Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2010 Suburban Council baseball preview

Suburban Council baseball preview
Local teams swinging for the fences in 2010

William Montgomery
The Record

LATHAM – Players and coaches from Suburban Council baseball teams met at Shaker High School Wednesday night for the Council's annual Media Day, which has been a Capital Region tradition for over 10 years.

The Record sat down with a handful of local players and recorded those interviews on video.



Columbia High, which is the defending Section II Class AA champion, lost many starters to graduation. The Blue Devils will return a number of pitchers, who will throw to senior catcher and captain, Matt Kasper.

Shaker High also has a crowded situation on the mound, as Mike Nowak has earned ace status after pitching admirably as a junior a season ago. Blue Bison junior Derek Gardella is one of the best power hitters in the league at third base or catcher when he's not pitching himself.

Shenendehowa's Branden Cogswell, a junior shortstop and right-handed pitcher, is drawing interest from major Division I schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Collar City baseball fans may remember him as a crucial part of the 2009 South Troy Dodgers' Connie Mack team that advanced to the 18-and-under World Series in Farmington, N.M.

All baseball teams affiliated with the New York State Public High School Athletic Association lost four games to schedule cutbacks this season, meaning many schools had to decline an invitation to a tournament they usually attended or had to drop non-league rivalries.

The one thing all the Suburban Council coaches could agree on was that the league will be just as tough, top-to-bottom, as always. Since Section II teams need a .500 or better won-loss record to qualify for postseason play, fans can expect another season full of pressure-packed games in the Suburban Council.

“We always say every league game you play is game seven of the World Series,” said Shaker High head coach Peter Mravlja. “It doesn't matter if it's Mohonasen, Burnt Hills or Ballston Spa or if it's Shenendehowa, Columbia or Saratoga. You have to bring your 'A' game every day when you get off the bus.”

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I also chatted with the Averill Park folks on hand, head coach Mike Conroy and juniors Tyler Listing and Nick Cioffi.

The Warriors will return just three starters and two other players who saw meaningful time from a season ago, but Listing and Cioffi will be at the forefront. Both are pitchers and they will join an open competition for innings on the mounds.

Andrew Fasoldt, Josh Sprague and Scott Sharpley are the other Averill Park players with some experience. Conroy believes the team will be solid on the mound and will be getting on base with regularity. The big question mark at this point in the defense.

Conroy praised the group's offseason work ethic, which included a dedicated group of 20 players that got together regularly for workouts. They've got chemistry and a positive attitude, Conroy says.

Out of curiosity, I asked the Averill Park guys about the support the girls basketball team received this winter en route to their Federation Tournament title. Conroy has been using them as an example of a "great team," which is something the baseball squad can use as a model. They may not have any superstars, but they're all willing to come together and do the dirty work it takes to win, not unlike the lady hoopsters did this season.

Will the Gold Mine turn out for the Averill Park baseball games this spring?

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2009-10 Colonial Council wrestling All-Stars

Watervliet/Loudonville Christian School's Brian Walsh, seen here with his face to the mat in the New York State Championships this February in Albany, was named a first team Colonial Council All-Star. (Photo by Tom Killips).

First team
(96 pounds) John Delaney, Sr., Watervliet
(103) Fred Pechette, 7th grader, Ravena
(112) Will Richards, Sr., Lansingburgh
(119) Donny Radliff, Jr., Cobleskill
(125) Taylor Treadgold, Sr., Voorheesville
(130) Andy Lyman, Jr., Ravena
(135) Kyle DiCaprio, Sr., Albany Academy
(140) Brian Walsh, Jr., Watervliet/Loudonville Christian
(145) Jean Gomez, Soph., Schalmont
(152) Josh Harrison, Sr., Mechanicville
(160) Dave Kohls, Sr., Mechanicville
(171) Chad Obzud, Sr., Lansingburgh
(189) Vince Gallo, Sr., Schalmont
(215) Tim Fensterer, Sr., Mechanicville
(285) Don Case, Soph., Voorheesville

Second team
(96) Connor Franzese, Fresh., Cohoes
(103) Cameron Milliken, 8th grader, Albany Academy
(112) Nick Gallo, 7th grader, Schalmont
(119) Nick DiCaprio, Jr., Albany Academy
(125) Drew Oligney, Soph., Lansingburgh
(130) Paul Billings, Sr., Cohoes
(135) Chris Disonell, Jr., Cohoes
(140) Jesse Maher, Jr., Ravena

(145) Barry Freitas, Sr., Ravena

(152) Josh Veshia, Soph., Watervliet

(160) Joel Murray, Sr., Cobleskill
(171) Dustin Hallock, Jr., Cohoes

(189) Renel Potter, Sr., Albany Academy

(215) John Cipriani, Sr., Schalmont

(285) Mike Castle, Sr., Watervliet


--As submitted by Schalmont's John Vishneowski

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Shen hockey media guide wins award

Congratulations to the Shenendehowa High School ice hockey team, which had its 2009-10 media guide win a gold medal in the National High School Sports Publication Awards.

I can confirm it was the most comprehensive guide I've ever seen a high school team publish. It rivals anything the local colleges put out for their Division I teams.

Click here to read the press release.

Here is the excerpt:

Coach Juan De La Rocha and the Shenendehowa Varsity Hockey Booster Club and the Shen Hockey 2009-2010 Varsity Hockey Media And Fan Guide of Shenendehowa Central Schools in Clifton Park, New York is the 2009 Gold Award Winner in the Public School / Over 2,000 Enrollment / Parent-Prepared Category.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

2009-10 Wasaren League Wrestling All-Stars

Front row, L to R: Steven Cohan, Nathaniel Palmer, Brendan Miller and Adam Mimms.
Back Row, L to R: Karl Palmer, Brad Burns, Matt Fogarty and Walter Foster.
(Photo submitted by Stephen Palmer)

Granville topped the Wasaren League with a total of six wrestlers named to the 2009-10 All-Stars. Headlining for The Golden Horde and the League was Karl Palmer at 140 lbs. Palmer went 44-5 last season, winning the Section II Division 2 title. He also won a Section II Class C crown and the League Invitational Title including Lightweight MOW.

In addition to Palmer, Granville’s Steven Cohan (96), Nathaniel Palmer (103), Brendan Miller (125), Eric Hastings (215) and Walter Foster (285) earned All-Star honors. Eric Hastings won Class C title and fourth in Section II Division 2. Cohan, N. Palmer, B. Miller and Foster all were first runners up in the Class C tournament.

Dual Meet Team Champion, Tamarac, had three All-Stars, as Jake Oswald (145), Nick Knauer (171) and Joe Hulsebosch (189) made the cut. Oswald was Class C Champion and Section II Division 2 runner-up as well League Invy Champion with MOW for heavyweights, who went to the State Finals as a wild card.

Schuylerville had two lightweights Jake Anderson (119) and Sarah Anderson (112) who finished undefeated 32-0 as a Class C Champion but was unable to finish the season due to a shoulder injury in her title match.

Finishing the rest of the weight classes were Cambridge’s Adam Mimms (130), Josh Peabody (135)and Hoosick Falls’ Brad Burns (152) and Matt Fogarty (160).

Five wrestlers joined the 'Century Club' earning over 100 career wins: Sarah Anderson (132), Josh Peabody (124), Karl Palmer (139), Jake Oswald (122) and Walter Foster (103).

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Click below to see the full spreadsheet of stats sent to us by Granville head coach Stephen Palmer.
Wasaren League wrestling All-Stars 2009-10

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Sunday news: Siena and Stauffer

Former South Troy Dodgers pitcher and Saratoga Central Catholic and University of Richmond graduate Tim Stauffer has made the San Diego Padres' opening day roster. (AP photo).

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the news today. Click here for their story.
Stauffer, a Saratoga Springs native, is in competition for the fifth starter spot with a handful of other players. He would be used out of the bullpen if he doesn't fit in the rotation.

If you're looking for a good book to read, The Last Best League: One Summer, One Season, One Dream by Jim Collins is worth the effort. Stauffer was one of the main characters in the book, which chronicled a summer with the 2002 Chatham A's in the Cape Cod League.

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In other news, multiple media sources have confirmed Siena College men's basketball head coach Fran McCaffery will take the job at Iowa.

Do you think it is even possible the Saints would look to any of the area's high school coaches as possible replacements?

Current Albany Academy head coach Brian Fruscio served as an assistant at Siena for a season and previously served as a head coach at Southern Vermont.

Marist's women's head coach, Brian Giorgis, previously coached at Our Lady of Lourdes High in Poughkeepsie. He translated that success to the MAAC, as the Foxes have been the class of the league in recent seasons.

It seems highly unlikely, but could the same thing happen with the Siena men? Sound off in the comments if you have an opinion.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Averill Park wins Federation title!

Katie Duma (13) hoists the New York State Federation Tournament of Champions trophy after earning Tournament MVP Honors. Next to her are Amber Dushensky (44) and Michaela Ottati 3). (Photos - Associated Press).

The Crooked Lake House will be rocking Saturday night. The Averill Park High School girls basketball team proved Saturday afternoon that they were, without a doubt, the best Class A basketball team in New York State.



The Warriors battled St. Anthony's of Melville through three quarters, taking a one-point lead into the final eight minutes.

Michaela Ottati hit a three-pointer early in the fourth and Katie Duma made a rebound and a long pass to Molly Streb for a layup on an ensuing possession. Averill Park closed it out at the foul line and won, 60-48, at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Tournament Most Valuable Player Katie Duma scored 22 points, going 13-of-15 from the foul line. The Holy Family-bound senior tied a Class A tournament record with 18 free throws made over a two-game span. She also tied a Class A tournament record with five three-point field goals made in two Federation games.

“It's the icing on the cake,” Duma said. “It's a senior season I'll remember forever.”

Members of the Averill Park girls basketball team celebrate after winning the 2009-10 New York State Federation Tournament of Champions Class A crown.

Michaela Ottai, an Amsterdam transfer that was the new kid on the block among a group of seniors that had been playing together for the better part of the decade, played the game of her life. She scored 14 points and snared 16 rebounds in a game that made this Averill Park team immortal.

It took 24 minutes for the Warriors to figure out St. Anthony's man-to-man defense, but for the Averill Park faithful, it was worth the wait.

“We just had to adjust. They had their hands up and they were very long,” Ottati said. “They got their hands in the passing lanes. It kind of disrupted us a little bit in the beginning, but then we knew we had to adjust and we made good passes.”

Averill Park finished with a 26-1 record.

It was an incredible postseason run for Averill Park, which traveled the Empire State en route to becoming its champion. The Warriors knocked off an undefeated Holy Names team in the Section II Class A final and traveled to Syracuse for a regional semifinal three days layer. Three days after that, it was off to Potsdam for the regional final. The Warriors won a pair of games in the Final Four in their backyard at Hudson Valley Community College before heading to Glens Falls.

A Federation title is a rare feat for a Section II team. Germantown did it twice in the late 1980s, St. Johnsville won twice in the early 1990s and Colonie, in 2001, was the most recent champion from the Capital Region.

Click here for the full story on the game in Sunday's edition of The Record.

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Averill Park's main offensive weapons, Katie Duma and Michaela Ottati, got most of the attention this year, and rightfully so. They were two of the best scorers in Section II in quite some time.

Sister act Brittany O'Shea, the senior point guard, and Brooke O'Shea, the exciting sophomore forward, also played a big role in the Warriors' success.

But it really was a cast of unsung senior heroes that made this Averill Park team one to remember.

Katie Hawes was as gritty as they come on the inside, providing tremendous post defense all year long.

Amanda Fitzgerald was a valuable piece off the bench, able to spell Brittany O'Shea or serve as a lockdown defender in the backcourt.

Molly Streb always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, ready to deliver with a key rebound or a clutch shot.

Lauren Nunziato was a three-point shooting sensation off the bench who provided instant offense for the Warriors when the starters were struggling to connect.

Amber Dushensky was also a significant contributor in the frontcourt when head coach Sean Organ called her name.

--Averill Park's Brooke O'Shea, seen above poking at a loose ball, will be the leader of the Warriors' team next season as a junior.

What a wonderful end to a superb season for the Averill Park girls. They lost their final regular season game by a single point at Colonie, which was not a good omen for the postseason. The Warriors, however, put those demons to rest with an inspired run all across the state, cheered on, of course, by the Gold Mine.

Don't think a group of fans can help carry a team? Just ask the Lady Warriors.

The nine seniors on the roster will be scattering around the nation when they go to college later this year, but I'm sure the people in Averill Park will never forget their hometown heroes for what they did on the basketball court during the 2009-10 season.

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Brothers come up just short in Federation semis

Christian Brothers Academy junior Max Weaver goes to the rim against Christ the King in a Class AA Federation Tournament of Champions semifinal game Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. (Photos by Ed Burke, The Saratogian, for The Record).

Christ the King held off a ferocious second half rally by Christian Brothers Academy to post a 63-60 Class AA semifinal victory in the Federation Tournament of Champions Saturday afternoon at the Glens Falls Civic Center.



Despite a valiant comeback effort, CBA fell just short in Saturday's game against Christ the King.

CBA's Big Three - Kam Ritter, Galal Cancer and Max Weaver - were all in foul trouble of some sort during the game, which forced CBA's bench into action. The reserves held their own, but they just didn't provide the scoring spark the Brothers starters did all year long.

Christ the King's big first half lead held just long enough.

“I think our team did a great job,” said CBA senior Kam Ritter. “I think our bench came in – (Christ the King) had us by 12 at the half - and I think they did a great job of keeping it to 12. Coach told us we had to pull up our britches at halftime and I think we did. We just fell short.”

CBA's Jack Reilly (left) and Josh Dennis (right) collapse on Christ the King's Roland Brown (25) during their Class AA Federation Tournament semifinal in Glens Falls.

Ritter, who sat out for an eight-minute span in the second half with four personal fouls, scored 17 points. Junior point guard Galal Cancer scored 19 for the Brothers, but their three-point shooting game, which carried them all season, just didn't materialize Saturday afternoon. Six different Brothers made threes in the game, but with no consistent rhythm, CBA was never able to hold a lead.

Click here for the full story in Sunday's edition of The Record.

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One must give CBA head coach Dave Doemel a lot of credit for the best season by a team in school history. While he has plenty of talent to go ga-ga over, he also got a great deal of effort out of a deep bench and a couple of role-playing starters.

CBA's Taylor Mulvey takes the ball to the basket and draws a foul on Dominykas Milka (40) of Christ The King. Mulvey couldn't get the ball to fall, but he converted two free throws.

Josh Dennis and Jack Reilly never scored many points, but they were always doing the little things that helped the Brothers win ballgames all year long.

Players like Chaz Lott, Joe Krong, Dan Cusato, Taylor Mulvey and Christian Signor never got a great deal of minutes, but they all put in big-time efforts night-in and night-out. Not many teams reach the Federation Tournament by going 10 deep, but that's exactly the formula that worked for CBA in 2009-10.

With players like Cancer, Weaver and Krong coming back, the Brothers should also be making plenty of noise in the years to come.

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Beaury inducted into the NYS Basketball Hall of Fame

The College of Saint Rose's men's basketball head coach, Brian Beaury (right), watches his team from the bench during a recent game. Saturday, he was inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame. (Photo by Tom Killips - The Record).

GLENS FALLS – In 1991, Brian Beaury was the driving force behind the creation of the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame, serving as the first committee chairman and developing criteria for nominees.

Saturday, he answered the Hall's call.

The College of Saint Rose's longtime men's basketball coach was inducted into the Empire State's Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Glens Falls Civic Center Saturday morning.

Beaury just completed his 24th season as the head coach at Saint Rose and has posted a 517-218 career record. He has reached the postseason in each of his 24 years at the helm.

“I think it's the family atmosphere that makes me go to work every day,” Beaury said. “Over the years, it's been a comfortable place for me to go. It continues to grow and I've seen so many changes at Saint Rose.”

His Golden Knights teams have made three NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearances and advanced to the Final Four in 1998.

“I'm a Saint Rose guy,” said Beaury. “I met my wife there. I raised my kids there.”

The Hall currently has 121 members. Players were picked in the initial years, but recent classes have reflected the many coaches that have shaped basketball at the high school and college levels in New York.

Beaury, however, gives all the credit to the players that have competed for him over the years. Many of those have gone on to become successful coaches themselves, including University at Albany head coach Will Brown and local high school coaches such as Scott Hanrahan at Maple Hill.

Former Saint Rose player Ben Goodwin coached a Brewer, Maine team to the state championship game this season, as did Hanrahan, for the second straight year.

And just minutes after Beaury's induction, another of his former players, Sean Organ, watched as his Averill Park High girls team competed in the New York State Federation Tournament of Champions Class A title game.

“It's become so much of an extended family and that's the thing that has made it so enjoyable all these years,” Beaury said. “It continues to be a great place to work and I have great people to work with.”

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Saturday's Federation Tournament action - live chat!

2010 Federation Tournament of Champions Schedule
All games at Glens Falls Civic Center

Saturday, March 27
GIRLS BASKETBALL
Class B Championship game
Irvington 72, Saint Mary’s 47
Class A Championship game
Averill Park, 60, St. Anthony's 48
Class AA semifinal
Christ the King, 73,
Murry Bergtraum 67

BOYS BASKETBALL

Class AA semifinals
Christ the King 63,
CBA-Albany 60
Class B Championship game
Collegiate 61, Queens High of Teaching 41
Class A Championship game
Nichols 65,
Jamesville-Dewitt 43

Sunday, March 28
GIRLS BASKETBALL
Class AA Championship game
Sachem East vs. Christ the King, 1 p.m.
BOYS BASKETBALL
Class AA Championship game
Boys & Girls vs. Christ the King, 3 p.m.

Friday's Scoreboard: March 26
GIRLS BASKETBALL
Class B semifinals
St. Mary’s 63, Goldstein High for Science 44
Irvington 70, Long Island Lutheran 42
Class A semifinal
Averill Park 58, Medgar Evers Prep 34

BOYS BASKETBALL

Class B semifinals
Queens High of Teaching 68, Westhill 62
Collegiate 56, St. Mary’s 49
Class A semifinals
Jamesville-Dewitt 67, Bedford Academy 54
Nichols 85, Long Island Lutheran 66

2010 Federation Class B boys basketball All-Star team
Vince Kazmierczak, Sr., Saint Mary's
Dan Ross, Sr., Westhill
Troy Singleton, Jr., Queens High of Teaching
Bryce Ellie, Jr., Queens High of Teaching
Will Pagano, Sr., Collegiate
MVP - Will Bartlett, Sr., Collegiate
Sportsmanship - Connor Huff, Soph., Collegiate

2010 Federation Class A girls basketball All-Star team
Jasmin Robinson, Sr., Medgar Evers
Carolyn Lizza, Sr., Saint Anthony's
Symone Kelly, Soph., Saint Anthony's
Michaela Ottati, Sr., Averill Park
Brittany O'Shea, Sr., Averill Park
MVP - Katie Duma, Sr., Averill Park
Sportsmanship - Lauren Nunziato, Sr., Averill Park

2010 Federation Class B girls basketball All-Star team
Nicole McKeever, Sr., Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences
Paige Kriftcher, Soph., Long Island Lutheran
Raeann Stilwell, Jr., Saint Mary's
Riley Herrington, Sr., Irvington
Lisa Bucci, Sr., Ivrington
MVP - Tara Gabelman, Sr., Ivrington
Sportsmanship - Victoria Fontana, Jr., Saint Mary's


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Thanks for reading today. To read a replay, click on the play button in the box below.

In the meantime, read the story on Averill Park's semifinal win (and watch the video) by clicking here.
For a story on CBA's Mr. Big Shot, Joe Krong, click here.


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Friday, March 26, 2010

Battle of the fomer City Rocks stars in Albany?

Will former Bishop Maginn star Taran Buie return to Albany for a college basketball game next season? (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Our Ed Weaver was snooping around at the Times Union Center today at the NCAA Hockey regional and uncovered the following scoop of major interest to local high school basketball fans. I've pasted it below.

Ed Weaver
The Record

ALBANY -- Brigham Young University and Penn State University - Jimmer Fredette vs. Talor Battle - will play at the Times Union Center on Dec. 18 - maybe.

A local TV report and items on both schools' websites that refer to the game on Friday were "way too premature," says TU Center General Manager Bob Belber.

"(Former Bishop Maginn High School boys basketball head coach) Rich Hurley called me and asked about playing the game here," Belber said. "He said Dec. 18 was the only date they had. I told him I was holding that date for another group, but that I would try to clear the date."

Hurley was the Bishop Maginn coach when Battle was competing for the Griffins. Battle averaged a team-best 18.5 points per game for the Nittany Lions, who finished 11-20.

His younger brother, Taran Buie, who starred on Maginn’s 2008 New York State Class AA championship team, is set to join the Penn State team this fall.

Fredette is a Glens Falls High School graduate who averaged a team-best 22.1 points per game for BYU, which finished 30-6 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Belber explained that another production is booked in the TU Center on that date - he declined to identify it - and said the facility is attempting to "flip-flop dates" with another venue to open Dec. 18 for the Penn State-BYU game.

"That was (Thursday)," Belber said. "Today, it's (on local TV) and on both schools’ websites. I called Rich and said, ‘what are you doing?’

"It would be a really big event," Belber said. "Both kids grew up here, went to school here, they have a big following. We're trying to clear that date, but we probably won't know anything until Tuesday."

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Averill Park girls beat Medgar Evers, advance to Federation Final

Averill Park High School girls basketball players Amber Dushensky (44), Katie Duma (13) and Amanda Fitzgerald (5) walk off the court after their 58-34 victory over Medgar Evers in Friday's Class A Federation Tournament of Champions semifinal game at the Glens Falls Civic Center. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Molly Streb doesn't take many three-point shots for Averill Park - she had hit just two in Averill Park's 25 games prior to Friday's Federation Tournament of Champions Class A semifinal against Brooklyn's Medgar Evers College Preparatory School.


But Streb buried a trey from the corner just before halftime and the Warriors' most counted-upon threats from long range, Katie Duma and Michaela Ottati, kept the trend alive in the third quarter.

Ottati buried a three on the first play after halftime, Duma answered on the next possession and Ottati followed that with a three-point play. The Warriors scored the first nine points of the third quarter and walked away with a 58-34 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Averill Park (25-1), the No. 1 ranked Class A team in New York State, will face the Catholic High School Athletic Association champion, St. Anthony's of Melville (24-6) in today's Federation title game in Glens Falls. Tip-off is set for 12:15 p.m.

"We know we're going to have a tough game tomorrow and that is what our attention turns to," said Averill Park head coach Sean Organ. "The players are good about putting this one behind us and moving on to tomorrow."

Here is what the Post Star had to say about St. Anthony's in today's paper.

Their top scorer, Kerrin Maurer, broke her hip in a car crash on Jan. 21. Three other players were injured in the accident and two of them recently returned to the lineup. For a period of time, the team had only eight healthy players and spent a lot of time visiting their injured teammates in the hospital.

The Friars do not currently have a player that averages double-figure scoring. Four score between five and nine points per game.

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Friday, Duma finished with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Ottati added 16 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Still, Streb's unlikely shot from beyond the arc capped Averill Park's 12-3 run to close the second quarter and really boosted their spirits heading into halftime.

“Molly is a really good player,” Ottati said. “She comes out of nowhere and makes really good plays that give us a boost of energy that lasts a really long time. She's good at everything she does.”
Medgar Evers (23-3), New York City's Public School Athletic League champion, took a 17-12 lead with 4:57 to play in the second quarter. Averill Park ended the second quarter on a 12-3 spurt and opened the third on a 20-4 run, putting Evers in the rearview mirror for good.

Averill Park put the pressure on Evers in the second half, as sophomore forward Brooke O'Shea came up with seven steals to go along with her seven points. Most of her steals came at halfcourt as Evers could not navigate the ball into their offensive end.
The Warriors also practically couldn't miss from the field in the third quarter after a so-so first half. They finished making 38.5% of their shots after shooting 35% in the first half.

"It's probably close to as good as we've played all season," said Organ. "I don't think there are too many games where we shot better than that. I felt like it took us a quarter to adjust. The first quarter we were a little cold, but we had to step up our defensive intensity, especially in the second quarter and through the second half."

Averill Park senior Katie Duma (right) looks to block Medgar Evers' Ashley Castle's shot during a Class A Federation Tournament of Champions game Friday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

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It will be a family affair for the Ottati clan at the Civic Center on Saturday. Michaela Ottati is one of Averill Park's premier shooters. Her cousin, Chris Ottati, is a junior on the Christian Brothers Academy team set to play Christ the King Saturday at 3:45 p.m. in a Class AA semifinal.

“It's really cool. It's a weird feeling,” Michaela said. “Two Ottatis won States and now we're in the Federations. It's a nice feeling.”

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For the Averill Park seniors, they've got one last game. Win, lose or draw, Saturday's Federation Final will be the last time this particular group of players puts on the Averill Park uniform and tears are sure to be flowing from everyone when the final horn sounds around 1:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

"We're excited that we're representing the Suburban. We're excited that we're representing Section II and the Capital Region," said Organ. "It's kind of like a dream. It's almost like we've been living the real-life Hoosiers."

Averill Park had won cross country state titles in previous years, but last week's Class A state championship was the Warriors first title in any other sport.

"We're making history for the school right now," said Duma. "Every game, we treat it like our last and we just don't want it to end."

South Colonie won the Class A Federation title in 2001. That was before a Class AA bracket was added.
Other Section II teams to win Federation titles include Germantown ('86 and '87) and St. Johnsville ('93 and '94).
Watervliet's 1991 Class C squad was the only Section II boys team to have won a Federation title.

“It's a great feeling to accomplish this, since we've been playing together since we were little, all together,” said senior point guard Brittany O'Shea. “What more can you ask for? Each of our girls are amazing.”

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Averill Park vs. Medgar Evers - live chat & scoreboard

2010 Federation Tournament of Champions Schedule
All games at Glens Falls Civic Center

Friday's Scoreboard
GIRLS BASKETBALL
Class B semifinals
St. Mary’s 63, Goldstein High for Science 44
Irvington 70, Long Island Lutheran 42
Class A semifinal
Averill Park 58, Medgar Evers Prep 34

BOYS BASKETBALL

Class B semifinals
Queens High of Teaching 68, Westhill 62
Collegiate 56, St. Mary’s 49
Class A semifinals
Jamesville-Dewitt 67, Bedford Academy 54
Nichols vs. Long Island Lutheran, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 27
GIRLS BASKETBALL
Class B Championship game
Irvington vs. Saint Mary’s, 10:30 a.m.
Class A Championship game
St. Anthony’s vs. Averill Park, 12:15 p.m.
Class AA semifinal
Murray Bergtraum vs. Christ the King, 2 p.m.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Class AA semifinals
CBA-Albany vs. Christ the King, 3:45 p.m.
Class B Championship game
Collegiate vs. Queens High of Teaching, 5:45 p.m.
Class A Championship game
Jamesville-Dewitt vs. semifinal winner, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 28
GIRLS BASKETBALL
Class AA Championship game
Sachem East vs. semifinal winner, 1 p.m.
BOYS BASKETBALL
Class AA Championship game
Boys & Girls vs. semifinal winner, 3 p.m.

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Thanks for chatting today. Click the play button below to read a replay.

I'll be back Saturday for Averill Park's game against St. Anthony's at 12:15 p.m. and the CBA game against Christ the King at 3:45 p.m.
Saint Rose head men's basketball coach Brian Beaury will also be inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday morning. It should be a fine day for Capital Region basketball win or lose.

Also be sure to check out the story on Averill Park's Amanda Fitzgerald in Friday's edition of The Record.



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CBA ranked No. 1 in latest NYS hoops polls

CBA sophomore Joe Krong is a big reason why the Brothers are ranked No. 1 in New York State. Look for a story on CBA's sharpshooter in Saturday's edition of The Record. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

I just received my weekly newsletter in the mail from the New York State Sportswriters Association.
The CBA boys basketball team was ranked No. 1 in the latest Class AA poll released Wednesday.

For the full list, please visit www.roadtoglensfalls.com

Here are your local teams and teams of interest to Section II teams:

Class AA
1) CBA
2) Boys & Girls
3) Christ the King
4) Half Hollow Hills West
5) Newburgh Free Academy
12) Shenendehowa

Class A
No Section II teams ranked

Class B
12) Fonda-Fultonville
17) Watervliet

Class C
3) Maple Hill
10) Hoosick Falls
19) Voorheesville

Class D
5) Germantown
16) Argyle

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Federation preview chat - Thursday, 5 p.m. - Live!

With the CBA team and the Averill Park girls still alive for Federation Tournament action this weekend, I'll host a live chat starting Thursday at 5 p.m.
Drop by to ask any questions or let your opinion be known. Do you think Section II can have a pair of Federation champions this year?

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Fitzgerald has plenty in reserve; AP girls ready for Feds

Averill Park senior Amanda Fitzgerald (right) chases down a loose ball as Colonie's Jaclyn Welch is in close pursuit during a Suburban Council game at Averill Park earlier this season. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Amanda Fitzgerald, a senior who serves dual roles on Averill Park's girls basketball team as Brittany O'Shea's understudy and the Warriors' defensive specialist, does not often factor in the scoring. But that doesn't mean she isn't a crucial piece of the puzzle.

“She has the ability to come off the bench and not skip a beat,” said Sean Organ, Averill Park's head coach. “She's ready to go. She is another one of the unsung heroes on this basketball team. She is one of the big reasons why we're here.”

The captain of Averill Park's lacrosse team, Fitzgerald brings a level of toughness to the basketball court as well. She's scored six or more points in a game just three times this season, but she is Organ's first choice to slow down an opposing guard with superior speed and quickness.

She also spells O'Shea when Averill Park's primary point guard runs into foul trouble or simply needs a breather.

“There is something special to be said about Amanda for accepting her role and understanding what it is that she can give to our team,” Organ said. “She's been our defensive specialist for the past two years in a sense that there have been times where she actually plays along side Brittany, because defensively she brings a lot.”

For the full story on Fitzgerald, make sure to pick up a copy of The Record on Friday.

Averill Park senior Amanda Fitzgerald dribbles away from Catholic Central's Ashley Creighton during a non-league game played at South Colonie High School in December 2009. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

One interesting note about the Averill Park team this season is just how important the fans - the Gold Mine - are to their performance on the floor. Averill Park fans packed Hudson Valley Community College during the Warriors' sectional run, traveled to Syracuse and Potsdam for regional games and returned to Troy for the NYS Final Four.

They'll also be playing hooky on Friday to watch the team in Glens Falls.

Well, not really. The school district decided to give all high school students a half day rather than deal with a mass exodus due to "the basketball bug."

Visit the school website by clicking here for more information on that news.

"I have a feeling this is being realized by the kids just how special this is," Organ said. "I still think they're figuring it out. The high school is closing early Friday on a half day schedule. Teachers, friends and people that have been following us over the last part of the season, they all want to go up there. And I think to our kids, that's important. They're helping them understand the significance."

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Nine Averill Park seniors will wrap up their high school basketball career this weekend in Glens Falls, win, lose or draw.

"We don't want it to come," Fitzgerald said. "We don't want the last practice to happen and we don't want to accept that it's the end."

“Whether we win or lose, it's going to be an emotional time to say goodbye to these guys,” Organ said. “I hope it's a lot of smiles and I'm sure it will be, but this particular group of players has done so much for their community and done so much for girls basketball, I don't think that they can be replaced.
“We're not going to try to replace them,” he continued. “We're going to remember them for what they were, which is champions.”

"I have to believe these kids, as special as they are, won't realize how big this is until years from now," said Organ. "When they look back and see, wow, a lot of teams don't win state titles and it's even more rare to compete for a Federation title. I think years from now it's really going to register with them. You saw them today, they're really loose and think that's important."

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As far as the matchup with Medgar Evers, we don't know too much. Organ has been unable to get video on them and is relying on verbal scouting reports. They're fast and athletic and really unlike any team Averill Park has seen up to this point.

For Medgar Evers' team page, click here.

You may be wondering who, exactly, Medgar Evars was. You likely learned about him in US History class. For his wikipedia page, click here.

I haven't been able to find much on St. Anthony's online. Here is their school page.

MATCHUP: Averill Park (24-1) faces New York City's Public School Athletic League champion Medgar Evers (23-2) in a Class A Federation Tournament of Champions semifinal game at 1L30 p.m. Friday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The winner plays the City's Catholic High School Athletic Association champion, St. Anthony's of Melville, Saturday in the title game at 12:15 p.m.
TICKETS: $10, available at the door, at www.glensfallscc.com or calling the Civic Center box office, 518-798-0202.

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
AVERILL PARK WARRIORS
No., Name, Pos., Yr., Hgt., Ppg.
10, Brittany O’Shea, PG, Sr., 5-8, 6.6
3, Michaela Ottati, SG, Sr., 5-10, 9.1
13, Katie Duma, G, Sr., 5-11, 16.2
25, Brooke O’Shea, F, Soph., 5-9, 7.2
23, Katie Hawes, F, Sr., 5-10, 3.1

MEDGAR EVERS COUGARS
No., Name, Pos., Yr., Ppg.
1, Jasmin Robinson, G, Sr., 16.8
2, Camera Miley, G, Frosh., 12.4
3, Ashley Castle, G/F, Jr., 10.4
0, Nandi Pyle, F, Sr., 9.7
14, Verdine Warner, C, Sr., 6.9

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CBA vs. Christ the King, boys Class AA Federation preview

CBA junior Galal Cancer grabs the ball as Troy High's Kareem Brown elevates toward the rim in a Section II playoff game at Hudson Valley Community College earlier this season. The Brothers, still standing, play in the Federation Tournament of Champions in Glens Falls this weekend. (Photo by Tom Killips - The Record).



Just like when they played Troy High this season, Christian Brothers Academy will be looking up this weekend against Christ the King.
With four players that stand 6-foot4 or taller in the starting lineup, the Brothers will be at a significant height disadvantage when they square off with Christ the King in Saturday's Class AA Federation Tournament of Champions semifinal at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Tip-off is set for 3:45 p.m.

CBA's tallest players are Kam Ritter, a perimeter player, mostly, and center Jack Reilly, who both stand 6-foot-3.

Still, the Brothers found a way to get around a rangy Troy High team three times this season, but Christ the King certainly has an experience and a talent edge compared to what CBA saw from Troy.

If you're looking to do a little research on Christ the King, this is your first stop: the team's official webpage. Click through to the boys team home page to view a roster and stats for each player.

The Royals are playing without one of their best players, as Christ the King's Corey Edwards dislocated his foot in practice earlier this month and is out of the remainder of the season. He had averaged over 10 points per game as the team's point guard for most of the season. T.J. Curry has filled in in the backcourt in his absence. He led the Royals to a triple-overtime victory over Bishop Loughlin in New York City's Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AA championship game at Fordham University last week.

For more on that game, click here to read the New York Daily News' recap.

Last weekend, the Brothers found a way to knock off the defending state champs from Newburgh, who returned all five starters, by 19 points. A day later, they stopped New York's Mr. Basketball, Tobias Harris of Half Hollow Hills West, in his tracks, in an 18-point victory.

Upstate teams always tend to be the underdogs in the Federation games, but the Brothers proved that they will be reckoned with after their performances last week.

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The winner of this semifinal game will face Brooklyn's Boys & Girls High School team, which will receive the keys to New York City from Mayor Bloomberg sometime Thursday.

Kangaroos coach Ruth Lovelace became the first female head coach of a New York City PSAL champion team this season. Members of the team appeared on Jimmy Fallon's late-night show a week ago.

Here is a clip of the team on late-night TV:



For full Boys & Girls roster, stats and information, click here to their official PSAL page.

Here is an excerpt from a recent New York Post piece with a quote from an opposing coach speaking about Boys & Girls:

“The have a deep roster with a lot of guys around the same size that can play multiple positions. They are a hard team to match up for – they can play with teams that are small and they can also play with teams that are big. … They’re playing well on both ends of the court. They are making shots, they’re playing defense, and that’s what you got to do this time of year. … You got to get out on the shooter and you got to crash the boards, that’s the way to beat those guys. They do a good job crashing the offensive boards. … I like their team. It seems they have one common goal – to win a championship.”

For the full boys Federation schedule, click here.

For a story on CBA's super sophomore Joe Krong, check The Record later this week.
I'll also have a story on Averill Park's Amanda Fitzgerald and a blog post on the Lady Warriors coming soon.
I plan on chatting live from all of the Federation games featuring Section II teams this weekend, so be sure to check back to the blog for more information this weekend.


MATCHUP:
Christian Brothers Academy (24-1) faces New York City Catholic High School Athletic Association champion Christ the King (24-6) in a Class AA Federation Tournament of Champions semifinal Saturday at 3:45 p.m.
Winner plays Boys & Girls High in the Class AA title game Sunday at 3 p.m.
TICKETS: $10, available at the door, at www.glensfallscc.com or calling the Civic Center box office, 518-798-0202.

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
CHRISTIAN BROTHERS ACADEMY BROTHERS

No., Name, Pos., Yr., Hgt., Ppg.
23, Galal Cancer, PG, Jr., 6-2, 10.7
10, Max Weaver, SG, Jr., 6-2, 12.5
24, Josh Dennis, G, Sr., 5-10, 4.1
33, Kam Ritter, G/F, Sr., 6-3, 14.7
55, Jack Reilly, C, Sr., 6-3, 4.6

CHRIST THE KING ROYALS
No., Name, Pos., Yr., Hgt., Ppg.
32, T.J. Curry, PG, Jr., 6-1, 6.8
1, Kareem Thomas, G, Sr., 6-0, 5.0
21, Omar Calhoun, SG, Soph., 6-4, 15.6
15, Maurice Barrow, F, Sr., 6-5, 12.4
40, Dominykas Milka, C, Sr., 6-7, 7.0

BOYS & GIRLS KANGAROOS
No., Name, Pos., Yr., Hgt., Ppg.
3, Antoine Slaughter, G, Jr, 5-6, 15.3
10, Mike Taylor, G, Jr., 6-3, 15.8
23, Jeffland Neverson, G/F, Soph., 6-5, 9.7
32, Truck Fludd, G/F, Soph., 6-5, 13.0
21, Leroy Isler, F, Jr., 6-6, 17.8

video

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Monday, March 22, 2010

2009-10 Patroon Conference girls basketball All-Stars

Maple Hill junior center Katie Roth was named the Patroon Conference's MVP for the 2009-10 season, as voted by the league's head coaches. (Photo by Tom Killips - The Record).

MVP
Katie Roth, Junior - Maple Hill

First team
Rebecca Smith, Senior - Ichabod Crane
Shavonda Cousin, Senior - Hudson
Katie Miller, Senior - Catskill
Jessica Dailey, Senior - Maple Hill
Samantha Davis, Senior - Hudson

Second team
Makenzie Edberg, Senior - Rensselaer
Sarah Mockcyzski, Senior - Catskill
TaylorAnne Young, Junior - Greenville
Danielle Kitsock, Senior - Hudson
Rachel Preusser, Senior - Taconic Hills

--As submitted by Mark Bubniak, head coach, Maple Hill

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Girls basketball polls released - 3/22/10

The latest New York State girls basketball polls were released Sunday and they will change just one more time after the Federation Tournament this weekend.

For the full list, visit the NYSSWA website by clicking here.

NYSSCOGS/NYSSWA girls basketball
2009-10 state rankings
Mar. 17-21 (week 14)
poll editor - Perry L. Novak
* - sectional champ
** - semifinalist
*** - runner-up
****-state champ

Class AA
4: 22-3 Shenendehowa-2 ***
19: 17-5 Shaker-2
22: 17-3 Colonie-2

Class A
1: 24-1 Averill Park-2 ****
11: 21-1 Holy Names-2

Class B
5: 19-5 Watervliet-2 **
13: 15-7 Mechanicville-2

Class C
4: 23-1 Maple Hill-2 **
9: 20-2 Greenwich-2
16: 17-4 Hoosic Valley-2

Class D
6: 17-4 Argyle-2 *
11: 20-1 Whitehall-2
19: 17-2 Germantown-2

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Averill Park girls prepare for Feds, Maple Hill girls wrap-up

The Averill Park High School girls basketball team raises the 2009-10 New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A trophy after defeating Lakeland 53-46 in Saturday's championship game at Hudson Valley Community College. (All photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

The Averill Park bench reacts to the final horn during Saturday's New York State Class A title game. It was the first girls basketball championship in school history for the Warriors.

Averill Park senior Katie Duma dances across the floor as the buzzer sounds in Averill Park's 53-46 victory over Lakeland.

Averill Park senior point guard Brittany O'Shea shares a hug with head coach Sean Organ following the Warriors' victory in the Class A title game.

Members of Averill Park's student fan section - the Gold Mine - react to what they perceive to be a bad call in Saturday's victory over Lakeland. Some of them, presumably, will be traveling to Glens Falls to see the Warriors compete in the Federation Tournament of Champions this weekend in Glens Falls.

Averill Park players lift the New York State Class A trophy as head coach Sean Organ looks on following Saturday's victory.

Unfortunately I missed the girl's games Saturday as I was watching the boys games in Glens Falls, but I wanted to post the wonderful pictures J.S. Carras snapped for us.

The season is not over for the Averill Park girls, who will face New York City's Public School Athletic League champion Medgar Evers in a Class A semifinal game Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Here is the New York Post's game story on Evers' PSAL title win.

According to the Post, the Cougars aren't going to be coming with guns ablaze at the Civic Center:
"Medgar Evers will meet the state public school ‘A’ representative in the New York State Federation Class A semifinals Friday at Glens Falls Civic Center. Davis already said that he’s going to start five seniors in that game and the trip is for fun more than anything. The real accolade has already been achieved."

It will be interesting to see how the relative home court advantage in Glens Falls plays out for Averill Park and whether or not the Gold Mine shows up in force on a school day.

The semifinal winner will face the City's Catholic School champion, St. Anthony's of Melville, which received a bye, in the championship game.

Newsday is the hometown paper for St. Anthony, but they charge for online content.

MSG Varsity also covers St. Anthony's, but they also charge for content.

GIRLS BASKETBALL
All games at Glens Falls Civic Center
Friday March, 26
Class B semifinals
St. Mary's vs. Goldstein High School for Science, 10 a.m.
Long Island Lutheran vs. Irvington, 11:45 a.m.
Class A semifinal
Medgar Evers vs. Averill Park, 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 27
Class B Championship, 10:30 a.m.
Class A Championship
St. Anthony's of Melville vs. semifinal winner, 12:15 p.m.
Class AA semifinal
Murry Bergtraum vs. Christ the King (Queens), 2 p.m.

Sunday, March 28
Class AA Championship
Sachem East vs. semifinal winner, 1 p.m.

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Maple Hill girls basketball players Alyssa O'Connor (22) and Erin Mosher (20) react after the Wildcats' loss to Tioga Central in the New York State Class C semifinals Saturday afternoon.

Maple Hill senior guard Kristen DerGurahian (10) chases a loose ball with Tioga's Kacie Hoyt in hot pursit during Saturday's Class C semifinal. Tioga won, 52-42.

Maple Hill junior center Katie Roth (40) battles for a rebound with Tioga's Korin Eckstrom (12) and Marissa Miller (33) during Saturday's New York State Class C semifinal game at Hudson Valley Community College.

It must have been a tough way for the Wildcats, who came into the game with an undefeated record, to end the season, but they made basketball history in Castleton. No other girls basketball team in Maple Hill history had every won a regional title before.

Maple Hill doesn't get nearly as much competition day-in and day-out in the Patroon Conference as do the teams from the Wasaren League and the Colonial Council, so for the Wildcats to continue to play at a high level in the postseason speaks volumes to the caliber of team they were this season.

They'll certainly miss the departure of seniors such as Kristen DerGurahian, Alyssa O'Connor, Jessica Dailey, Anna Racz and Samantha Hendrick, but the Wildcats will return a solid group of players and should again be among the Class C contenders in Section II in 2011.

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