Winter is cold but champions bloom in the spring

Here is the second installment of the year in review for local high school sports. This week will wrap up the winter and fall sports for Guilderland, Voorheesville, and Berne-Knox-Westerlo high schools.


Basketball is usually the most successful sport for local schools. However, the hardwood was full of hard-luck stories this past winter.

The Guilderland girls’ basketball team made an impressive run to the Class AA Section II championship game but lost to rival Colonie. The BKW girls were the only other basketball team to even reach the semifinal round of any class tournament. The other four teams — Voorheesville boys and girls, Guilderland boys, and BKW boys — did not make it out of the first round.

Some other winter sports teams had more success at the end of the year.


The Guilderland gymnastics team was the most successful of any Guilderland team this winter.

The Lady Dutch knocked off all challengers in the Suburban Council and won the school’s first league crown in the sport since the 1980s. The Lady Dutch were going for their first Section II championship since 1999 but were beaten by perennial power Saratoga at the sectional championship meet.

Four girls did qualify for the state meet. Seniors Dana Goodknight and Tori Whitbeck, along with eighth-graders Alexa Patnaude and Kristi Russell won the right to go to the meet that was held in the Rochester area.

Goodknight won the all-around competition at the Section II meet and finished fifth in the event at the state meet. She will continue to compete in gymnastics at the University of Southern Connecticut in the fall.


The Guilderland girls’ basketball team got off to a slow start and after back-to-back losses to Colonie and Columbia, the Lady Dutch righted the ship, ripped through the rest of the season, and made a run in the sectional tournament.

Guilderland finished ahead of Columbia to win the Gold Division of the Suburban Council and earned the third seed from the league for sectionals.

The Lady Dutch beat Catholic Central in the quarterfinals and then Bethlehem in the semifinals to earn their spot in the title game and a re-match from the 2005 title game.

Guilderland ran into an experienced team in Colonie and, like two years ago, the Garnet Raiders were able to pull away from the Lady Dutch to win, 41-34, for another Section II Class AA crown.

The Lady Dutch were led by a trio of seniors — Kristin Pezze, Mary Kate O’Connell, and Nikki Branchini. They played in the championship game in 2005 and put together another good run in their final campaign.

Tricia Loux, who was named to the all-tournament team at sectionals; Megan Carroll; and Melanie Ostrowski were the other seniors on the team.

The Lady Dutch also had talented underclassmen in Jen Madsen, Danielle Burns, Alicia Bowman, Jessica Bender, Casey Peebles, and MacKenzie Michele.

The BKW girls’ basketball team made a run in sectionals as well. They played their best of the year in a 65-51 win over Greenwich in the quarterfinals.

The Lady Bulldogs lost a close game to Mechanicville in the semifinals to end their season.

BKW beat Schenectady Christian for the first time in a few years but couldn’t solve a tough Schoharie club to finish in third place in the Southern Division of the Western Athletic Conference.

The Lady Bulldogs were led by seniors C.J. Vincent and Brittany Krimsky.

BKW got help from sophomore Andrea Van Dyke and juniors Lauren Ford, Anna Kusler, Alysha Van Dyke, Allyson Bates, Vicky Lounsbury, Kristin Spinnato, and Katrina Yakel.

After being the queens of Section II small-school basketball for the past decade, the Voorheesville girls’ basketball team struggled in the 2005-06 season. The Lady Blackbirds made some strides this past winter, gaining a few more wins and losing several close games.

The season came to an end for the Lady Blackbirds after a first-round loss to Hudson in the Class B playoffs.

Voorheesville had a number of talented young players including Casey Beccerra and Courteny Bourque. But the Lady Blackbirds also got good play from seniors Jenna Massaroni, Alyssa Schultz, Kate Zimmerman, Kelly Larsen, and Sarah Belenchia.

The Blackbirds will have to move on without long-time coach Jon McClement. McClement took a job as boys’ basketball coach at Albany High School.

All three boys’ basketball teams were eliminated in the first round of the sectional playoffs.

The Guilderland boys’ basketball team lost to LaSalle Institute of Troy, after holding a 12-point lead with just over five minutes to play.

The Dutchmen had an up-and-down season as they saw many key players miss time due to injuries.

Junior Brett Marfurt missed some games with an injured ankle and a mild case of mononucleosis. Classmate Drew Smith missed over half the season when he broke his hand after punching a padded wall after missing a lay-up during a scrimmage.

Senior Mark Domaracki missed a key game due to sickness.

Despite those obstacles, the Dutchmen still were co-champions of the Gold Division of the Suburban Council.

Besides Domaracki, the other seniors on the team were Steve Doak, Uwana Okure, Taylor Walden, Don Depass, Jimmy Munsie, and Andy Guilz.

The Voorheesville boys’ basketball team was upset by Berkshire in the opening round of the Class B playoffs. The Blackbirds were seeded sixth in the playoffs and the Bulldogs were 11th.

The Blackbirds were led this winter by seniors Joe Klembcyk, Justin Arico, Tim Robinson, Greg Carson, and Chris Thompson. Juniors Evan Christner and Kevin Klembczyk had good seasons for the Blackbirds.

The BKW boys’ basketball team ended its season after making the long trip to Cambridge in Washington County.

The Bulldogs continue to take steps as they improve and have a talented class of juniors. Matt Lounsbury, Greg Mulson, Josh Skinner, Jeremy Springer Keith Cunningham, and Ben Burton will be seniors next year and will be aided by rising junior David Sikule.

BKW loses just two seniors, though they were key players — Lenny Coons and Rich Geist.


The Guilderland hockey team got off to a slow start as the Skating Dutchmen continued to play tough competition from all over the state.

But the Dutchmen came on at the end of the season and garnered enough wins to earn the fifth seed in the eight-team playoffs.

Guilderland upset fourth-seed Niskayuna-Schenectady in the quarterfinals and then pushed powerhouse and eventual champion Shenendehowa to the limit in the semifinals, losing, 5-4.

The Dutchmen were led by senior captains Ben Fogel and Jon Potts, who was named an all-star in the Capital District High School Hockey League.

There were just six seniors on the team and a plethora of young players who can make the Dutch a tough team next winter. The other seniors on the team were Nick Stefani, Lee Murphy, Luke Diamante, and John Laviano.

The backbone of the underclassmen is junior goalie Brendan Glennon. Jeff Geisendorfer, Nick Koss, Collin Burg, and Dan Dickenson are some of the other underclassmen who were major contributors.

Other sports

The Guilderland wrestling team had success on the mat this winter. Some individuals had good days at the Section II Class A meet and the Section II qualifier.

Kyle Hussey, Ian DeSol, and Mike Cubillos won Class A titles in their weight classes. It was the first time Regan Johnson had coached that many champions in one season.

Hussey won the 275-pound weight class at the Section II qualifier and earned an automatic spot to the state meet, which was in Albany this season.

Cubillos at 119 pounds and DeSol at 145 pounds made it to the finals but lost. However, due to a newly implemented wild-card system, both were given at-large bids to compete at the state meet.

David Slingerland qualified for the state meet in indoor track as a member the intersectional relay team. Slingerland was a sprinter for the Guilderland team during the season.

The BKW girls’ bowling team continued its success as the Lady Bulldogs won the Western Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships. BKW tried to three-peat as Section II champions but fell short in a comeback attempt and finished second at the Class C-D championships.

The Lady Bulldogs were led by junior Sammy Moak, seniors Ashley Overbaugh and Emily Meduna, juniors Emily Pierce and Athena Kelly, and eighth-grader Amber Moak.


Champions blossomed in Guilderland during the spring season. Several teams brought home plaques to line the wall by the entrance to the large gym.

The baseball and girls’ lacrosse team brought home plaques with the gold on them to symbolize the sectional championship.

The boys’ lacrosse and boys’ tennis team won the runner-up plaques in their sports after losing in sectional championship games.


The Guilderland baseball team rolled through Suburban Council play and suffered just two losses during the regular season to earn the top seed heading into the playoffs.

The Dutchmen beat Bethlehem in the quarterfinals and then Niskayuna and Troy in the semifinals and finals, played at Joseph Bruno Stadium in Troy.

The Dutch’s bats went silent in the state regional game in Rome until it was too late. The Dutch scored five runs in the last two innings but fell one run short, 6-5, against Proctor High School of Utica.

The Dutchmen were led by Suburban Council Player of the Year Nick Polsinelli as well as senior classmates Ben Henderson, who will play at Division I Jacksonville University; Greg Barcomb; Mike Goldstein; Joe Lima; Ryan Winne; Jimmy Sabbag; and juniors C.J. Sohl, Jake Colavito, Andrew Simpson, and Nick Ranalli.

The Guilderland girls’ lacrosse team played against tough competition all season and it paid dividends as the Lady Dutch won their first-ever Section II and Suburban Council championships.

The Lady Dutch beat Saratoga in the semifinals and then edged Shaker, 9-7, in the championship game, played at the University at Albany.

Guilderland lost to Lakeland of Section I in the regional playoffs.

The Dutch were led by senior captains Jen Kaye, Nikki Branchini, Lynn Tran, and Julie Malkowski. Guilderland has a plethora of underclassmen returning — including scorers Amada Best, Danielle Tetreault, Abbey Fashouer, and Chelsey Newman — and will be strong players in the area next year.


The Guilderland boys’ lacrosse team got off to a slow start this season. But the Dutch went on to win a ton of close games — including over rival Niskayuna — to be declared co-champions of the Suburban Council.

The Dutchmen then beat Saratoga and Columbia in the sectional playoffs to advance to the championship match against their old rivals at Niskayuna.

Guilderland couldn’t overcome a halftime defecit and fell to the Silver Warriors, 11-9.

The Dutchmen were led by seniors Matt Stillman, Scott Raffensperger, Uriah Myrie, Chris Conway, Greg Murphy, Jordan Dubose, Kyle Klapp, and Nick Stefani.

Dubose and Raffensperger will be members of the University at Albany lacrosse team next year.

Junior goalie Nick Koss will lead a strong group of underclassmen next spring.

The Guilderland boys’ tennis team finished third during the regular season in the Suburban Council but made an impressive run through the sectional tournament.

The Dutchmen beat Niskayuna — who they lost to during the season — in the semifinals to earn a date with rival Bethlehem in the championship match.

Guilderland fell behind early but made a strong comeback and the championship came down to the last match. Bethlehem won the match and the contest, 5-4, to claim its second consecutive championship at the expense of the Dutchmen. Guilderland had won the title in 2005.

Other sports

Guilderland track star Brian Rhodes-Devey won the state championship in the 800-meter run in June. He ran the race in 1:52.37.

Mark Domaracki qualified for the state meet in the 400 meters in 48.95.

Rhodes-Devey will run next year at the University of Texas and Domaracki will run at Boston College.

The Voorheesville softball team lost in the quarterfinals of the Class B playoffs. They were defeated by top-seed Chatham after beating Hudson in the first round.

Jenna Massaroni, Jillian Blair, Sarah LaFave, Brittany Holcomb, Rebekah Coons, and Jackie Moreau were the senior leaders of the team.

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