Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Record's 2008-09 boys high school basketball All-City team

From right to left (front to back): Alex Heffern, Heatly; Haneef Scott, Lansingburgh; Brent Matazinsky, Tamarac; Nick Benoit, Cohoes; Griffin Kelly, Watervliet and last but not least, Steve Hunt, Tamarac. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record)

Haneef Scott
School: Lansingburgh
Height: 6-0
Class: Senior
Position: Point guard
2008-09 Accomplishments: Led the Knights to the 2008-09 Colonial Council regular season title, Lansingburgh’s first since 1980. The Colonial Council’s leading scorer and Most Valuable Player, Scott scored over 20 points 16 times and averaged 21.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. A dual threat who can pull up for three-pointers and also slash his way to the rim, Scott poured in a career-high 41 points in a victory over Cohoes to clinch the Colonial Council championship on Feb. 17. Scott, who made 46 three-point goals this season, was an honorable mention member of the All-City team as a junior. An honor roll student, Scott is still undecided on his college choice.

Alex Heffern
School: Heatly
Height: 5-10
Class: Sophomore
Position: Shooting guard
2008-09 Accomplishments: Heffern was the leader of Heatly’s three-point shooting attack, burying 39 buckets from long range. The Hornets won their first Central Hudson Valley League regular season title in three seasons, earned the No. 1 seed in the Section II Class D tournament and advanced to the sectional championship game before falling to Sharon Springs. Heffern was named to the Section II Class D All-Tournament team. A first team Central Hudson Valley League All-Star, Heffern averaged 14.7 points per game and finished in double figures in all but three games.

Steven Hunt
School: Tamarac
Height: 6-5
Class: Senior
Position: Guard/Forward
2008-09 Accomplishments: Hunt guided the Bengals to a second-place finish in the Wasaren League by averaging 17.0 points per game as a versatile performer who could play inside or outside. He was the Wasaren League’s leading scorer this season and also led his team in blocks and steals. Making his second consecutive appearance on The Record’s All-City first team, Hunt was named a first team Wasaren League All-Star. Hunt earned MVP honors in the season-opening Watervliet Tip-Off Tournament. He will play basketball at Hudson Valley Community College this fall and will be remembered in Brunswick for helping turn around a program that won only a single Wasaren League game during the 2006-07 season.

Griffin Kelly
School: Watervliet
Height: 6-4
Class: Freshman
Position: Forward
2008-09 Accomplishments: When Nick Durocher went down with an injury early in the year, Kelly stepped forward to become Watervliet’s scoring and rebounding leader, averaging 11 points and 10 rebounds per game in his first varsity season. He sparked the Cannoneers’ late-season resurgence, which included a victory over Colonial Council rival Voorheesville, knocking the Blackbirds out of a share of first place. For his efforts, Kelly, a freshman, was named a second team Colonial Council All-Star and was voted the Cannoneers’ team MVP. He is also a high honor roll student at Watervliet.

Nick Benoit
School: Cohoes
Height: 6-4
Class: Senior
Position: Forward/Center
2008-09 Accomplishments: A first-team Colonial Council All-Star, Benoit averaged 16.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game for the Tigers, who had a solid regular season and upset second-seeded Tamarac in the Section II Class B quarterfinals. He finished with a double-double in 16 of the 22 games in which he played and scored 20+ points and grabbed 10+ rebounds in eight games. His 25 point, 20 rebound performance against Schalmont was a highlight of his senior season. A three-year starter, Benoit twice led the Tigers to the Glens Falls Civic Center and fin¬ished with 981 career points. Benoit makes his second consecutive appearance on the All-City first team and was a second team All-City selec¬tion following the 2006-07 season. He plans on playing both basketball and baseball in college and aims to major in accounting.

Brent Matazinsky
School: Tamarac
Height: 6-3
Class: Senior
Position: Center
2008-09 Accomplishments: The most dominant pure post player in the Wasaren League, Matazinsky record¬ed a double-double in 19 of the 22 games he played this season. A sec¬ond team Wasaren League All-Star, Matazinsky’s 26 rebound perform¬ance in a victory over Berne-Knox-Westerlo was a season-high. Along with teammates and fellow seniors Steve Hunt and Tyler Shaw, Matazinsky was listed as one of the top 50 boys basketball players in Tamarac High School history prior to the season. The trio led the Bengals to the winningest season in school history, finishing with a 17-5 record. Matazinsky has committed to play football for Hobart College and was recognized as a third-team Class C All-State defensive end by the New York State Sportswriters Association in 2008.

Back row, left to right: Kelly, Hunt, Benoit, Matazinsky.
Front row, left to right: Heffern, Scott.

Second Team
Player Yr. School Pos. Ppg.
Tyler Shaw Sr. Tamarac PG 10.5
Gritty point guard made the Bengals offense go; solid defensive presence, too
Mason Horne Sr. La Salle Institute G 11.0
A dangerous scorer that carried the Cadets’ offense for the past two years
Jesse Milligan Sr Lansingburgh G/F 9.3
Cut as a seventh-grader, emerged as the varsity captain by his sen¬ior season
Xavier Murray Sr. Lansingburgh F 9.4
Energetic Troy High transfer crashed the boards on the north side this year
Dan McLaren Sr. Troy C 9.6
Solid as a rock in the post for the Flying Horses; quiet senior leader

Third Team
Player Yr. School Pos. Ppg.
Dan Danahy So. Troy G 7.2
Young, smart guard has the Flying Horses thinking big for next year
Brandon Fish Sr. Heatly G 7.0
Architect of the Hornets’ offense was a good shot, too, sinking 26 treys
LaShon Pringle Sr. Heatly F 8.6
The biggest inside player was important on a team packed with perimeter shooters
Mike Hilton Sr. Waterford-Halfmoon F 9.2
Spearheaded a dominant three-headed frontcourt presence for the Fordians
Kevin Pontore Jr. Watervliet F 5.1
Averaged 10 rebounds per game, anchored the Cannoneers’ defense in the post

Honorable Mention
Denzel Paschal, Catholic Central; Gary Nelson-Gill, Cohoes; Peter Heffern, Heatly; Jared Teta and Jordan Zareski, Lansingburgh; Marquis Campbell, La Salle Institute; Jameson McGrath and Cody Sargood, Tamarac; Steve Seebald, Troy; Matt Berthiaume and Jeff Yattaw, Waterford-Halfmoon; Tom Ebenhoch and Devonte Gleason, Watervliet.

Schools considered for The Record’s All-City team: Troy, Lansingburgh, Catholic Central, La Salle, Emma Willard, Waterford-Halfmoon, Cohoes, Heatly, Watervliet and Tamarac. Selections were made by high school sports reporter Will Montgomery in conjunction with nominations from local head coaches.
The girls All-City team will appear in The Record on Friday and the boys All-Area team will run on Saturday. The girls All-Area team will appear on Sunday.
Digital versions of the All-Star team sections will appear on this page soon thereafter.

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