Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hammett narrowly misses triple-double as Knights top Cannoneers

Lansingburgh senior center Tyler Hammett (left) blocks a shot attempt by Watervliet's Kevin Pontore (21) during Tuesday's Colonial Council game on George Mardigan Court. Hammett finished with 10 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocks, sparking a key run late in the second quarter that provided the Knights a one-point lead heading into halftime. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

While Tyler Hammett took care of defense and rebounds, Sajae Pryor was Lansingburgh's offensive hero Tuesday night. Pryor scored 32 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the 68-60 victory for Lansingburgh, which now holds a one-game lead over the Cannoneers in the Colonial Council standings.

Pryor scored 14 of Lansingburgh's 18 points in the first quarter, but the Knights began to play well only when the rest of the team got involved in the game.

"I wanted to keep them from sleeping," Pryor said. "It’s not just a single-man show. I couldn’t do it without my team. There’s a lot of people on the basketball court."

Watervliet's Kevin Pontore tries to thread the needle between Lansingburgh defenders Tyler Hammett (right) and Marcus Little (left). Pontore, the Cannoneers' low-post defender, finished the game with seven points and five rebounds.

Hammett made four blocks in the second quarter, sparking a number of fast break opportunities that ultimately gave Lansingburgh the lead for good - although Watervliet took a two-point lead seconds into the third quarter and never got it back.

"Sajae had a really good game but we know one person can’t win the whole game for us," Hammett said. "We knew we had to step it up. We came out in the second half and stepped it up. It was a close game and we started to pull away."

Lansingburgh point guard Alex Drake is defended by Watervliet's Devonte Gleason as Griffin Kelly (10) looks on in the background.

It was definitely an interesting game to watch, as Watervliet took the early lead, but Lansingburgh made its adjustments and crawled back before halftime before taking the leap in the second half.

You can never count out Watervliet, which made a great comeback in the first meeting between the teams on Dec. 8, but just couldn't close the deal, losing 64-62. Between Hammett, Pryor and Salaam Knight crashing the boards for Lansingburgh, the Cannoneers just didn't get enough second-chance points to make up for all their three-point misses late in the game.

Lansingburgh travels to Voorheesville (9-1 Colonial) Friday night, with the winner likely to take home the Colonial Council regular season title. Hammett and Voorheesville's Ethan Mackey will square off in what could be one of the best big-men showdowns this season.

For more on this game, please check out Wednesday's edition of The Record.

In other basketball news Tuesday night, two Colonial Council girls broke the 1,000-point mark. Lansingburgh's Ariana Youngs topped that in a victory over Watervliet, while Amanda Cioffi, a senior at the Albany Academy for Girls, also eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier at Ravena.

The Shaker girls topped Mohonasen, setting up an interesting game Friday at Averill Park. It's a long shot for the Blue Bison, especially after Colonie tried and lost by 40 points last week, but don't be surprised if Shaker gives the Lady Warriors a hard time.

In boys action, Kevin White scored 25 points and hit the game-winning three-pointer as Hoosic Valley upset No. 7 ranked Hoosick Falls, 48-47 in a Wasaren League thriller.

It looked like the Panthers were going to run away with the league title after they defeated Granville last Friday, but this game makes things much more interesting.

In Big 10 Conference action, Christian Brothers Academy topped Bishop Maginn. Our Ryan Kircher was there and you can read his story on the game in Wednesday's edition of The Record.

The La Salle Cadets beat Amsterdam, evening their record at .500. They travel to CBA on Friday in a big rivalry game.

Remember to drop by Thursday night around 6 p.m. for another live chat all about the big games on Friday and the results of Tuesday's action. There are also some significant hockey games and wrestling tournaments this weekend and I'd like to hear your thoughts on those, too.

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