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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 31, 2008

Dutch roll, still unbeaten in Suburban Council play

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — Still unbeaten and still going.

The Guilderland boys’ basketball team probably played its best game in a while against a tough team on Friday to remain undefeated in Suburban Council play this year.

The Dutchmen beat Burnt Hills, 67-52, at home in a game where they took control from the outset.

"I’m not sure we came out real well in our last couple of games," said Guilderland Coach Ron Osinski. "We played with intensity early and did a good job tonight."

The win over Burnt Hills gave the Dutchmen an 11-0 record in the Suburban Council. The Dutch remained unbeaten with a 74-54 win over Shenendehowa on Tuesday night in Clifton Park.

"It’s important for us to go undefeated in the Suburban Council," said senior Andrew Smith. "We want to keep playing well going into sectionals. Hopefully, we won’t lose a game until then."

"More in the engine"

On Friday, the Dutchmen were firing early and played tough defense against a physical Burnt Hills squad.

The Dutchmen scored 20 points in the first quarter and led 20-14 at the end of the first frame.

Guilderland was led by Kevin Kost in the frame. The junior made a jump shot and a three-point basket. Smith made a three-point shot as the buzzer sounded to end the quarter and to give the Dutch a six-point lead.

The Dutch built the lead to 12 at halftime, 37-25. Burnt Hills battled to cut the lead down to six points. An alley-oop lay-up by David Fischer and an inside basket by John Dellapia made the score 41-35 at the halfway point of the third quarter.

But an intentional foul by Burnt Hills started a Guilderland run.

Smith made two free throws, which were followed by an inside basket by senior Brett Marfurt to build the lead back to 10 points, 45-35.

The Dutch added four more points in the quarter and held the Spartans scoreless in the rest of the frame to build a comfortable 51-35 lead heading into the final frame.

Guilderland cruised the rest of the way to win by 15 points.

"They cut down in the third quarter a little bit," Osinski said. "They cut to six, but we came back and re-grouped. We had some guys in there to give Drew a quick break. It seems to help him. He came back with more in the engine."

Smith led the Dutchmen with 21 points. Marfurt added 15 and Kost scored 13 points. Jon Terry chipped in with eight points for Guilderland.

Scoring records

Marfurt is now tied for fourth on the all-time scoring list at Guilderland. After Friday’s game, Marfurt had scored 837 points to tie Jason Morton who graduated in 1989. Marfurt started the season 19th on the career scoring list.

Current College of Saint Rose player Steve Dagostino is third with 915 points. Michael Ruberti, a 1990 grad, is the all-time leading scorer at Guilderland with 1,134 points.

Burnt Hills was led by Paul Layton’s 14 points, most coming on three-point baskets.

"We’ve had some help come off the bench and it showed tonight," Osinski said. "Quinn Connell played well and Chris Mannarino does not score, but he does a lot of good things. Paul Booker has been tough on the boards. What they give us helps us."


The Dutch hadn’t played since last Friday, when they had a blow-out win over Ballston Spa. The break did the Dutch favors.

"We are banged up a little bit," Osinski said. "Drew’s knees flare up a little bit. He took some time off and he’s back. Paul [Booker] sprained his ankle and he’s just starting to practice. We didn’t have the gym. We had three baskets to work on all week."

"It was good to get rest," Smith added. "A lot of us are rejuvenated. It was good to get some rest and get ready for the games we have left."

The Dutch have just two games left in the regular season. They play at Columbia on Friday and then host Bethlehem on Tuesday.

"We are getting ready for the stretch run," Osinski said. "We are executing better every time we play."

Osinski and his players are focused on the next game and not the possibility of going unbeaten in the league.

"We’re not even looking ahead," Osinski said on Friday. "We are taking it one game at a time. We want to add two points [for a non-divisional win] and not worry how the rest of the league does. We control our own destiny."

"Any time you hear about Guilderland basketball," Smith said, "you hear about Steve Dagostino and that team. When they talk about Guilderland basketball, we want the ’08 team included. That’s important to me and the other guys. We’ve come this far so we don’t want to miss it. We want to finish it and get the best record we can."

Small in numbers, track team works hard

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland boys’ indoor track team is heading towards the end of the season and members of the team are making tremendous strides.

"The guys have been working hard," said Coach Pete Wachtel.

The team has seen one school record fall this season. The 4x200-meter relay team set a mark this winter.

The team of Jeremy Bend, Yifan Chen, David Slingerland, and Brendan Preville ran a school best time of 1:41.44 to set the record.

Chen has also been impressive in other events. He has been competing well in the triple, long, and high jumps this winter. He also has been running fast.

"He has taken seven seconds off in the 55 meters," Wachtel said of the shortest sprint race. "He is a 10th of a second away from a school record."

Chen has run a 6.6 in the 55-meters this winter.

"He is also three inches away from the indoor record in the triple jump," Wachtel said.

Chen’s best jump is 41.11 this winter.

"Good stuff"

Bend has also had a good season. He has gone over the 19-foot mark in the long jump on several occasions.

"It’s good stuff," Wachtel said. "He has also showed a lot of leadership. He’s helped others develop skills."

Mike Edmonds is competing on the indoor team for the first time. He has been on the outdoor team.

"His best in the high jump has been 5-10," Wachtel said. "He should get over six feet by the end of the season."

Distance runners have been a strength for the Dutchmen this season.

"Distance-wise, one of the people I have been impressed with is Kevin Sheehan," Wachtel said. "He has run various distances and times well this year. Roland Graves is the steady guy for us. He still has goals he wants to obtain."

Justin Velhuis has also been a good distance runner for the Dutch this season.

A pair of hurdlers have done well, too.

Junior Ian Tapler made the semifinals at the Yale Invitational with a time of 8.44 this season.

"He’ll go faster by the end of the season," Wachtel said.

Dan Japiaikse, a freshman, has come along well this winter.

"He’s done really well," Wachtel said. "We’ll see a lot of him."

Wachtel has had a small team this season. There are 11 seniors on the team and six or seven freshmen, Wachtel said.

"It’s really, really been fun to coach," Wachtel said. "Instead of a numbers game, I have been able to work with individuals and on each event."

Despite having fewer athletes on the team, Wachtel has been impressed with what they have done.

"If you look at the numbers and what we have done this year," Wachtel said, "we’ve done very well. We’ve haven’t done well in the bigger meets because of the numbers and not because kids are not doing well. We have a nucleus of kids scoring and learning how to get in there."

Records fall for Guilderland indoor team

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — It has been a record-breaking year for some members of the Guilderland girls’ indoor team.

Four relay teams have broken school records this season and one runner now holds an indoor record.

The 4x200, the 4x400, the distance medley, and sprint medley relays all set Guilderland records this winter. And Liz Schwennker broke the 400 meter indoor track record.

"In comparison to the last eight or nine years," said Coach Richard Usher, "this has been the best year. The numbers are good. We had 43 girls finish the season. And a few times, we have broken school records."

The 4x200-meter relay team broke the school record three times this season. The team of Lindsay Hall, Chryssanti Nicholas, Schwennker, and Jackie DeLuise started with a time of 1:55. They now own a best time of 1:53.5.

"We wanted to break the records," Schwennker said. "Coach told us that the record was a possibility this year. We were getting close. Then we went to the Yale Invitational and it was a goal for us and we got it."

Three of the runners who are on the record-setting distance medley relay team are not even high school students.

"Three of the girls are in middle school," Usher said. "They are coming off a successful cross-country season."

Lea Cure, Kelly Camardo, Anna Pickett, and Emily Cure set the relay record of 13:31. Emily Cure is the old-timer in the bunch. She is a high school junior.

The sprint medley relay team of Amanda Foggia, DeLuise, Lindsay Hall, and Schwennker ran to a time of 4:31.

The 4x400-meter relay team of Schwennker, Hall, DeLuise, and Foggia holds the school record in a time of 4:12.

"We broke it by 10 seconds," DeLuise said. "It was 4:22 and we ran a 4:12."

Schwennker has a fourth school indoor record. She currently holds the top mark in the 400 meters. She ran 61.12 to set the record.

"Pretty good"

Some other performances this winter were not quite record-breaking, but were good nonetheless.

Sarah Heller, a senior, has had a good season throwing the shot. Her best throw this winter is 34 feet, one-half inch.

"She is fourth or fifth in the section and that’s pretty good," Usher said.

Junior Karley Giles had a good year in the high jump. Her best jump so far this season is 5 feet, 2 inches.

"She is hoping to get 5-4," Usher said. "She should be able to get that in the next couple of weeks."

"I’m working on a new PR," Giles said of reaching a personal record. "The season gets long towards the end"I just get motivated to improve."

Casey Doak, a junior, has done well running in 1,500- and 3,000-meter distance races.

Sophomore Lauren Fehervari has competed in the triple, long, and high jumps this winter.

"She improves at every meet," Usher said. "She jumped 31 feet at the Suburban Councils. She also jumped 14-and-a-half feet in the long jump and four feet, eight-and-a-half inches in the high jump. She was one of best scorers at the meet."

"I just try and keep doing better," Fehervari said. "I did track in middle school, but this is my first at the high school"I want to keep in shape."

Both Fehervari and Giles are also looking forward to the outdoor season this spring.

"We had a lot of people out this year," Fehervari said.

"I’m hoping more people do outdoor," Giles added. "It’s great to have so many athletes out."

The Suburban Council meet on Saturday did not go as well as Usher had hoped.

"It was kind of a letdown," the coach said. "We did not do as well as I thought we would. The 4x200 broke the school record during prelims. The 4x400 was second in the section but they came in fourth place. I think they were overcome with excitement that they broke the record in the 4x200."

"The Suburbans didn’t go so well," Schwennker agreed. "We can really do so much better. We’ve got motivation again."

The team is aiming for the Section II meet that will take place on Feb. 18. But what some Lady Dutch runners have accomplished this season has been extraordinary.

"It is a rarity to have a record fall," Usher said. "You have to make mention of it. The records are great."

January’s been good to Dutchmen wrestlers

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland wrestling team might be sad to see January come to an end.

The Dutchmen have had a successful first month of the year, winning all of their dual meets in the month and wrestling well in three tournaments.

After winning the Ilion Tournament in central New York, the Dutchmen placed fifth out of 15 teams at the Canandaigua Tournament and finished fifth at the Big 10 Invitational this past weekend.

The Dutchmen beat Niskayuna and Averill Park in dual matches earlier in the month. The Dutch then beat a tough Columbia team, 39-30, on Jan. 16 and Mohonasen, 60-10, on Jan. 22.

"Right in the mix"

Guilderland wrestled Section II power Shenendehowa in a dual meet on Wednesday night.

"We’re right in the mix after beating Columbia and wrestling the way we have," said Guilderland Coach Korey Rogotzke. "We have Shen, Bethlehem, and the Section II Duals coming up. We’ll be right there for sectionals. If we’re healthy, we have a chance at the top two in Class A’s."

With the way the Dutchmen have wrestled in tough tournaments, that is a great possibility.

At the Canandaigua Tournament, the Dutchmen got a win from Matt Cubillos in the 125-pound weight class. Josh Sawyer finished second in the 171-pound weight class. His only loss was a 7-6 decision to a wrestler from Pennsylvania.

Robert Romeo went 5-1 and finished third in the 130-pound weight class. Devan Van Auken finished fifth in the 285-pound class and Brandon Ruddy finished fifth at 215 pounds.

Last weekend, the Dutch were missing two wrestlers at the Big 10 Invitational. Eugene Sellie and Clay DeCesare both are out with injuries.

"If we have both of them," Rogotzke said, "we probably get into the top three. All the teams that finished ahead of us are state-ranked."

The Dutchmen finished with 143.5 points. Long Island power Huntington won the tournament with 230 points. Burnt Hills was second, Amsterdam was third, and Section IX’s Valley Central finished fourth.

Cubillos won another tournament, pinning a competitor that had beaten him last season.

"Cubillos has been on a tear lately," Rogotzke said.

Josh Sawyer finished second, Van Auken was second, and Romeo was third. Travis Wolanski won his consolation final to finish third and Matt Hart was fourth in the 135-pound weight class.

"Travis Wolanski is starting to turn it back on," Rogotzke said. "It has taken him some time to adjust from 96 to 112 pounds this year."

On to sectionals

Rogotzke has some grapplers that appear to be ready for sectionals.

"Romeo is having a great senior year," the coach said. "He’s faced some tough competition. He was fifth at sectionals last year and he’s just gone to another level. He wants to get to the Section II finals and be a Class A champion.

"Cubillos had just two one-point losses," Rogotzke said. "He’s lost to the number-one seeded kid in the small schools. Since then he’s been on a tear. He’s eyeing placing at states. He’s starting to put it together."

It’s not just the varsity team that is doing well this winter for Guilderland.

"The JV is doing well and the modified is 6-1," Rogotzke said. "We are doing really well in the Suburban Council. We have a lot of depth within the program. We have three seniors on the varsity and everybody comes back. And the underclassmen will have a lot of experience."

The youth wrestling program has an open registration policy and any child interested in wrestling just needs to go to a practice on Tuesday or Thursday to sign up. Practices are held at Farnsworth Middle School.

The 10th Annual Guilderland Youth Wrestling Tournament will be held at Guilderland High School on March 1.

The varsity Dutchmen, who are 8-3 overall and 5-3 in the leauge, will take part in the Section II Duals Saturday at Colonie High School. The Dutch will face Whitehall in their first match at 9 a.m. With a win, they will probably face top seed Shen for the second time in less than a week.

Skating Dutchmen avenge lone league loss

By Tim Matteson

GUILDELAND — The Guilderland hockey team exacted revenge from its only league loss this season and also picked up another important win this past week.

The Skating Dutchmen kept its Capital District High School Hockey League loss total to one after beating LaSalle, 5-3, and Christian Brothers Academy, 3-0. Guilderland’s lone league loss this season was a 3-0 blanking by LaSalle on Jan. 12.

In the second meeting with the Cadets this past Saturday, the Dutchmen took the lead in the second period and then added another tally in the third period to seal the win.

Collin Burg had two goals and two assists to lead the Dutchmen. Greg Warnken scored two goals and Aaron Cahill added a goal and an assist.

Jeff Geisendorfer had an assist in the game for the Skating Dutchmen.

Brendan Glennon made an astonishing 42 saves in goal for Guilderland.

On Tuesday, the Dutchmen beat CBA, 3-0, behind goals from Warnken, Cahill, and Dan Dickenson. Jon Fogel, Nick Koss, and Warnken assisted on the goals.

Glennon made 15 saves to preserve the shutout and earn the first star of the game. He made several one-on-one saves to keep the Brothers off the scoreboard.

The Dutchmen also own a 5-3 win over Burnt Hills and have garnered 17 points to keep a hold on second place in Division I of the CDHSHL.

The Dutch have three tough games coming up. They travel to take on Glens Falls on Friday and then host Queensbury on Saturday. The Dutchmen then host Shenendehowa, which the Dutch trails, on Tuesday.

Dutch gymnasts hope to heal up for sectionals

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland gymnastics team is hoping for a flipping good time at the end of the season.

The Lady Dutch hope to overcome some key injuries and lack of experience as they look forward to the Suburban Council and Section II meets next month. Out of 14 competitors on the team, only one is a senior.

"We have 14 girls this year which is a little on the small side," said Guilderland Coach Brenda Goodknight. "We have a really young team. We have five middle-schoolers. We’re a little younger than in the past."

The only senior on the team is co-captain Erika Pesta. But she is out with an injury and has not competed recently.

"Leadership-wise," Goodknight said, "it affected the team a little bit."

The Guilderland team’s other two captains are juniors Corrine Chatnik and Corrina Goutos.

"That makes us a really young group," Goodknight said. "Skill-wise we are young. They are talented, but they don’t know what to expect."

Plagued with injuries

Ninth-grader Alexa Patnaude is out with an injury, but is looking to return for the big end-of-season meets.

"She’s a number-one and she is injured," Goodknight said. "She has been working on the bars. She should be ready to go for sectionals. That’s three weeks from now. We’re hoping she heals up quickly. We’re missing her scores on the floor and beams. It’s a little disappointing but, when she comes back, we’ll be in good shape."

The Lady Dutch beat Shenendehowa in December to win their first league competition of the season. But Guilderland lost to Shen in a close match in their last meeting on Jan. 15.

Guilderland also finished third at the season-opening Shaker Invitational.

"We were in a good place at the beginning of the season," Goodknight said. "The injuries took the wind out of our sails. I’m impressed with their work ethic. They have stepped up to the plate."

Ninth-grader Kristi Russell has slid into the number-one role and done a good job, Goodknight said. Goodknight has also been impressed with ninth-grader Jasmine Day.

"We want to be ready for sectionals," Goodknight said. "We want to get back to where we started."

The Dutch have one more home match and two more before the sectional meet. Guilderland hosts Shaker today (Thursday) and then travels to Saratoga on Feb. 5.

Goodknight has had help this season. Lauren Quirk, a college student, is an assistant coach this winter. Quirk is a former six-year member of the Bethlehem High School gymnastics team.

"A different year"

Last year, the Lady Dutch had a successful campaign winning the Suburban Council and coming in second at the Section II meet behind Saratoga. Dana Goodknight, the coach’s daughter, was the overall champion, but she has graduated and taken her skills to Southern Connecticut State University.

"This is really a different year," Coach Goodknight said. "We have eight returning girls that are used to the workout routine a bit. Competition-wise, it has been an interesting season. We have had two or three meets crammed into a week. It’s hard enough for the experienced girls. And it’s difficult for the inexperienced girls as well."

Goodknight is pleased with the way the younger team members have worked this season.

"The seventh-graders are stepping up," she said. "They have come in and given us quality scores."

Two gymnasts who Goodknight mentioned by name are Lena Rotella and Casie Girvin.

Goodknight thinks that her team will be ready to put together a good performance at the Section II meet, which is good, because the Dutch are hosting the event at their home at Lynnwood Elementary School. The Section II meet will be on Feb. 14.

Before that will be the junior varsity all-around meet on Feb.7 and the varsity all-around meet on Feb. 8 and 9.

"Half the girls will be going to the ‘A’ [varsity] meet and half will go to the ‘B’ meet," Goodknight said. "There are no JV teams. And, instead of rolling it all into one, the less experienced kids will compete with others of their ability in an all-around meet."

The season is coming to its climax quickly, but Goodknight sees good things on the horizon.

"It’s been a long season," the coach said. "But the girls are finally starting to get connected. Things are starting to come. They have come a long way since the beginning of the season. The girls look at tapes of meets and practices. We are proud of the progress they have made."

Christner leads Blackbirds out of zone trap

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — What a big night it was for the Voorheesville boys’ basketball team. The only problem was they almost threw it away.

The Blackbirds overcame sloppiness handling the basketball against a physical Mechanicville defense to beat the Red Raiders, 55-48, on Tuesday night.

"That was one we had to have," said Voorheesville Coach Don Catellier after the game. "We have lost three out of four. We came back on our home court against a Class C sectional team. We’ll see them again in the sectionals. They are a pretty good team and they play their zone well. They did a nice job."

Voorheesville didn’t pull away until late in the contest against Mechanicville’s 3-2 zone defense. With three guards up top, it made it difficult for the Voorheesville guards to handle the ball. Red Raider defenders forced numerous turnovers by jumping in the passing lanes.

"We practiced it all week," said Voorheesville senior Evan Christner of Mechanicville’s zone defense. "They have little tricks, but once you figure them out you have to put the guys in the right spots. I was moving around inside and I knew if I moved the zone, we could get openings. It opens up shots. You have to play as a team, especially against a zone."

"Clutch from the foul line"

The Blackbirds led for most of the game, but could not put the Red Raiders away until the final minutes. Voorheesville led, 28-22, at halftime and 40-36 at the end of the third quarter.

Mechanicville started the fourth quarter with a three-point basket by Chris Grayson to cut the lead to one-point, 40-39.

The score stayed that way until Mike Tesch made a short jump shot for Voorheesville with 5:54 left in the game.

Mechanicville answered with an inside basket by Paul MacMillan. The Red Raiders took the lead after Grayson stole the ball on a pass up top and had an easy fast-break lay-up to make the score 43-42 with 4:21 left in the game.

But Christner answered for the Birds. He scored an inside basket and was fouled. He converted the foul shot to put Voorheesville back up, 45-43.

Christner grabbed a rebound on the defensive end and added two more points after grabbing his own missed shot and putting it back.

On Mechanicville’s ensuing possession, Christner took a charge by Red Raider Josh Rougia.

The Red Raiders didn’t quit, though, as they got an inside basket by Pat Marra and two foul shots by Josh Gagtliastri that tied the game, 47-47.

Christner put the Blackbirds back up with an inside basket with 1:41 left in the game. The Birds then put on a foul-shooting clinic as they hit all six of their attempts in the final minute to pull away for the seven-point win.

Mechanicville got just a foul shot in the final minute of Tuesday’s contest.

"We were clutch from the foul line," Catellier said. "We’ve been consistent from the foul line this season."

"We’ve been doing pretty well this season with foul shooting," Christner said. "We practice it a lot. That is something we have to do to keep winning. We have to keep practicing foul shots because they will probably save us another night."

"A playoff game"

The Blackbirds made an outstanding 15 out of 17 free-throw attempts in the contest on Tuesday.

With the physical play they needed all of them.

"They were physical with us," Christner said. "But we had a couple of hard days of practice and that helps a lot. We play a lot of physical games. We just have to work through that. This is a good team to play against."

Christner had a double-double in Tuesday’s game. He scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Blackbirds. Ethan Mackey scored 12 points and Mike Snyder scored 11 to aid the Birds’ cause.

MacMillan was the lone Red Raider to reach double figures in scoring. He scored 11 points to pace Mechanicville. Rougia scored nine points and Grayson and Nick Lettrick each scored eight.

"It was a playoff game," Catellier said. "Both teams are trying to get there and move up. There were a lot of coaches here watching. But we lose our focus at times."

"Moving forward"

The Blackbirds bounced back from a tough 60-56 loss to Lansingburgh on Friday. The Birds are now 10-6 overall and 7-5 in the Colonial Council with four games left in the regular season.

Voorheesville travels to Ravena on Friday and Schalmont on Tuesday. The Blackbirds then host Cohoes on Feb. 8 and Watervliet on Feb. 12 to wrap up the league play.

"Hopefully, this will carry us for awhile," Catellier said. "We want to keep moving forward."

The Birds are starting to focus on their main goal of the season.

‘We want to win sectionals," Christner said. "Right now, we are taking it game by game. But it is coming to the end of the season and turning our focus to win sectionals. We focus on one game and working on playing hard, quarter by quarter. We’ll keep working hard in the gym to keep winning so we can reach our big goal."

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