raiders.

"It was a perfect fit academically and athletically," Marfurt said. "It’s a team on the rise. The Patriot League has gotten better and Colgate is one of the top academic schools in the country. I fit in well with the coaches and the players. It was the most comfortable of all the schools I went to."

Getting the scholarship fulfilled Marfurt’s goal of playing Division I basketball.

"It’s been my dream since I started playing basketball," he said. "My goal was to play Division I basketball all through my scholastic career."

Marfurt had a lot of mid-level Division I schools to choose from. He said he made unofficial visits to 12 different schools.

"I hung out with the guys on the team and talked to the coaches," Marfurt said.

He narrowed his choices down to four schools — Bucknell, Lehigh, and Yale. Marfurt also had an offer from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, but he said, "I wanted to go away to school, but not too far away."

And with Colgate just a couple of hours away, when he has time, he can make the trip home pretty easily.

Marfurt said he plans to major in either economics or political science but any educational opportunity is appreciated.

"I am getting one of the best educations for free," he said. "You can’t beat that."

Marfurt also can’t wait to be part of the basketball tradition at Colgate.

"They have the only Patriot League player that’s playing in the NBA — Adonal Foyle," Marfurt said. "And they’ve gone to the NCAAs a couple of times in the 1990s. They are 4-0 this year. The program is getting better, and when I get there I can help the team get back to the NCAAs. That’s the goal."

Marfurt is happy to be done with the recruiting process so he can focus on his senior year at Guilderland.

"The recruiting process is crazy," Marfurt said. "You don’t always know who to believe. Colgate was the most honest; that’s another reason why I chose them.

"But I’m glad it’s over," Marfurt concluded. "Now I can focus on trying to win a sectional championship this year."

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