Friday, November 27, 2009

Knights, Crusaders rekindle rivalry in exciting fashion

Lansingburgh's Alex Drake looks to move the ball against Catholic Central's Jordan McBride during Friday's opening round game at the CCHS Roundball Tournament. Lansingburgh held off a late CCHS rally to win, 49-45. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Albany Academy defeated Kingston in the other game, 62-54, setting up an old Colonial Council rivalry with Lansingburgh in Saturday's championship game. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. Kingston and CCHS tip off in the consolation game at 4 p.m.

The Crusaders certainly made a game of it in Rich Foglia's first game at varsity head coach. Trailing by 13 points with just over five minutes to play, CCHS kick-started a 12-0 run, but they never drew closer than that.

CCHS shot 5-of-31 from the floor in the first half and finished 10-of-22 from the foul line. It was just one of those off days for the Crusaders shooters, who were baffled by Lansingburgh's 6-foot-8 center, Tyler Hammett. Hammett didn't score any points, but he grabbed 10 rebounds and forced CCHS ballhandlers to avoid driving straight to the hole.

"During the course of the game we were playing hard, but we were just making a few mistakes," said Catholic Central head coach Rich Foglia after his first varsity game. "When we started taking care of the ball and making some shots, the kids got confident and we were able to make a run."

Miles Perras finished with four points – all scored in the fourth quarter – but he added seven rebounds, three steals and three assists, sparking the Crusaders’ late rally.

"For the first game of the season, it’s just kind of a wake-up call, I guess," Perras said. "That was a game that would have been nice to win because they’re our rivals right down the street, but like I said, it’s a wake-up call. It’s an eye-opener and we just have to come out with more energy at the beginning of the next game."

Catholic Central's Sam Clement looks to find a way to the rim as he's guarded by Lansingburgh's Sajae Pryor (32) and Tyler Hammett.

Pryor missed the first two months of last season dealing with a broken wrist, but he was glad to be helping out on opening day in 2009. He said he studied his good friend Haneef Scott a lot last year and he's been trying to fill that leadership role this year.

"We’re a young team, so it’s going to be hard work," Pryor said. "We just have to keep pushing it and try for greatness. We have to be unselfish and play as a team."

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In the opening game, Nolan Hart and David Benoks scores 18 points apiece - Hart on the outside and Benoks on the inside - in Albany Academy's victory over Kingston.

The Cadets lost four college-level athletes from last year's starting five, but Hart, along with the top reserves from a year ago, Hunter McCarthy and Matt LeClair, looked pretty good in stretches Friday afternoon. Academy head coach Brian Fruscio stressed that the team needs to become a "32-minute team," and can't allow lapses like the did Friday if they wish to compete with the best of the best in Section II's Class AA come sectional playoff time.

Saturday's game should be interesting as 'Burgh's Hammett and Benoks will provide a battle underneath. The Knights got into a little bit of trouble when they started to run and pick up the pace late in the game against Catholic High, so don't be surprised to see the Cadets try to speed up the tempo.

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In other high school basketball action Friday night, Watervliet scored 97 points against Tamarac in a 97-55 Cannoneers Tip-Off Tournament opening round game. Five Cannoneers finished in double figures, led by Devonte Gleason and Nick Durocher, who scored 15 points apiece.

Watervliet faces Schoharie in Saturday's championship game, which begins a 7:30 p.m.

Waterford and Tamarac square off in the consolation game at 6 p.m.

Hoosic Valley held off Duanesburg in the Indians' annual Tip-Off Tournament, 63-50, setting up a championship date with Loudonville Christian, which topped Galway in the other contest.

Kevin White scored 23 points for the Indians, while Kyle Pallozzi added 20 more.

Cullen Overholt scored 27 points for Loudonville, which should challenge Heatly and Germantown for the Central Hudson Valley League regular season title.

In non-league action, Schuylerville topped Cohoes, 62-47. Josh LeMay scored 23 for the Tigers, but Brad Lyon and Steve Backus scored 15 apiece for the Black Horses. Austin Bateman added 14.

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