Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cadets have Hart, win second straight CCHS tourney title

This was what Albany Academy's Nolan Hart faced through the first three quarters of Saturday's CCHS Holiday Hoop Tournament championship game against Lansingburgh. Hart, however, earned his Tournament MVP award in the fourth quarter, leading the Cadets to a 57-50 victory and their second consecutive CCHS Tournament title. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Hart completed a three-point play as soon as Lansingburgh tied the game at 43-43 and he hit a wide-open three-pointer with 39.7 seconds to go that put the Cadets ahead by six and sealed the deal. He added three points from the free throw stripe the rest of the way, finishing with 12 points in the championship game and 30 points overall in the two games.

Hart couldn't exactly remember that last time he won tournament MVP honors anywhere, but he was quick to thank his teammates for the hardware.

"Not since when I was younger, maybe JV in ninth grade," Hart said, "but I look to my teammates, definitely. It was a team win. I played poorly in the first half, but I was happy to help my team out at the end."

"It’s not a secret to everybody that they’re going to try to stop Nolan Hart from shooting the basketball," said Academy head coach Brian Fruscio. "He’s a really special shooter and he has a great skill, but he’s worked really hard in the offseason to put the ball on the ground and go some places."

Hunter McCarthy provided plenty of energy for the Cadets and was also an All-Tournament selection. The sixth man a year ago, McCarthy is learning to keep himself in control from the opening tip as a starter, but he ran into foul trouble early in the first and third quarters.

Junior forward David Benoks, who was limited by injuries the last two years, added 17 points and 10 rebounds Saturday afternoon, proving to be an adequate replacement for Chris Pelcher. Benoks scored 35 points and grabbed 23 rebounds in the tournament.

Academy (2-0) jumped out to a 10-0 run to start the game, but Lansingburgh stuck around and crawled back to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter before Hart took matters into his own hands.

"We came out firing with our guns blazing, but they crept back into the game," Hart said. "It was definitely a test of our mettle and it was good to pull this one out. Other teams haven’t played yet and we already have two wins under our belt."

Lansingburgh senior center Tyler Hammett, held scoreless by Catholic Central, scored a game-high 19 points in the championship game and grabbed 20 total rebounds in the tournament.

"I was very proud of the effort," Lansingburgh head coach Guy DiBacco, an Albany Academy alumnus, said. "We were down 10-0 and I was worried that maybe playing in a crosstown tournament in a championship game we got a little nervous. But we battled back against a great Class AA team."

Kingston downed Catholic Central in the consolation game, 63-57, behind 30 points from Davonne Dunlap.

Shiva Senthil scored 23 points for the Crusaders, while Mike McFerran added 13.

Lansingburgh's Salaam Knight elevates over Albany Academy's David Benoch during the first quarter of Saturday's game at Msgr. Burns Gymnasium in Troy.


Catholic Central High School Holiday Hoop Tournament All-Tournament team

MVP -
Nolan Hart, Albany Academy
Hunter McCarthy, Albany Academy
Salaam Knight, Lansingburgh
Davonne Dunlap, Kingston
Mike McFerran, Catholic Central

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