Saturday, February 27, 2010

Brothers grind out a victory over the Flying Horses; Local wrestlers ousted; Saturday news and notes

Troy's Kevin Phillips hangs in midair as Christian Brothers Academy's Kameron Ritter (left) and Troy's Javion Ogunyemmi (right) look on during Saturday's Section II Class AA quarterfinal at Hudson Valley Community College. (All photos by Tom Killips - The Record).

Troy High played pretty inspired defense Saturday night, holding CBA to 36 points at the midway point of the fourth quarter. The problem was, Troy had only scored 26 points with four minutes to go and the offense never got on track against the Brothers.

The Flying Horses shot themselves in the foot a number of times on offense, missing layups and failing to catch passes on the baseline, giving the ball back to CBA. Troy also shot a dismal 8-of-21 from the free throw line, as they lost to CBA, 45-29.

"We were where we wanted to be and we executed our gameplan defensively," said Troy High head coach Jeff Sitterly. "We actually executed offensively pretty well, too. We didn’t make free throws and we missed a couple of easy shots, but that’s basketball. When you play against good teams in this environment, as a young team, that stuff happens."

Troy High's Kareem Brown drives into CBA's Galal Cancer during a Section II Class AA quarterfinal game at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.

Troy's trio of big men - Javion Ogunyemmi, Kareem Brown and Greg Williams - certainly did the trick defensively, preventing the Brothers from slashing them to pieces inside and scoring easy points at the rim.

"I think that was probably our toughest game," said CBA senior Kam Ritter, who finished with a game-high 18 points. "I think we made one three and I think we made one jumpshot the whole game. We really had to step up our defense to win this one."

The Brothers will have to make some quick adjustments for Tuesday's Class AA semifinal against Albany High. The Falcons scored 82 points against Queensbury Saturday afternoon, doing most of that without point guard Jeremic Bennett, who ran into foul trouble early in the first half.
Amari Gaddy exploded for 29 points, banking three-pointers from the wings and slashing his way to the basket for three-point plays.

"I think we match up a little better against Albany size-wise," Ritter said. "But what Albany lacks in size, they make up in running the floor, so we’re going to have to work on that in practice tomorrow."

"Albany is all about the quickness and transition game," said CBA head coach Dave Doemel. "They present you problems with athleticism. That’s another challenge and you have to redirect your thought process."

CBA senior Kameron Ritter, who scored a game-high 18 points, slashes his way to the rim past Troy freshman Javion Ogunyemmi during Sautrday's Section II playoff game at HVCC.

Unlike many teams to exit the locker rooms Saturday at Hudson Valley Community College, the Flying Horses were neither ebullient nor bawling their eyes out. This is a young group that knows the pressure will mount on them to perform in the future. Everything they were able to accomplish this season was gravy - as long as they were learning and making progress each step of the way.

As long as everyone returns next season (and with no seniors, that's possible) the Flying Horses could be expected to slide into the No. 3 spot in the Big 10 and do something along the lines of what Albany High did this season.

But, as head coach Jeff Sitterly said, the sky is the limit, only if the players realize they put in the work to get there.

"We’re excited. I know they’re going to work hard in the offseason," Sitterly said. "I know they’re going to do the things we’re asking them to do and that we’re going to get better. I expect to be a very good team next year. I don’t expect anything less. That’s what we’ve worked really hard for and now is the time to do it. No more excuses. No more using ‘we’re a young team’ as an excuse."


I took a bit of video Saturday afternoon and posted the results on YouTube.
I know, I know, I know...I should have had the full video for Phil Neumann's game-winning shot, but this whole video thing is new to me and it slipped my mind while it was being set up. You have to understand the game was 27-25 SGF at this point with four seconds to go and no one had hit a shot all game and I think almost everyone in the gym was just waiting for it finally to be over.
The BH-BL kids piled up right in front of me and my first instinct was to reach for the camera I had been neglecting all game.
A big congratulations to the Spartans and their head coach George Dudas - my former P.E. teacher - in an ugly, ugly win over the Bulldogs. Hopefully they can clean up their offensive effort by the time they reach the Civic Center.

I also grabbed some images of Troy High's starting lineup and the opening tip against CBA.

Our corporate chain is supposedly outfitting all reporters with videocameras, but I haven't got mine yet. I'm just doing this with a basic point-and-shoot digital, so hopefully you like the videos and they will be coming more frequently - and with better production - in the future.

For more on Saturday's Class AA games, click the replay button on the chat window in the post below this.

Shen defeated Schenectady 70-46 in the final game of the evening.

In other boys hoops news:
Cobleskill and Catskill advanced to Sunday's quad of Class B quarterfinals at Hudson Valley.

Sunday, February 28
Class B quarterfinals at Hudson Valley Community College
4 Catskill vs. 5 Johnstown, 1 p.m.
3 Schuylerville vs. 6 Schenectady Christian, 2:30 p.m.
2 Watervliet vs. 7 Broadalbin-Perth, 4 p.m.
9 Cobleskill vs. 1 Fonda, 5:30 p.m.
Class C Opening Round
Berne-Knox at Maple Hill, 6:30 p.m.
Class D Opening Round
Whitehall at Sharon Springs, 4 p.m.

I'll be blogging live when Watervliet takes on the defending Section II Class B champion, Broadalbin-Perth.

In Class C, Hoosick Falls and Voorheesville advanced, setting up a semifinal showdown on Wednesday in Glens Falls. Voorheesville's Ethan Mackey scored his 1,000th career point in the victory over Canajoharie.

Maple Hill will try to play Berne Sunday afternoon, and the Wildcats and the Bulldogs are holding up the other side of the bracket, stuck in the opening round. Will a rush of games in a short span harm Maple Hill's chances of repeating a Section II champions?

In Class D, No. 1 seed Argyle handed No. 8 Heatly a 73-52 loss in the quarters.

In girls action, Shaker toppled Albany 63-60 in overtime, setting up a Class AA semifinal rematch with South Colonie.

The Catholic Central girls beat Bethlehem, meaning they'll meet Shenendehowa in the other semi.

The Averill Park and Holy Names teams continued their march to a meeting in the Class A final.

Greenwich and Lake George moved on in Class C.

Brian Walsh, a junior at the Loudonville Christian School who wrestles for the Watervliet High team, is pinned to the mat during Saturday's New York State semifinal against Tioga's Derak Hyeman in a Division II 140-pound semifinal at Times Union Center. Walsh placed fifth overall.

Our Chris Fitz Gerald was at the state wrestling finals and here is an excerpt from his story:

A pair of Watervliet/Loudonville Christian seniors - Brian Walsh and John Delaney - both wrestled back to place fifth and sixth, respectively, in Division II - marking the first time in the program's history that two wrestlers placed at states in the same meet.

Walsh endured a disappointing start to his day, after falling in the Division semifinal round at 140 pounds. Seeded fifth and coming off an emotional 4-3 quarterfinal victory over Karl Palmer of Granville, Walsh was soundly beaten in his semifinal, 11-0, by eventual finalist Derak Heyman (Tioga-IV).

"I’m happy with how I wrestled that match than the other two today," Walsh said. "In my first match, I was against a stud; he’s a real tough kid. But in the second match, I was just in a funk. I wasn’t wrestling like myself and didn’t feel like I was doing my best - so I was real frustrated."

After dropping a 3-1 decision to Devin Kramer (Depew-VI) in a consolation match, Walsh bounced back to record a 9-3 victory over Kris Shirley (Sandy Creek-III) to claim fifth place.

"I focused on my next match and got it done," said Walsh, who equaled the school record for wins in a season with 45, a mark he achieved last season. "It’s nice to finish on a winning note."
Delaney, the top-seed at 96 pounds, recovered from a first-round loss on Friday to finalist Drew Longo (Ardsley-I) to finish sixth.

After receiving a bye, Delaney went on a tear in the consolation bracket, recording a pair of major decisions - 12-2 over Eddie Hutschenreuter (Alden-VI) and an 11-3 triumph over Taylor Jones of (Palmyra-Macedon-V).

Delaney then was beaten by Dillon Stowell (Gouverneur-X), 10-4 was edged out 9-7 in the fifth-place match by John Aslanian (Edgemont-I).

"I’m happy with this," Delaney said of both his and Walsh’s finishes. "Even though we would have liked to do better, this means a lot for the program."

"I had some tough matches, but I’m happy to finish strong like this," Delaney said. "That first loss was a tough one and I then just tried to make the best of it."

Shenendehowa's John Belanger, a contender at 135 pounds in the Division I bracket, finished third overall.

Check out Sunday's edition of The Record for stories on Troy High boys basketball, Averill Park boys basketball and the state wrestling finals.

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