Schalmont slides past Voorheesville in nail-biter

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Shane Parry had a rough night against Schalmont last Friday in the semifinals, shooting two of 10 from the field for Voorheesville, which shot 31.5 percent (18 of 57) as a team. Here, Parry jumps past Matt Bird. The Birds lost, 58 to 53.

TROY — Sometimes, the shot you really need doesn’t go in.

Voorheesville experienced this misfortune three consecutive times while trying to tie the score with Schalmont in the final 25 seconds of last Friday’s Class B semifinal. The two Colonial Council rivals did not budge from the beginning; the game had nine ties and 16 lead changes.

Another tie score would have been fitting, but Voorheesville’s attempts went unfulfilled.

Initially, Sean Nolan shot a three-pointer off of a kick-out assist; the basketball bounced off the rim and over the backboard. On the ensuing inbound for Schalmont, Tyler Mattice fell after receiving the ball, and was called for traveling. Then, Isaiah Meaux, who had made all five of Voorheesville’s three-pointers until then, shot a three off of a screen; the miss was rebounded by Zac O’Dell.

“I think I rushed mine a little bit,” said Meaux, a senior, after the 58-to-53 loss. “The shots were open. It’s fine to take them.”

O’Dell, who had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Sabres — he dunked the ball over the Birds’ Shane Parry after a steal in the second quarter — went to the free-throw line. He missed his first foul shot, and the second as the Blackbirds headed the other way in transition for another shot to try to tie the game. Robert Denman’s pull-up three-pointer recoiled off the rim and over the backboard.

“It’s just inches,” Voorheesville Head Coach David Burch said. “Denman’s three looked dead on — he shoots that a million times in practice — and it’s two inches too far. We drew up a play for Isaiah, and Nolan had the three we wanted, too.”

The basketball seemed to stay in the air for about 15 seconds on each three-pointer, said Schalmont Head Coach Greg Loiacano, “like, oh, here we go. We were lucky enough for the ball to bounce our way tonight.”

Meaux made five of his nine three-point attempts in the Class B semifinal for Voorheesville. The rest of the team went zero for 12.

“Obviously, I wish we got the W, but we played our hearts out,” said Meaux, who was named a Class B All Star. “We did the best we could.”

When the end of the season is on the line, an element of anxiety may be present. “For the way that they executed the plays, there was a lot of thought process,” Burch said of his Voorheesville players. “There’s got to be some anxiety at that point — I was nervous — that’s basketball.”

Uncomfortable? Sean Nolan drives to the basket for Voorheesville last Friday against Schalmont in the Class B semifinals. Nolan had 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Blackbirds lost the neck-and-neck game by five points. The Enterprise — Michael Koff


The Blackbirds and the Sabres were facing off for the third time this season. Schalmont won the last encounter by 25 points at Voorheesville.

“We usually go on runs,” Loiacano said last Friday. “We were waiting for a run to come, and we didn’t get one. That really made a difference.”

The Class B semifinal was incredibly tight: Schalmont led by one point, 13 to 12, after the first quarter; Voorheesville was up by one point, 30 to 29, at halftime; and the game was tied, 38 to 38, after the third quarter. The Sabres went ahead by five points, 50 to 45, in the fourth quarter, but Meaux made two three-pointers after that.

Meaux told The Enterprise that the game was very emotional. Voorheesville was in the process of trying to repeat as Class B champions. How much did that mean?

“A lot,” Meaux said; he mentioned defending the title to his teammates at the beginning of the season. “We didn’t get it, but I’m glad for how the season went.”

Tough losses make for hard conversations, Burch said. He thought Voorheesville gave an outstanding effort.

“You’ve worked so hard, believe in each other, and fight for each other every day, getting a little bit better every day — you come out and fight,” added Burch. “The team that was out there today was so much better than what we started with, all the players. Those are the things you have to remind them of on days like today.”

The Blackbirds may have missed out on opportunities to make the Class C finals, but Burch thought it was Schalmont that went and got the win.

“We executed the game plan that we wanted,” said Burch. “They made a few more shots down the stretch. If we hit a few, and they miss a few, it’s a different outcome.”

Holding the rock: Voorheesville shot five for 17 from three-point range in its 58-to-53 Class B semifinal loss to Schalmont last Friday at Hudson Valley Community College, and senior Isaiah Meaux, seen here, made all five three-pointers. As defending champions, the Blackbirds finished the season at 15-7. The Sabres lost to Hoosick Falls in the final. The Enterprise — Michael Koff


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