Monday, January 12, 2009

Coaches vs. Cancer, 2009 Albany event

I caught part of the Boys & Girls High School (NYS AA No. 23) vs Abraham Lincoln (NYS AA No. 1) game on television this weekend in a battle for Brooklyn basketball supremacy and it reminded me that local fans will get the chance to see Boys & Girls in action in Albany in less than two weeks.

The Albany Academies are hosting the 2009 Coaches vs. Cancer High School Challenge at the Former Pepsi/Kinckerbocker Arena on Sunday, Jan. 25.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and tickets will cost $5 for students, $7 for adults and children 5 & under are free. All proceeds from this event will go to the American Cancer Society.

Here is the schedule for the day:

Noon -
Albany Academy for Girls Girls vs. Schalmont (Colonial Council leaguer)

1:45 p.m. -
Mohonasen vs. Bethlehem (Suburban Council boys leaguer)

3:30 p.m. -
Bishop Maginn (NYS AA No. 19) vs. Boys and Girls High School (NYS AA No. 23) (non-league boys)

5:15 p.m. -
Albany Academy (NYS AA No. 7) vs. Newburgh Free Academy (NYS AA No. 9) (non-league boys)

The Kangaroos from Boys & Girls defeated Lincoln by 10 points in the game broadcast on MSG Plus this weekend and they'll be sure to leapfrog in the rankings after having defeated Lincoln.

Maginn is going to have their hands full with the Kangaroos - they're quick and aggressive and bring that up-tempo style that the Griffins used to capture a New York State championship last season. The Griffins will likely be the underdog heading in because they've dropped non-league games to Niagara Falls and Newburgh Free Academy, who the Cadets will play in the last game of the day. Maginn did defeat Long Island Lutheran early in December.

The PSAL plays it championship game in Madison Square Garden, so the Kangaroos are used to playing on the big courts, but with an arena packed full of people in downtown Albany, look for the Griffins to make this one a game.

Albany Academy on the other hand, has a lot to prove against Newburgh. They played well against Peekskill last year at Siena, a Class A powerhouse. Most of that team is back for the Cadets and they've proven they can beat some of the top Section II Class AA teams in the area and hold a number of key non-league victories over some of the best teams in the nation, but all eyes will be on the Cadets in the closing game on the 25th.

It should be a wonderful event with four of the top Class AA teams in New York State. Last year's event at Siena College featured Maginn vs White Plains (a 71-50 victory) and Albany Academy vs. Peekskill (a great game, but a tough 62-58 loss for the Cadets.) Mohonasen also edged out Saratoga 55-49 in the early game.

Mohonasen's Joe Watroba was recently honored by the American Cancer Society after waging a successful battle against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Read the school press release here.
He was a big part of the ceremonies last season and he should receive a great ovation on the 25th.

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