Monday, March 1, 2010

Tigers roar into quarterfinal round

Cohoes High captain Bailei Tetrault lines up a shot attempt as Greenville's Bonnie Harvey looks to defend during Monday's Section II Class B opening round game at Cohoes High School. (Cohoes photos by Mike McMahon - The Record).

Cohoes got off to a slow start Monday night - perhaps 16 days of rest since their last game had something to do with that - but they sure turned in on in the second quarter. The Tigers scored the first 19 points of that frame and never looked back, knocking off 12th seed Greenville, 63-19.

Bailei Tetrault knocked down four three-point buckets en route to 14 points and eighth-grader Bella Vanelli chipped in with a trio of treys, as the JV call-up added 11 points for the Tigers.

"Our coach always tells us, ‘If they’re open, just shoot it up," Tetrault said. "That’s what we were doing."

Cohoes' Betsy Santoro slices through Greenville defenders Bonnie Harvey (14) and Stephanie Bouillon (20) during Monday's game. Santoro finished the game with six assists, four points, three rebounds and three steals.

Next up for Cohoes is Colonial Council rival Ravena, the No. 13 seed, which upset the No. 4 seeded Bluehawks of Hudson in a 46-33 opening round decision.

Cohoes, the No. 5 seed, beat Ravena by margins of 26 and 27-points, respectively, during the regular season, but they're expecting nothing less than a battle Wednesday night at Watervliet.

"It’s that matchup everyone talks about: the third time," said Cohoes head coach Dan Hytko. "Hopefully, at this point, we’re better than we were when we played them the first time and better than when we played them the last time. On the other side, they’re probably better too.
It will be one of those classic Colonial matchups, where the winner takes all."

Cohoes' Jocelyn Ahearn drives around the Greenville defense during Monday's playoff game at Cohoes. Ahearn was the only Tigers player not to score any points, but she contributed with a pair of rebounds, a steal and an assist in limited minutes.

Cohoes has five seniors on the roster - Jocelyn Ahearn, Betsy Santoro, Laura Rankin, Shanna Rankin and Katrina Minor - but the future is certainly bright for the Tigers, too.

Tetrault, a junior, is already one of the best ballhandlers in the Colonial Council and she'll have some experienced help around her next year.

My'Asia Alston, a sophomore, stands out on the court with her glasses and crooked ponytail, and her younger sister, Sha'Dasia Alston, made her mark Monday night. The younger Alston, a freshman, scored just three points, but she added two steals and an assist, bringing some pizazz to the floor with her quickness and energy.

Sophomore Ashley Dessingue and eighth-grader Bella Vanelli were also called up from the junior varsity down the stretch run for Cohoes and Hytko believes they will play a major role in the postseason.

"Without a doubt. That’s why they’re here," he said. "This is the first time in 15 years that I’ve moved up JV kids, but they work real hard in practice and I took a chance to take them. I thought they did a good job. They’re exciting to watch and hopefully it keeps going that way."

"We have a couple of others on the JV coming through," Hytko continued. "Like the sign says, ‘Tradition doesn’t graduate here.’ We just try to keep it going."

For the full story, check out Tuesday's edition of The Record.

Here are the clips from my new digital camera that I promised. The first clip is the Cohoes starting lineup and the second is My'Asia Alston making a nice pass to Bella Vanelli, who hits a three-point shot from the wing.

I will be trying to bring you as many videos as I can from the sectional tournaments, with action clips and interviews after the games, over the next week and adding them to the blog, my YouTube channel and the Facebook page.

In other news, we had space for a photo gallery for Tuesday's newspaper and photographer Tom Killips pulled a few of his extra shots from the weekend for the project.

Troy High junior point guard Elijah Jenkins pulls up his dribble while competing against Christian Brothers Academy Saturday evening at Hudson Valley Community College. He will be a crucial senior leader on what is expected to be a very tough Troy High team next season. (All boys hoops photos by Tom Killips - The Record).

Bishop Maginn senior forward Jerel Scott floats through the paint over Albany Academy's David Benoks during Saturday's Section II Class AA quarterfinal at Hudson Valley Community College. A player with outside range and inside skills, Scott is one of Section II's most exciting playmakers.

Run, run, run - that's what Devonte Gleason does as the architect of the Watervliet High School offense. He's seen here weaving through the Broadalbin-Perth defense during Sunday's victory at Hudson Valley Community College. The Cannoneers head to Glens Falls Tuesday evening to take on Schenectady Christian in a Section II Class B semifinal game.

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