Sunday, February 24, 2008

Quarterfinal Saturday

Members of the Hoosic Valley boys basketball team celebrate after a 51-50 victory over Saratoga Catholic in Saturday's Section II Class B quarterfinals at Hudson Valley Community College. (Mike McMahon — The Record)

Quite a day for boys basketball yesterday at HVCC and SUNY-Albany. The No. 3 seed Hoosic Valley Indians (above) squeaked past Spa Catholic for a berth in the B semis in Glens Falls against No. 2 Fonda-Fultonville on Thursday at 6 pm.
I will be there - and with the Indians' penchant for late-game heroics, I'm expecting another great game.

I spent the day over at SUNY, and saw Rensselaer and Maple Hill advance to the class C semis, which will be held Tuesday night in Glens Falls at 8 pm. I know the Rams stumbled down the stretch in the regular season, but they looked great in the first half against Duanesburg. Maple Hill went toe-to-toe with a feisty Fort Plain squad and held on in the final minutes. Maple Hill and Rensselaer split their regular season meetings, each team winning on the road. Since Maple Hill is the underdog (and they've already seen the Rams twice and scouted yesterday) I think they have a shot at the upset.

Albany Academy cruised past Lansingburgh in a third-time meeting later on. Sans point guard Jimmer Bennett (out with a high ankle sprain) Jamel Fields and Omar McGill took over the point and led the Cadets to a 62-42 victory. While Academy's offense was impressive, they held 'Burgh's Connor Gallo to 3 points. Jared Teta did have a very good game for the Knights and they should have a good young core returning next year with Teta and Haneef Scott.
Albany Academy plays Mohonasen on Friday in the latte game in Glens Falls.

The clock finally struck midnight on the Tamarac Bengals Cinderella story - Ichabod Crane kept rolling on their 21-game win streak thanks to Kevin Knack's 7-of-8 performance from the free throw stripe in the final minute of play. Steve Hunt had a 16 point, 10 rebound double-double for the Bengals, but their unforced errors with turnovers gave the Riders too many easy points. The game was close, within one point with 1:08 to go, but Tamarac had to foul and put the hot-handed Knack on the line.
Ichabod plays Broadalbin-Perth in the other half of the B semis at 7:30 on Thursday. Should Hoosic Valley and Ichabod Crane both win - that would be one heck of a sectional final game.

Congratulations must go to the Bengals for making it to the second round in the first time in recent memory. Although they will sorely miss senior Matt Dixon, the Bengals have a great young core returning and should contend for the Wasaren League title next year.

Class AA quarters are coming this afternoon from the big arena not to be named in downtown Albany.
CBA-Troy is 1 pm and CCHS-Colonie is set for 2:30. Guilderland plays Shaker after that and Amsterdam takes on Big 10 foe Bishop Maginn in the late game.
There is a big buzz about the CCHS-Colonie game and rightfully so. They teams played in the Troy Christmas Tournament, CCHS coming away with a close win. It should be the closest of the afternoon, but both teams have Achilles heels.
For Colonie - it is the Jekyll and Hyde inconsistency. They have great players but sometimes they do not communicate and play as a team on the offensive end. Consequently, they force bad shots and end up falling behind and forcing even more bad shots. This was exactly the case in their games at Guilderland and home against Shen that I covered this year. If Tashan Newsome and Herb Tedford, along with Jim Bacher and Sean Peer, can keep that offense moving and flowing, the Raiders can win, no doubt about it.
The Crusaders have an awesome two-headed attack in Devin Grimes and Jordan Gettings, but if one of those guys has an off-night, it is usually a long night for CCHS. They combine to average around 35 points per game.
The game will come down to Colonie's defensive effort on Gettings and Grimes. If the Raiders can shut one down and manage to maintain some offensive flow, Colonie can win.
However, very few teams have been able to blanket Gettings or Grimes all year long.

Keep those questions and comments coming - drop us a line at troyrecordsports {at}

I'm especially interested in any comments on the Maple Hill boys since I've only seen them once - yesterday. Any info on Hoosic Valley's opponent, Fonda, would be appreciated as well.

I'll haul my laptop down to the Knickbocker Arean today and see if I can't do a little live blogging during the AA quarters.

--Will Montgomery



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