Bulldogs catch fire beat Schoharie at home

By Jordan J. Michael

BERNE –– The Berne-Knox-Westerlo boys’ basketball team may have proved itself as a contender this season after beating Schoharie, one of the top-ranked Class C teams, at home on Friday night.

After having not played a game in over two weeks, the Bulldogs came out shaky, missing numerous shots and turning the ball over in the first half. Then, after the halftime break, BKW caught fire and the shots started to drop on the way to a 57-to-52 victory.

“Our second-half play tonight would be tough for most teams to beat,” Head Coach Andy Wright said after all the Bulldog faithful had departed. “Halftime was important.”

Wright told The Enterprise that his team “didn’t defend our floor like we needed to” at the beginning of the game. The Indians started with a 9-to-0 lead after T.J. Smith hit a three and Brenden Archer found some room underneath the basket.

Smith, who led the Schoharie offense with 16 points, played on Wright’s Capital Region Revolution travel team over the summer. “He can light it up,” Wright said of Smith.

Before the first quarter came to a close, Smith sank two more three-pointers, but senior Corbin Repscher made a lay-up at the buzzer for BKW. The score was 15 to 9.

“We hadn’t played in so long,” said Nate Krimsky, who scored a game-high 17 points for the Bulldogs. “Our flow got better as time went on and we got more comfortable.”

Even though Krimsky, a 6 foot, 6 inch junior, is a huge threat inside, he made two three-pointers and made five of six free throws on Friday. Wright, who made adjustments at halftime, moved Krimsky from the post to out on the wing. 

“He has a good pull-up shot,” Wright said of Krimsky. “He won’t just beat you inside.”

Sophomore Garrett Pitcher, who scored 13 points, started the second quarter off with a pair of three-pointers for the Bulldogs to make it close, 17 to 15, but Schoharie kept answering every score. The Indians had a 30-to-20 lead at the break.

Krimsky said that his team noticed Schoharie’s habit for driving and kicking the ball outside. “We shut that down in the second half,” he said. “We knew we were playing bad, but we hit a few shots and that fired us up.”

BKW’s halftime adjustments quickly turned the game around and Krimsky put the situation in his own hands, scoring the Bulldogs’ first seven points. Krimsky scored 10 points in the third quarter and sophomore Tristan Wilson added a three-pointer at the buzzer. Schoharie now led by only two, 42-40.

Wilson, who scored 10 points while being guarded by Smith, caught Wright’s attention during the game. “He proved himself tonight,” said Wright. “We have him for the next three years, but he looks to be in the mix already.”

Early in the fourth quarter, Wilson tied the game off a steal, and then gave BKW the lead, 45 to 42, with a three-pointer. Junior Tyler Sigond blocked Archer and Mike Gamble finished on the other end to give the Bulldogs a four-point lead with three minutes left in regulation.

“The guard play is sufficient, but we need to improve to be a serious contender,” Wright said. “If we make the right decisions, then we’ll be in it.”

The Indians started to enter panic mode after Pitcher put in a lay up, followed by an amazing move under the basket by Gamble. BKW had a 55-to-49 lead with less than two minutes left.

Wright told The Enterprise that Gamble is a “legitimate threat,” especially if he has eight or more assists in a game. “That’s right where we want to be,” he said.

Schoharie had a chance to close the score, but Peter Quandt was called for a costly travel, turning the ball over. Gamble made two free throws to ice the game.

“This is a big win over a quality team,” Krimsky said. “We can go anywhere we want to now.”

“I’m happy; it’s a great way to start,” Wright said. “I’ve got some real basketball players here.”

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.