Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lady Knights heating up; news and notes

Lansingburgh's Ariana Youngs goes for a layup during a game at Holy Names during the 2008-09 season. She recently became the sixth member of the Lansingburgh girls 1,000-point club. (Photo by Tom Killips - The Record).

Youngs, who is fairly shy and reserved for a team captain, admitted she had a fun day at school on Wednesday, when news of her 1,000th point led the morning announcements.

"I heard the announcements when I walked into school and they were talking about it. I was like, ‘Oh, man," she said. "But it was pretty fun. I rocked it."

Youngs and senior co-captain Alyssa Fane also had an important job before the season began, as they were among the seniors that served on a panel interviewing potential head coaches.

Krystal Hammond (left) runs a drill during Thursday's practice. The first-year head coach served as an assistant at Niskayuna for two years before coming to Lansingburgh. She was a star at Shenendehowa High and Union College not too long ago. (Practice photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

The players peppered Krystal Hammond and the other candidates with questions, but it was a particular answer that stuck with Fane.

"I remember her saying defense wins games and no one else had said that," said senior shooting guard Alyssa Fane. "Everyone else was focused on our offense and what we could do to score."

"From her background, she looked pretty good to me," senior point guard Ariana Youngs said. "I voted yes for her!"

Alyssa Fane is Youngs' counterpart in the backcourt and is the Knights' primary three-point shooting threat. A senior, she is also one of the top students in her class.

Youngs averages over 14 points per game and Fane adds a little more than 11 per contest, as they have created a near-unstoppable backcourt. Youngs can drive to the hoop and score, or kick it out to Fane on the perimeter, hoping for a wide-open three-point attempt.

Teammates together since their days in CYO, Youngs made her varsity debut as a seventh grade postseason call-up. Fane made the varsity team as a freshman and they've been putting up points ever since.

Krystal Hammond displays her free-throw shooting form during Thursday's practice.

With a victory over Watervliet on Tuesday, the Knights have joined a mad rush for second place in the Colonial Council behind Holy Names. Lansingburgh hosts Voorheesville at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Here are the standings. Since the Colonial Council doesn't allow room for non-league games this year, the league record displayed is all-inclusive.

Colonial Council
Holy Names (2, A), 11-0
Voorheesville (20, C), 8-4
Watervliet, 8-4
Cohoes, 7-5
Lansingburgh, 7-5
Mechanicville, 7-5
Alb. Acad. Girls, 6-6
Ravena, 4-8
Schalmont, 1-10
Cobleskill, 0-12

With Holy Names playing the way it has been playing, it looks like first place is out of reach, but second place is certainly up for grabs.

The Lady Knights have made a few adjustments on defense, which has sparked their recent 6-1 run.

"I think, finally, all five of us on the floor are starting to play together," Fane said. "It’s not just three at once or four at once, it’s all five of us. That’s been helping us out lately."

In other 1,000-point mark news, Loudonville Christian's Cullen Overholt is also nearing the mark. He could set it Friday against Berlin.

The annual Coaches vs. Cancer event hosted by the Albany Academies is nearing. Boys basketball games will be played at the Siena College ARC in Loudonville on Sunday, Jan. 31. With no NFL games that day, you don't have any excuses to miss it.

Noon -- Lansingburgh vs. Cohoes

1:45 p.m. -- Guilderland vs. Mohonasen

3:30 p.m. -- Newburgh vs. Bishop Maginn

5:15 p.m. -- The Albany Academy vs. Nicols

The gates for the event open at 11:30 a.m.

Tickets for the event are $5 per student for an all-day pass, $7 per person and $15 per family.

In hockey news, the Albany Academy Alumni Association will retire Frank O’Brien III’s (Class of 1984 at The Albany Academy) jersey before the AA Varsity Hockey game vs. Pomfret this Saturday, January 23 at 4 p.m. – the first hockey jersey to be retired in Academy history.

Frank tragically passed away in December 2006 after a courageous battle with brain cancer. Members of the O’Brien family will be present for the ceremony on Saturday and announce a special gift to the hockey program.

Time Warner Sports (TW3) will be broadcasting its first high school hockey game this Saturday January 23rd as Shenendehowa takes on CBA at RPI's Houston Field House, 7:00 pm.

This game will be a double header as RPI will play host to Harvard at 4:00 PM.

Ticket prices will be $5 for students & $10 for adults (for both games). Tickets can be purchased at the Houston Field House Box Office.

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