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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 16, 2006

Guilderland boys’ basketball

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The season is right around the corner for the Guilderland boys’ basketball team. And the Dutchmen will be challenged early.

The Dutchmen open the season in a tournament hosted by Albany High School of the Big 10 league. Guilderland had opened its season in the Niskayuna Tournament.

"We open on Thanksgiving weekend," said Guilderland Coach Ron Osinski. "We’ve had good practices. I’ve gotten a lot out of the returning kids. They are helpful with the newer ones. They kind of know what we are doing. They know the stuff that we do. They are working hard."

The Dutchmen graduated two of their leading scorers in Jimmy Googas and Matt Doherty, but return a slew of players that got experience.

Leading the way will be the duo tandem of Brett Marfurt and Drew Smith. Marfurt had an outstanding sophomore campaign and emerged as a go-to player for the Dutch and one of the better shooters in Suburban Council. Smith was a late-season call-up from the junior varsity and contributed to the varsity team right away.

Also returning is senior Mark Domaracki, who is a three-year varsity team member.

"Marfurt and Smith played a lot," Osinski said. "Domaracki is an experienced player and Steve Doak played some key minutes, and Uwana Okure became a good defensive player for us."

Other returners included Taylor Walden, Andy Guilz, Jimmy Munsie, and Donald Depass. Depass missed all of last season with a knee injury.

"They all improved since last year," Osinski said. "And they got experience last year. I think we’ll do a little better in the wins and losses column. Last year, we got a good effort in every game."

Osinski said that where he’s seen some of that improvement is in the competitive practices.

"Everyone is doing a good job," the coach said. "Usually, after you choose your squad, there is a sigh of relief from the players. But everybody worked hard. Everyone is working for a spot in the rotation. This is a very good bunch of kids. They are very athletic."

The one spot that concerns Osinski is in the post.

"Our big kids are young kids," he said. "Coming up from j.v., they are still learning some things. But that is typical every year. But we have a lot of good players."

His players are smart players, said Osinski.

"I’m pleased with their knowledge of the game thus far," the coach said. "Right now, they read each other well and they work together a bit better. I like what I’ve seen so far."

The Dutchmen will get onto a court with another team this Saturday as they take on perennial Section II power Schenectady in a scrimmage. Guilderland will scrimmage Amsterdam on Monday to prepare for the season."

"Then we play," Osinski said. "And then we sit for 10 days. But it could be a good thing. We’ll have a scrimmage in between. We’ll be able to work on the things we need to."

The Dutchmen open the season the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, at home against LaSalle Institute of Troy. Guilderland then will play Albany High School at the SEFCU Center — formerly known as the Recreation and Convocation Center — on the campus of the University of Albany.

"They are two perennially good teams," Osinski said. "I don’t know what either has this year, but that should prepare us for the Suburban Council season. We’ll see the stuff that we need to work on to get ready for the league"But these kids are working hard, and that is all I can say right now."

Guilderland girls’ basketball

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland girls’ basketball team will have more experienced players this year as they head into another season with high expectations.

The Lady Dutch, one of the top teams in the Suburban Council every year, has seven returning players on their 12-player roster.

"I think what we’ll have that we didn’t have last year is we’re a lot deeper," said Guilderland Coach Frank Cacckello. "They go out in practice and challenge one another because the talent level is out there and that will help us in games."

Most of the returning players got significant playing time on the varsity last year.

"We have a lot of players that know what we like to do in games," Cacckello said. "And they relay that to the newcomers on the team. I like our balance. We have a good core of seniors and we have five new kids on the team. But they are talented kids. We have a nice mix of leadership and senior presence."

The leadership begins with the players who Cacckello calls the trilogy — tri-captains Kristin Pezze, Nikki Branchini, and Mary Kate O’Connell.

"It starts there," Cacckello said. "We have three of our five starters back and two kids that came off the bench. Danielle Burns was a sophomore. She had a great sophomore year. She was aggressive on defense. We’ll be able to use her at both ends of the floor.

"Mel Ostrowski is one of the smartest players," Cacckello added. "And Tricia Loux battled for rebounds. Meghan Carroll did some of the dirty work inside and grabbed some rebounds for us."

The newcomers to the varsity are Mackenzie Michele, Alicia Bowman, Casey Peebles, Jess Bender, and Jen Madsen.

"In your face"

Cacckello said that the team has brought in a new offensive philosophy. They will move the ball differently than in years past.

"We’ve always been a good defensive team," Cacckello said. "And we’ve held our own on offense. We want to play an in-your-face type of offense. We want to come at you. And our defense was the best blueprint for that. We used our defense to teach our offense"We’ll be able to score. We’ve always been able to defend and now we’ll be able to do more things with the basketball. It’s more fun to play that way."

A good cast of players will only be part of the success for the Lady Dutch.

"Talent will only get you through the door," Cacckello said. "It’s what you do in the gym. They have a great work ethic and that is a big difference. They have a lot that they want to achieve.

"They really work a lot on what we do in the gym," Cacckello added. "You combine that work ethic with our talent and I’m thinking we’ll be good. But every year is different; you start from scratch."

The Lady Dutch open the season in the first weekend of December. They will face rival Colonie in the first round of the Bethlehem Tip-off Tournament on Dec. 1. The next night, the Lady Dutch will play Averill Park in the same tournament.

It’s a tough opener, as they face two rivals from the Suburban Council.

"The Suburban is good every year," Cacckello said. "The league is a bit inexperienced. Most of the teams are talented but young. The experience will help us. But we can’t just sit back and think things will happen for us. We definitely have to live up to our potential. We have a good team. Our expectations are high, but they are always high.

"We’ve had the luxury of going to the sectional semifinals for the last few years," Cacckello added. "We want to get back there."

Berne-Knox-Westerlo girls’ basketball

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — C.J. Vincent can’t wait to begin her senior season on the Berne-Knox-Westerlo girls’ basketball team.

The three-year veteran of the squad has seen highs and lows but is looking to put a cap on an excellent career as a Lady Bulldog.

"I’m so excited, I really am," Vincent said. "Ever since I started playing, this is the hardest working players we’ve ever had. We lost two good players, but the ones we have are determined to win every game we step on the court to play. We have a great group of girls that work so hard and have a love of the game."

The Bulldogs will have 10 players this season.

"That is good and bad," said BKW Coach Tom Galvin. "Setting the rotation on game day is easier. But at practices, you get below 10 kids, it’s tough. A couple of kids chose not to come out. I rather have them tell me before the season then have them in it and quit. I like the 10 we have. They are athletic. They are working hard and having fun."

BKW will open the season the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, in the Cohoes Tournament against Troy.

"They have a new coach and they will be ready to go," Galvin said. "We’ll be the underdogs. But I like to play up and challenge tough teams. We’ll take some lumps along the way. But playing tough non-league teams will make us better for our league games. One of the reasons we almost beat Hoosic Valley in the sectionals was we play bigger schools."

Troy is a Class AA school, the largest in Section II. BKW plays at the CC level and last year at sectionals almost beat top seed Hoosic Valley in the quarterfinals.

Also in the Cohoes Tournament is the host school and Ichabod Crane.

"It’ll be great to play a sectional type of game," Galvin said.

"Anybody’s game"

The Bulldogs will work to continue their tradition of being near the top of the Southern Division of the Western Athletic Conference. There will be some tough competition if the Bulldogs want to return to the top after being knocked down a notch last year.

"Schoharie will be the team," Galvin said. "They get everybody back from the co-league champs. Schenectady Christian is good, they get their post player back. It can be anybody’s game, though Schoharie is the favorite and everybody else is battling for second place. We are capable of beating anybody in the division if we put it together."

The reason for Galvin’s optimism is that a lot of his players are more experienced.

"C.J. is a year smarter and Andrea [Van Dyke] is a year smarter," the coach said. "We have three of our five starters returning and they’ve been through the wars. The juniors are now seniors, the sophomores are now juniors, and our freshman is now a sophomore. They all worked hard in the off-season. They played AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] and went to summer team camps, and we have worked out in the open gym since September."

"If we step up and work at it," Vincent said, "we can be very good. The girls are working. I want to go out with a bang; and I can see it coming.

"On any given day, we can win any given game," Vincent added.

Returners include junior Lauren Ford; senior co-captain Brittany Krimsky; Vincent, the team’s other co-captain; Allyson Bates; Anna Kusler; Andrea Van Dyke; and Alysha Van Dyke. Vicky Lounsbury, Katrina Yakel, and Kristin Spinnato are the newcomers to the varsity.

"I think we’ll have an upgrade athletically," Vincent said. "We’ll be very strong athletically."

"I feel we are a year smarter," Galvin reiterated. "There are not a lot of rookies and the kids up from the junior varsity will help us. I always say we are capable of going 15-5. This team can do better than that. This team is very talented, but sometimes their heads get in the way."

Vincent seems ready to do anything to make sure her senior year will be an excellent one.

"We have a lot of potential," Vincent said. "Last year, the basketball gods killed us. This year, they want us to win, I feel that. Krim [Krimsky] and I are seniors and we want to go out with a bang. Every single game, we are going to go out and we’ll believe we’ll go out and win. We’ll leave it all out on the court."

State cross-country

By Tim Matteson

It was a tough day for local athletes at the New York State Meet hosted by Warwick Valley this past Saturday.

Brian Rhodes-Devey of Guilderland finished eighth in the Class AA boys’ race, falling short of challenging friendly rival Steve Murdock of Shenendehowa. The state meet was billed as a showdown between the two Section II superstars but Rhodes-Devey faltered at the end, running a 15:49.4. Murdock won the race.

Roland Graves, also of Guilderland, had a good day. After just edging his way to the state meet, Graves finished 12th in a time of 15:52.6.

The Voorheesville boys’ team finished seventh as a team, a week after winning the Section II Class C race. The Birds accumulated 178 points.

The top Blackbird runner was Macky Lloyd, who finished 32nd in 17:15.9. Conor Cashin finished 64th, Ryan Allison finished 70th, Nathan Bub was 85th, Tom Pasquali was 86th, Taylor Treadgold was 96th, and Ian Powell was 108th.

The lone female runner representing the local schools was Berne-Knox-Westerlo’s Ada Lauterbach.

Lauterbach finished 43rd in the Class C race. She ran a time of 20:37.3.

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