Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Record's 2008-09 boys basketball All-Area team

Player of the Year: Haneef Scott
School: Lansingburgh
Class: Senior
Position: Shooting Guard
Height: 6-0
Notable: Scott, a three-year varsity starter at Lansingburgh, took his game to new heights as a senior. Relied upon to be the team’s big time scorer, Scott answered by pouring in 21.9 points per game and led the Knights to their first Colonial Council regular season championship since the 1979-80 season. He scored a career-high 41 points in a 79-54 victory over Cohoes to close out the regular season, giving Lansingburgh sole possession of first place and allowing the team to cut down the nets after the game. Limited to two points on a 1-of-9 shooting performance in Lansingburgh’s season-opening game against Albany Academy, Scott finished in double figures every game the rest of the way, delivering the Knights a No. 4 seed in the Section II Class A tournament and a 16-5 final record.
Quotable: "He really embraced his role as our go-to guy," said Lansingburgh head coach Guy DiBacco. "I was pretty impressed by his toughness because other teams tried to face guard him, put box-and-ones on him and just give him a little bit of everything."
"His physical strength went a long way with his confidence," DiBacco continued. "He was always strong driving to the rim, but the confidence allowed him to finish with contact. He just had a monster year. We probably would have had an extra four or five losses without him."

Coach of the Year: Scott Hanrahan
School: Maple Hill
Notable: In his first year as the varsity head coach, Hanrahan took the Wildcats on their longest postseason ride in school history. Maple Hill first captured the Patroon Conference regular season title before winning the Section II Class CC championship against Stillwater and the Class CC/C playoff game over Canajoharie, marking the Wildcats’ first Section II championship since 1958. Three victories over teams with New York State sectional titlists followed, setting up a meeting with Avon in the Class C title game.
His team lost that game at the Glens Falls Civic Center, but Hanrahan, a 1989 graduate of the College of Saint Rose and a music teacher at Maple Hill High School, put the program on the map in the process. The sea of students in red t-shirts that followed the team to postseason games – a group the players dubbed the ‘Castleton Crazies’ – only served to underscore how much this season meant to a community starved of a boys basketball championship for 51 long years.

First team
Jamel Fields
School: The Albany Academies
Height: 6-2
Class: Junior
Position: Guard
Notable: Averaged 20.1 points per game for the Cadets, who were ranked as high as No. 2 among Class AA teams in New York State. Scored in double figures in every game and broke the 20-point barrier 13 times. One of the strongest and most fearless players in Section II, could drive to the rim or kick the ball out to a teammate on the perimeter. Fields will spend one year at a Connecticut prep school before suiting up with the Fairfield University Stags, Division I members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, in the fall of 2010.

Taran Buie
School: Bishop Maginn
Height: 6-2
Class: Junior
Position: Guard
Notable: Following older brother Taylor Battle’s NIT championship victory with Penn State, Buie decided to follow in his footsteps and will join him in State College in the fall of 2010. Buie, a Big 10 co-Player of the Year with Bishop Gibbons’ Brian Hamor, averaged 18.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game as Maginn defended its Big 10 title with a second con¬secutive 16-0 regular season. He finished in double figures in every game and poured in a season-high 30 points in a gritty performance in a Section II Class AA overtime loss to Albany Academy in the semifinal round. Major Division I colleges had been pursuing him for two years and Buie, who is also considering moving with family to Pennsylvania for his senior year, can focus his energies next season exclusively on his high school team, wherever it may be.

Brian Hamor
School: Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons
Height: 6-2
Class: Senior
Position: Guard
Notable: There was no player in the area who was more essential to his team than Hamor. He was Section II’s leading average scorer, putting 25.8 points on the scoreboard per game for the Golden Knights. After sitting out nearly the entire month of February with a calf injury, Hamor returned for a post¬season stretch run, leading Gibbons to a stirring fourth quarter comeback against South Glens Falls in the Section II Class A quarterfinals. Bishop Gibbons lost two of the three games they played in February without Hamor in the lineup. Co-Big 10 Player of the Year, Hamor scored in double figures in every game and was held to fewer than 20 points only twice and finished his career as the leading scorer in Bishop Gibbons history. He has signed a letter of intent to play at Division II Stonehill College of the Northeast-10 Conference.

Jordan Stevens
School: Saratoga Springs
Height: 6-5
Class: Senior
Position: Forward
Notable: Stevens garnered Suburban Council Player of the Year honors by averaging 20.9 points per game for the Blue Streaks, which finished second to Shenendehowa in the Suburban Council South Division. He scored at least 25 points in a game eight times. Stevens added seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks a game after missing significant time a season ago with a wrist injury. He will play for the College of the Holy Cross, a Division I member of the Patriot League.

Chris Pelcher
School: The Albany Academies
Height: 6-9
Class: Senior
Position: Center
Notable: Perhaps the most unguardable player in Section II, Pelcher’s height and athleticism in the paint gave the Cadets an inside presence to counter their group of deadly perimeter shooters. Pelcher averaged 19.7 points per game and scored in double figures in all but one game – a blowout victory over Cobleskill in which he was removed early. He helped lead Albany Academy to a thrilling overtime victory over Bishop Maginn (defending sectional and state champions) in the Section II Class AA semifinals. Pelcher has signed a letter of intent to compete for Iona College, a Division I member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Siena, UMass and Fordham were among the teams Pelcher also considered.

Name School Class Pos. PPG RPG APG
Player of the Year
Haneef Scott Lansingburgh Senior SG 21.9 4.5 2.7
Stellar senior season, guided Lansingburgh to its first league title in 29 years

First team
Taran Buie Bishop Maginn Junior G 18.4 5.2 .3
The talented junior brought the Golden Griffins to the cusp of another Section II Class AA title
Jamel Fields Albany Academies Junior G 21.1 7.0 NA
A true dual threat on the offensive end, could drive to the rim or pop three-pointers if left open
Brian Hamor Bishop Gibbons Senior G 25.8 11.0 5.0
Most nights, carried the Knights all by himself; scored a season-high 41 at Amsterdam
Jordan Stevens Saratoga Springs Senior F 20.9 7.0 4.0
Stevens wrapped up a superb high school career by earning Suburban Council MVP honors
Chris Pelcher Albany Academies Senior C 19.7 12.0 NA
Class AA’s dominant big man, cleaned up on the boards when Cadets’ perimeter game misfired

Second team
Trent Tibbitts Maple Hill Senior G 15.9 3.6 2.0
One big shot after another from Tibbitts in the playoffs vaulted the Wildcats into the Class C state title game
Matt Miner Shenendehowa Junior G 15.0 6.0 2.0
Plainsmen lost only twice this season and absolutely dominated in Suburban Council action
Kameron Ritter CBA Junior G 16.3 NA 4.0
Surrounded by plenty of depth, remained the Brothers’ shooting star and captured a Section II title
Steven Hunt Tamarac Senior G/F 17.0 9.2 NA
Leader of a big band of Bengals seniors, has the ability to play any position on the floor
Kevin McMahon Hoosick Falls Junior F 17.7 12.7 NA
Wasaren MVP set school records in rebounds (game, season, career) and blocks (season, career); 305 points shy of 1,000

Third team
Derrick Millinghaus Schenectady Sophomore G 19.5 6.0 6.0
Fearless young guard (along with his two brothers) has the Patriots’ program on the rise
Nick D’Alberto Stillwater Senior G/F 13.5 10.3 4.4
Guided the Warriors on a Cinderella run through the Class CC bracket
Tyler Foster Albany Academies Senior F 14.7 NA NA
Sharpshooter on the perimeter also had the size to slash his way inside
Trashon Burrell Bishop Maginn Junior F 10.0 10.1 NA
A Division I talent, developed over the course of the season and became a star for the Griffins
Andrew Stire CBA Senior C 10.2 NA NA
Saved his best performance of the season for the Section II Class AA title game

Honorable mention
Jimmer Bennett (Albany Academy), Kevin Wendth (Bethlehem), Chris Zema (Berlin), Bunduka Kargbo (Bishop Maginn), Hunter Phillips (Cairo-Durham), Clark McKinnon (Catskill), Nick Benoit (Cohoes), Kyle Mafrici (Colonie), Steven King (Columbia), Cody Broast (Germantown), Thomas Griffin (Germantown), Jon Terry (Guilderland), Alex Heffern (Heatly), Alex Kugler (Hoosic Valley), Tanner Finney (Hoosick Falls), Cullen Overholt (Loudonville Christian), Sean Danaher (Maple Hill), Jaime Schultz (Maple Hill), Nick Lettrick (Mechanicville), Josh Rougia (Mechanicville), Jordan Macejka (Mohonasen), Shane Brozowski (Rensselaer), Reece Jackson (Schenectady), Janique Lanier (Shaker), Brent Matazinsky (Tamarac), Nick Kinisky (Voorheesville), Ethan Mackey (Voorheesville), Mike Hilton (Waterford-Halfmoon), Griffin Kelly (Watervliet).

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