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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 14, 2008

Birds fly into sectionals with big win

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Blackbirds are starting to take flight.

The Voorheesville boys’ basketball team won its fourth straight game and appears to be ready for the post-season after it beat Cohoes, 65-48, on Friday night.

"It was a great game," said Voorheesville Coach Don Catellier. "They took some pride into tonight. They [Cohoes Tigers] scored 78 points the first time and embarrassed us. We came back and wanted to play. We were ready for them."

The Blackbirds were ready to play as they led for most of the game. Voorheesville led by five points, 20-15, at the end of the first quarter and seven points, 34-27, at halftime.

The Birds took control in the third quarter.

After Cohoes opened the frame with a three-pointer, Voorheesville took over.

Evan Christner scored on a drive to the basket and was fouled. He missed the foul shot, but Voorheesville came back with a short jump shot by Kevin Klembczyk.

Klembczyk added two foul shots to make the score 40-30.

Cohoes came back with five consecutive points. Keith Curtin hit a two-point shot and followed that up with a three-pointer to cut the lead down to five points, 40-35.

Nick Kinisky scored after grabbing a rebound for the Blackbirds. But that was answered with a fast-break lay-up by Cohoes’ Ryan Potyrala about a minute later and the score was 42-37 with 3:47 left in the third frame.

"Pleased with the defense"

Christner came right back and scored inside. He scored on a fast-break lay-up after Klembczyk grabbed a rebound.

Nick Benoit came right back for Cohoes, scoring inside and picking up a foul. He converted the free throw to cut the lead back down to six points, 46-40.

Christner responded again for Voorheesville. He scored on a drive to the basket and hit a short jump shot to give the Blackbirds a 50-40 lead with 1:55 left in the third stanza.

Kinisky hit a close-range jumper to build the lead to 12 points and give the Blackbirds a 52-40 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Voorheesville built on its lead as the Birds held Cohoes to just eight points in the fourth quarter and pumped in 13 points to clinch the win.

Christner started the frame, scoring inside, and Mackey Lloyd hit a three-pointer to give Voorheesville a commanding, 17-point lead.

The Blackbirds were able to cruise from that point on.

"Beating a team like this is what you need to get ready for sectionals," Catellier said.

Defense came up big for the Blackbirds who gave up a lot of points in the first meeting between the two teams.

"Their two big guys scored 40 points against us last time," Catellier said. "We held them to 17 this time."

Curtin led the Tigers with 15 points. Benoit added 11 points for Cohoes.

"I’m really pleased with the defense tonight," Catellier said after Friday’s game. "Ethan Mackey did a good job. He didn’t score but he was on Benoit for most of the night. He’s their leading scorer."

The Blackbirds got great offensive output from Christner, Kinisky, and Klembczyk.

Christner led the way with 23 points. Kinisky scored 19 points and Klembczyk added 11.

"Nick was great," Catellier said. "He also played great defense and rebounded. Nick makes things happen. Kevin had 12 points, which is his high of the year. We did a lot of things well tonight."

On to sectionals

The Blackbirds won four straight games. They’ve beaten Mechanicville, 55-48, Ravena, 59-53; and Schalmont, 57-47, over the past couple of weeks.

The Birds finish the regular season on Thursday against Watervliet in a game was has been re-scheduled twice.

The Blackbirds finish the regular season with an 11-6 record in the Colonial Council and a 14-6 mark overall.

The Birds will be preparing for the upcoming sectionals. The pairings were announced on Wednesday. Voorheesville is the number-four seed in Class CC and get a first-round bye. They will play Berne-Knox-Westerlo, the fifth seed, in the quarterfinals at the University at Albany on Friday, Feb. 22.

"Right now, we have one [Class] C loss," Catellier said. "Out of six losses, four of them have come against As. And we have a win over a double A. We beat East Syracuse-Minoa. There are five teams right at the top in Class CC. One and two are pretty much set, but three, four, and five are up in the air. Hopefully, we’ll be in the mix somewhere in there."

Catellier is pleased his team is playing so well, but he knows it can change in a hurry. The Blackbirds finished strong last year — including a regular-season ending win over eventual Class B champion Watervliet — but lost in the first round of the sectionals.

"We are starting to gel at the right time of the year," Catellier said. "We are playing well. But after Tuesday, it’s one and done. We’re starting to get near the end of the road. It’ll be over before you know it."

Suburban coronation

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Dutchmen proved they are the kings of the Suburban Council.

The Guilderland boys’ basketball team beat Colonie, 61-56, to win the final game of the Suburban Council’s Tournament of Champions on Sunday night at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany.

"This was on our list of goals," said senior standout Brett Marfurt after the game. "We knocked this one off. We want to win Tuesday and go unbeaten."

The Dutch play Columbia on Thursday night in a make-up game to try and go undefeated in the Suburban Council. They could be the fourth Suburban Council team to do it, the last being the 2003-04 Guilderland squad that featured current College of Saint Rose senior Steve Dagostino.

"This is one thing we wanted to do," senior Andrew Smith said after Sunday’s game. "We also wanted to go undefeated in the Suburban Council. Now we want to keep playing well for sectionals."

Dutch dominate

Colonie played Guilderland tough in the first half of the contest. Marfurt’s three-point basket with four seconds left in the second quarter gave the Dutchmen a 28-26 halftime lead.

Guilderland came out with some fire in the third quarter.

Marfurt hit a jump shot to open the stanza and junior Jon Terry scored inside to increase the Dutch’s lead.

Marfurt added another jump shot and Guilderland led, 34-26, with 6:26 left in the third frame and forced Colonie to use a time-out.

The Dutchmen held their lead and were on the leading side of a 44-37 score as the third frame ended.

Herb Teford opened the fourth quarter, scoring with an inside basket for Colonie.

Dan Gejay made a foul shot for Guilderland and Marfurt scored on a drive to the basket to keep the Dutchmen ahead, 47-39.

Then came what might have been the play of the game.

Terry knocked a pass away on the defensive end of the court and saved the ball from going out of bounds. Then Terry hustled down the court, received a pass, and went strong to the hoop for a lay-up and drew a foul. He knocked down the free throw and Guilderland led, 50-39.

The Garnet Raiders didn’t go quietly, though, as they went on a 7-1 run to make the score 51-46. Jim Bacher made two foul shots, Tashon Newsome hit a three-pointer, and Tedford made two foul shots in the Colonie run. Guilderland’s only point was a free throw by Marfurt.

Colonie was looking to add to the run but Marfurt stole a pass and was all alone as he went to the basket and threw down a two-handed slam dunk.

Sean Peer came back, scoring inside for Colonie. That was quickly answered as Terry scored inside.

Kyle Mafrici hit a three-pointer that made the score 55-51 with 1:39 left in the contest.

Smith scored on a drive to the basket with 1:19 left to add to Guilderland’s lead.

Newsome made two free throws, but Smith scored on another drive to the basket to make it 59-53 with 46 seconds left.

Newsome made a foul shot and Peer scored inside to make the score 59-56 with 21 seconds left.

Junior Kevin Kost made one foul shot with 18 seconds left, and Smith made one with six seconds left to seal the win for the Dutchmen.

"In the third quarter, we opened it up a little bit," said Guilderland Coach Ron Osinski. "Drew got his fourth foul, but did a good job in the game. We even increased our lead a little. I think, at one time, we got it to 10."

"In the beginning"

The Dutchmen actually were down early in the contest, but did a good job of coming back in the first quarter.

"In the beginning we were down, 11-2," Osinski said. "But I told the kids, if it weren’t for the first two minutes we would have been up 10 at half. Brett hit a big shot at the end of the half."

Marfurt hit a lot of big shots in the game as he led the Dutch with 24 points. Terry scored 16 points, and Smith added nine for Guilderland.

Newsome scored 20 points to lead Colonie. Tedford scored 17 and Peer added 10 for the Garnet Raiders.

"Quinn Connell played good defense," Osinski said of Smith’s sub. "Brett switched off to Newsome, but our defense didn’t hurt us. We got some key rebounds and made a couple of shots."

"The defense really responded," Smith said. "We were able to knock the ball away at the end. We did a lot of good things on defense once we settled down."

The Dutch had sown up the number-one seed from the Suburban Council, and now await the Section II Class AA pairings. The pairings were announced Wednesday and the Dutch will play next Wednesday against the winner of the LaSalle/Albany play-in game.

"This is a good game to prepare us for sectionals," Osinski said of Sunday’s Suburban final. "You have to credit Colonie. They played great and we had to adjust during the game. We’ve played three games this week. We didn’t have a lot of time for preparation."

The Dutchmen beat Shenendehowa, 74-69, in the semifinals of the league tournament.

"This is the best tune-up," Marfurt said. "Colonie is the second-best team in the Suburban Council and better than a lot of Big 10 teams."

Dutchmen are Going nowhere after Saratoga loss

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — What looked like a promising season for the Guilderland ice hockey team, came to an end on Tuesday night in its first playoff game.

The Skating Dutchmen, who finished second in Division I of the Capital District High School Hockey League, were upset by seventh-seeded Saratoga, 2-1, at Union College’s Achilles Rink on a snowy night.

"It’s tough on the seniors," said Guilderland Coach John DeRubertis. "The way we finished last year and the way we were playing this year, we felt like we could make a good run. I knew coming in we wouldn’t blow this team away. It would have been good if it worked out that way, but playing them to a one-goal game in the playoffs, I’m never surprised."

Dan Going scored the game-winning goal for Saratoga in the third period.

The Dutch were just about done killing off a penalty when Going fired a shot on goal. Guilderland goalie Brendan Glennon made the initial save but the puck went right back to Going and he fired another shot that reached the goal and put the Blue Streaks on top, 2-1, with 6:27 left in the contest.

Greg Jacot was credited with an assist on the goal.

The Dutchmen tried to get the tying goal in the rest of the contest. They put constant pressure on Saratoga and its goaltender, Joe House, but could not get a puck past the senior netminder.

Senior forward Aaron Cahill tried his hardest for the Skating Dutchmen, but his blasts from the point could not find the net. Greg Warnken also had a couple of scoring chances but could not crack the Saratoga defense.

"Their goaltender did a tremendous job," DeRubertis said. "We were keeping them on their heels. But they took a 1-0 lead. It was nice we got that back. We put constant pressure on them but we couldn’t bang in the next one. If we can get one there, it changes everything. I have to give them credit."

"Pretty even"

Stephen Cash scored the first goal of the contest. The sophomore forward gave Saratoga the lead with 5:10 left in the opening period.

Cash took a shot that was stopped by Glennon but the rebound went right back to Cash and he fired a shot that went over the left shoulder of Glennon into the corner of the goal.

Garvin Dooley and Billy Mosso got the assists on the tally.

Saratoga scored the goal, despite being bombarded by the Dutchmen for the first 10 minutes of the contest. But the Blue Streaks weathered the storm and went ahead.

Guilderland did tie the game with 3:39 left in the opening period.

Dan Dickenson scored a power-play goal after a Saratoga penalty.

Jon Fogel shot the puck and it deflected off Dickenson’s stick in front of the goal and past House for the tally.

The goal came 1:19 into the penalty and appeared to give the Dutchmen new life. They continued to battle but could not jump ahead and the first period ended in a 1-1 draw.

The game was pretty even in the second period as both teams had chances but neither could get the leading goal. The middle frame ended with the same 1-1 score as the first stanza.

The Dutchmen outshot the Blue Streaks in the contest but could not get the winning goal and fell behind late in the third period.

"It was pretty even," DeRubertis said. "The shots were 32-22. It’s hard because we were tossing shots at them in deep but they got their shots off the rush. They would get the puck out and get an odd-man rush to the net. And they jumped on rebounds."

Glennon finished the contest with 30 saves and House made 21 for the Blue Streaks.

DeRubertis did not make any excuses for his team, but it was the third time the teams met during the season — with Guilderland winning both of the earlier contests — and it was also the Dutch’s fifth game in a week.

Tough schedule

"This is our fifth game since last Tuesday," the coach said. "That’s five games in seven days. It’s tough. It’s just one of those things. We got to a rolling start and that is something we’ve done in our league games. They survived it and got a goal and gained confidence. And that is all an underdog needs is to be close at the end."

The Dutchmen lost to Shenendehowa last Tuesday but came back to earn the number-two seed in the league after beating Glens Falls, 2-1. The Dutch also played in the Albany County Cup Tournament on Friday and Saturday.

Colin Burg scored the game-winning goal against Glens Falls in overtime. Greg Warnken scored the first goal for Guilderland with an assist from Burg. The Dutchmen were shorthanded when Burg scored the game-winning goal, shooting high on the glove side of the Glens Falls netminder.

Glennon made 24 saves in goal for the Dutch.

Guilderland beat Christian Brothers Academy, 4-2, in the first round of the first Albany County Cup tournament.

Dickinson scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Dutchmen. Warnken and Burg each scored a goal and added an assist. Jeff Geisendorfer had an assist for the Dutch.

Glennon made 27 saves for Guilderland in the contest.

Guilderland then beat Shaker-Colonie, 4-2, in the championship game of the tournament.

Dickinson scored two more goals and had two assists in the contest. Cahill and Burg each had a goal.

Warnken had two assists and Burg, Robby King, and Nick Koss each had an assist for the Dutchmen.

"Tough on the seniors"

Guilderland finishes the season with a 13-10-1 overall record and a 13-3 mark in the CDHSHL.

Seven seniors will graduate from this year’s Guilderland team. Glennon along with defenders Geisendorfer, Koss, Max Goodknight, and Fogel will be missed from next year’s team. High-scoring Cahill and reserve Brian Hart will also graduate.

"It tough on the seniors," DeRubertis said. "We have four on defense that did a tremendous job for the past three or four years. They improved and worked hard and are one of the best defenses in the league. I think they are deserving of being the top defense in the league. They could make that outright claim, because they are not superstar defensemen, but each is an all-star caliber defender. We got just one honorable mention, but there are a lot of good defensmen out there."

Fogel was given an honorable mention on the CDHSHL all-star team. Warnken was named to the first team at forward and Burg and Cahill were named to the second team at forward. Dickinson was named an honorable mention all-star.

"Cahill will be graduating," DeRubertis added. "It was a tough way to end and he showed some of that frustration at the end. Brian Hart wanted to be a part of the team with us. I think it was a positive experience for him. I was glad to have him.

"And Brendan Glennon, what can you say"" DeRubertis added. "We made vast improvement since the beginning of last year. He did more than what I expected of him since the beginning of last year. From then to this point, he’s been tremendous and he’s one of the best in the section.

"We looked like and felt like we would go further," DeRubertis concluded.

Bulldogs get their shar, fall in WAC tourney

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — After coming off a big win on Friday night, the Berne-Knox-Westerlo boys’ basketball team had to turn around and play a tough opponent on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs beat Canajoharie to earn their share of the Western Athletic Conference’s Southern Division. After traveling to Montgomery County on Friday night, the Bulldogs had to make a trip to Saratoga to play Fonda-Fultonville in the first round of the WAC Championships.

BKW, the second-seeded Southern Division team, dropped a 49-42 decision to the larger Class B school.

"We didn’t start scoring until it was too late," said BKW Coach Andy Wright on Saturday night. "We had a couple of long bus rides."

"A great effort"

The travel appeared to affect the Bulldogs early in the contest as they struggled to hit shots against a Fonda team that was the number-one team from the Northern Division and featured some tough inside players.

BKW trailed, 16-7, at the end of the first quarter and by nine points at halftime, 24-15.

The Bulldogs then started to chip away at Fonda’s lead, led by senior standout Matt Lounsbury.

After a Fonda free throw, Lounsbury knocked down a three-pointer. That basket was answered on an inside basket by Fonda’s Jeff Headwell.

Lounsbury came back with another three-pointer to cut the lead to six points, 27-21.

But Fonda got two free throws from Josh Nethaway and got a fast-break lay-up from Dan Quiri to put the lead back to double-digits, 31-21, with 3:13 left in the third frame.

Joe Conklin made a short jump shot for the Bulldogs and Lounsbury made a shot of his own to keep the game close.

Fonda got two free throws, but Lounsbury answered, finishing a drive to the basket with a scoop lay-up.

The Bulldogs wouldn’t get any closer in the stanza as two foul shots by Kevin Hanson gave the Braves a 35-27 lead as the period came to a close.

Fonda opened the fourth quarter with a foul shot from Hanson, a fast-break lay-up from Seth Hidde, and a tip-in of a missed shot by Nethaway.

An inside basket by Hanson made the score 42-27 with 6:01 left in the game.

Lounsbury saved the Bulldogs with a drive to the basket with 5:51 left in the game. Less than a minute later, he connected on a three-point shot to cut the lead to 10 points, 42-32.

Neither team scored until Hanson hit a short jump shot with 4:09 left in the contest. Lounsbury answered with two free throws.

Nethaway tipped in a missed shot for Fonda with 1:59 left but the Bulldogs would not go away.

Josh Skinner hit back-to-back three-pointers to cut the lead to six points, 46-40.

However, Nate Hebert made three foul shots in the final minutes to seal the win for Fonda.

BKW’s last points came on an inside basket by Conklin.

The smaller Bulldogs struggled to match up with the much taller Braves. But they battled Fonda, which has a record of 11-1 in the WAC and 16-2 overall.

"I’m not ashamed or disappointed," Wright said. "The kids had a great effort. We played a seven-point game with the number-12 ranked B school in the state. We gave a competitive performance."

Lounsbury led the Bulldogs with 22 points. Skinner scored nine and Conklin had six points for BKW.

Hanson led the Braves with 13 points. Nethaway scored nine and Tyler Hall added seven.


On Friday, the Bulldogs pulled away late to beat Canajoharie and earn a tie with Schenectady Christian for the WAC’s Southern Division championship.

The Bulldogs beat the Cougars, 49-31, after outscoring the Cougars, 36-22, in the second half. BKW led, 18-12, at halftime.

David Sikule led the Bulldogs in that contest with 23 points. He scored 12 of those points in the third quarter.

"Our priority was to get our half of the division championship," Wright said. "The Cougars hung in there. It was an 18-point difference but we played pretty tight. It was eight, 10, 12, points for a long time."

On Monday, the Bulldogs lost in the consolation game of the WAC tournament. The BKW team traveled to Saratoga to take on Spa Catholic but lost, 89-48.

The Bulldogs wrapped up the regular season with a 14-6 overall record and an 11-1 league mark. BKW will be waiting for the upcoming sectionals that will start this week.

"We are hunting for the five seed," Wright said. "We are 14-6; I think that is good enough to be number five."

Wright has said all season that he wants his kids to play a home sectional contest. They won’t get a home game but a bye right to the quarterfinals in Class CC. The Bulldogs will play Voorheesville at the University at Albany on Friday, Feb. 22.

Wright thinks that the WAC does not get enough credit for being a tough league, but recent past results have shown otherwise.

"It’s a very tough league," Wright said. "If you look at Class D, C, and B, over the past few years, we’ve had a team in the [sectional] final four at the Glens Falls Civic Center."

Shot at title falls short for Lady Bulldogs

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — It was a sectional-like atmosphere in the small gym at Saratoga High School.

The Berne-Knox-Westerlo and Fonda-Fultonville girls’ basketball teams engaged in a battle in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Championship.

The came down to the wire, but a missed shot at the buzzer gave Fonda a 43-42 win.

"It was a good high school game," said BKW Coach Tom Galvin. "We knew it would be. We played an overtime game before and we beat them. I’m happy the kids responded. We were getting shots and doing what we needed to do. We got a look at the end. We fouled them and they made their shots. We’ll just have to knock that shot down next time. I’m happy with the way we responded."

BKW was the second-seeded team from the Southern Division after finishing in second place in the division. Fonda was the top seed from the Northern Division.

Nip and tuck

The game was a nip-and-tuck affair throughout.

BKW had a seven-point lead late in the second quarter. But Fonda came back to score the final 12 points of the quarter to take a 26-21 lead at the halftime intermission. The Lady Bulldogs had a two-point lead, 12-10, after the first quarter.

The teams battled in the third quarter and Lauren Ford’s drive to the basket with six seconds left in the quarter gave the Bulldogs a 35-33 lead.

BKW started off strong in the fourth quarter. Ford made a three-pointer and Jocelyn Mann scored inside to make the score 40-33.

Fonda came back with two foul shots, and an inside basket by Amy Hitchcock cut the lead back down to three points.

Hitchcock made a lay-up to cut the lead to one, but Ford answered for BKW with a strong drive to the basket.

Molly Sullivan made a pair of free throws for the Braves to cut the lead down to one with 1:40 left in the game. Sullivan was fouled again with 47 seconds left and made both free throws to give Fonda the lead.

Sullivan missed a foul shot and, after BKW’s Anna Kusler grabbed the rebound, a time-out was called with nine seconds left.

After the time-out, the ball was in-bounded to Andrea Van Dyke who moved the ball up the court and went down the right side and then toward the rim. She took a short jump shot but it glanced away from the rim as the buzzer sounded and Fonda escaped with the win.

"A challenge"

"It was a great atmosphere," Galvin said. "It was a great crowd. We played a tough team down to the end. We responded and did a nice job doing it. That is why we play a game like that. It’s a challenge. That is a goal of a game like that. And that’s what it did."

Ford led all scorers with 22 points. She was the lone Bulldog to reach double digits. Kusler added seven points.

Paula Egelston led Fonda with 15 points. Kaitlyn Baker scored nine points and Hitchcock, Sullivan, and Alyssa Novak each scored eight points for the Braves.

"Lauren Ford is coming into her own," Galvin said. "She scored 22 points, but she could have had 40 if she kept attacking the rim. It’s pretty evident she carried us. She has been our dominant scorer. She has gained a lot of confidence when she plays like that. I haven’t found a team that can stop her. And she provides us with senior leadership."

Galvin was also pleased with his team’s defense on Saturday night.

"Defensively, we were getting a little intensity," Galvin said. "We got down early, but we picked up the defensive intensity."

The Lady Bulldogs played in the consolation game against Saratoga Spa Catholic on Monday. They concluded the regular season with a 12-2 record in the Western Athletic Conference and have an overall record of 14-5. The Lady Bulldogs finished second in the standings after a tough loss to Schenectady Christian on Thursday night.

"Thursday, we didn’t play well," Galvin said. "But against Fonda we picked it up. I was happy we were able to do that. We did what we needed to do."

After Monday night’s game, the Lady Bulldogs concluded the regular season and waited to see where they would be seeded for the upcoming Class CC Section II playoffs. The seedings were announced Wednesday and the Lady Bulldogs are the number-three seed in Class CC. They will host Cambridge, the 15th seed, on Wednesday. With a win the Lady Bulldogs will move to the quarterfinals at Watervliet against possibly Voorheesville. Voorheesville, who is seeded sixth, plays host to Galway on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs will fill some of their lay-off time with a scrimmage against Amsterdam. The Rams are the top-ranked Class AA team in the state.

"We’ll take a couple of days off," Galvin said. "Then we’ll come back and scrimmage Amsterdam. That will be a challenge; it’ll be tough. They are probably the best in Section II. We’ll find out what we need to do in the sectionals."

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