Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cannoneers keep the streak alive

Watervliet High School senior guard Nick Durocher navigates around the baseline during Tuesday's Section II Class B opening round game against Stillwater. Durocher walked off George Mardigan Court for the final time as a winner. (Photos by Tom Killips - The Record).

Nick Durocher admitted that he didn't play the greatest game of his career Tuesday night, but accomplished two big feats.
One, Watervliet advanced to the second round of the postseason for the 36th consecutive season, topping Stillwater, 68-52 in a Section II Class B opening round contest.
Two, Durocher and fellow senior Kevin Pontore left George Mardigan Court as winners.

"We know it. Every time we put on the Watervliet uniform we know we have to represent well" said Nick Durocher. "The legacy that Watervliet has, with all of the Colonial Council championships and the Section II championships, we know we can’t let the school down wearing the jersey."

With Watervliet scheduled to open its brand-new gymnasium in December 2010 or January 2011, this may well have been the final postseason boys basketball game played in the Harry Tucker gymnasium.

Junior guard Devonte Gleason hangs in midair en route to a game-high 17 points for the Cannoneers. His younger brother, Jordan Gleason, making his first varsity start, added 14 points, 13 rebounds and six steals.

The Cannoneers have had their share of hard knocks this season, as CJ Ashline and Tyler McLeod, two key contributors for Watervliet, were dismissed from the team for "Off-the-court things," so said Watervliet head coach Walter Bowden.

A door was opened in the starting lineup and Jordan Gleason stepped right up to the challenge.

"He’s been stepping up all year, rebounding, and stuff like that," Durocher said. "He’s ready. I knew he was. He came out real loose. He picked up the slack for us because we lost our wingman."

Watervliet sophomore Brandon Legault braces himself for a shot attempt amid a sea of Stillwater defenders Tuesday night.

Watervliet, the No. 2 seed in the Class B tournament, will need its bench players to step up down the stretch if it wishes to contend for a Section II title.

The Cannoneers will face No. 7 Broadalbin-Perth Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Hudson Valley Community College in a Class B quarterfinal.

"We are happy to get the win, but it’s depressing in a way because it’s our last home game," Pontore said. "But only good can come from here, hopefully."

For the full story, pick up Wednesday's edition of The Record.

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