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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 14, 2006

Blackbirds taking flight

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville girls’ basketball team had a tough week while the boys’ week ended on an uplifting note.

The Lady Blackbirds played four games in five days — winning just one — in its toughest stretch of the season. Voorheesville beat Lansingburgh on Friday, but lost both games in Albany high’s Lady Falcon Holiday Tournament. The Blackbirds lost to the host school on Saturday and then Holy Names Academy on Sunday.

The Blackbirds then lost a Colonial Council game against Mechanicville, 56-36, on Tuesday.

In Tuesday’s game, the Blackbirds led after the first quarter, 14-13, but couldn’t keep up with the Raiders. Mechanicville dominated the next three quarters to pull away with the win.

Jenna Massaroni led Voorheesville with eight points.

In Friday’s 54-43 win over Lansingburgh, the Blackbirds were led by Casey Beccera’s 18 points. Courtney Bourque scored 15 points and Brittany Vogel added seven.

The Birds trailed after the first quarter, but dominated the final three frames to earn the win.

The Lady Blackbirds are 1-4 overall and 1-2 in the Colonial Council.

The Voorheesville boys’ team picked up an exciting win on Tuesday, beating Mechanicville at home at the final buzzer. Justin Arico made a three-point shot to give the Birds the win, 50-47.

Arico led the Blackbirds with 23 points. Macky Lloyd added 14 points.

In Friday’s 50-48 win over Lansingburgh, the Blackbirds overcame a fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the Knights to escape with the win.

Arico led the Birds again, with 18 points. Evan Christner scored 16 to help the Blackbirds’ cause.

The Birds are now 2-1 in the Colonial Council and 2-3 overall.

The Voorheesville teams play Ravena on Friday — the boys away and the girls at home — and then Schalmont on Tuesday. The boys will be on the road and the girls will host the Sabres.

Warriors conquer Dutch

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Mohonasen boys’ basketball team threw a little confusion into Friday’s game with Guilderland and came out with a win.

The Guilderland offense struggled though it had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Mohonasen prevailed, 45-44.

"We didn’t rebound well and we didn’t recognize their defense well," said Guilderland Coach Ron Osinski. "It was a combination of that and we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well. They did a good job on offense and on the offensive boards. But we had just as many offensive rebounds as them. They just scored on their’s and we didn’t on ours."

Despite the offensive struggles, the Dutchmen had a shot to beat Mohonasen, which is coached by former Guilderland assistant coach, Ken Dagostino. The Dutch stayed within four points of the Warriors for most of the game and trailed by one, 34-33, at the end of the third quarter.

The teams traded baskets throughout the entire fourth period before the Dutchmen had a couple of chances.

With the score 45-44 in the final seconds, the Dutchmen were able to rebound a missed free throw and move the ball up the court.

Steven Doak got the ball at the top of the key, worked the clock down, and fired a jump shot with about six seconds left. The ball clanked off the rim but fell to the hands of teammate Brett Marfurt who had a close-range shot and put it up with just a second left. Marfurt’s shot bounced off the rim, after appearing it was heading in, and fell away as the Mohonasen players jumped in celebration.

"We did everything right in the last 40 to 50 seconds," Osinski said. "We fouled them and they missed their free throws. It was there for us to win. But it was mistakes that we made earlier that got us to that point. We made a lot of errors."

Mohonasen made only one of four attempts from the foul line in the final 1:09 to keep Guilderland in the contest. But Guilderland only got one foul shot from Mark Domaracki in the end and couldn’t catch the Warriors.

Domaracki dominates

Domaracki was the big gun for the Dutchmen on Friday, scoring 28 points. He scored nine of those points — including two three-pointers — in the fourth quarter to keep the Dutch in the game.

Mohonasen was able to shut down Marfurt, Guilderland’s leading scorer heading into the game. The Warriors held the Dutchmen junior to just six points. Doak and Taylor Walden each scored three points. But Guilderland didn’t have another player who scored more than that in the contest. Uwana Okure and Dan Gejay made the scoring column with two points apiece.

"When we were winning, we were playing well," Osinski said. "Everybody was scoring well and we got some points off the bench. And we need to get back to that. We can’t have one guy scoring 20-some points. We are capable of doing that."

The Warriors were led by Cameron Couball’s 15 points. Jordan Macejka added 12 for Mohonasen as the Dutch did a good job on defense against 6 foot, 6 inch center Pat Barnes. Barnes tallied eight points for the Warriors.

The Dutch will need to clean up the mistakes that plagued them on Friday night.

"We need to sharpen up our errors," Osinski said. "We are not executing and we are out of position on out-of-bounds plays. We need to fix our turnovers and all the other things that happen over the course of a game."

The Dutch led after the first quarter 9-8, but trailed at halftime by three points, 24-21.

The return of injured junior Drew Smith will help the team. He is out for another month with a bone break in his hand.

"He does a lot of things for us," Osinski said.

Despite the loss, Osinski is pleased with the team’s effort late in the contest.

"The last two games we’ve played well late," the coach said. "Against Ballston Spa, we hung on to win and this one we did a good job of coming back. It was a winnable game. Hopefully, that pays dividends for us."

Guilderland did bounce back with a win on Tuesday over Suburban Council rival Colonie. The Dutchmen used 16 points from Domaracki and 11 from Jimmy Munsie to cruise to a 46-31 win.

The Dutch did not allow a Colonie player to reach double figures in scoring.

The Dutchmen will turn into road warriors for the next couple of weeks. They will play at Columbia on Friday and at Niskayuna on Tuesday before getting a break for Christmas. Guilderland then returns to the court at Columbia for the Columbia Holiday Tournament. The Dutch play against Christian Brothers Academy on Dec. 27 and then at Columbia the next night. The Dutch return home to face Saratoga on Jan. 5.

Colonie’s defense terrifies Dutch

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — If it weren’t for the second quarter, the Guilderland girls’ basketball team would have been in contention for a win on Tuesday night.

Instead, Colonie turned the quarter into a fright fest and transformed Guilderland’s home court into a house of horrors as the Garnet Raiders used that frame to propel themselves to a 49-26 win.

"Our execution wasn’t there," said Guilderland Coach Frank Cacckello. "We knew what we had to do. But, like my assistant coach Jim Mazzone said, they played like champions. They being Colonie."

The score was 9-7 in favor of Colonie at the end of the first quarter. When the horn sounded to end the second period, Colonie led 22-7.

The Garnet Raiders outscored the Lady Dutch, 13-0, in the frame and set the tone for the rest of the game.

"We couldn’t knock their defense," Cacckello said. "They came at us in every aspect of the game. We tried to make adjustments. But they were in our guards’ faces every possession and it seemed that the shot clock was going under 10 seconds every possession."

It was a killer pressure defense that haunted the Dutch in the second quarter. Colonie forced Guilderland to commit eight turnovers in the stanza.

The second half was more even between the teams, though Colonie called off the dogged defense. Still Colonie outscored the Lady Dutch, 16-7, in the third frame — led by Logan Pintka’s 11 points — to answer any questions about the outcome.

"Biggest positive"

Guilderland did outscore the Garnet Raiders, 12-9, in the fourth quarter, using mostly players off the bench.

"The biggest positive was how hard the kids played in the final three minutes," Cacckello said. "I put in kids that haven’t seen a lot of time and they played well. They might be playing a lot more."

Cacckello was pleased with how one of those players did down the stretch.

"Jen Madsen, in the second half, played well," Cacckello said. "She is a tough kid and got some rebounds and blocks. She did things that we were supposed to."

Pintka led all scorers with 14 points. Ola Shajuyigbe added nine points for the Garnet Raiders and Stephanie Sweeney chipped in with seven.

The Lady Dutch were led by Kristin Pezze’s seven points. Madsen scored six points, but Guilderland’s next top scorer was Mary Kate O’Connell with four points.

With the score close after the first quarter, it was shocking to Cacckello how the second period unfolded.

"After they made a run earlier," the coach said, "we were able to cut into the lead. I thought, now we’re into it. They usually take control in the first quarter. But we had too many turnovers."

The Lady Dutch came into the game with a unbeaten league record, though they lost to Colonie in the Bethlehem Tournament to open the season. Colonie is considered one of the best teams in the Suburban Council.

"We were 2-0 in the league," Cacckello said. "We understood, that we had to play our best game to beat these guys."

The loss dropped the Lady Dutch’s record to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the Suburban Council. The Dutch will have to make a turnaround if they don’t want to fall into an abyss.

Guilderland will play Friday at home against Columbia, and then host Niskayuna on Tuesday. The Dutch then will host their Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27 and 28. The Lady Dutch will take on Bishop Maginn on Wednesday and then take on Horseheads of Section IV (Binghamton area) on Thursday.

"We’ll find out Friday what kind of team we are," Cacckello said. "I hope they remember tonight and Wednesday in the gym we’ll get tough and get ready for Friday. We’ll find out a lot about this team on Friday."

BKW teams beat Duanesburg

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — Tuesday proved to be a good night for the basketball teams at Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School.

The BKW girls’ and boys’ teams beat Western Athletic Conference rival Duanesburg in a pair of games, overcoming some odds to do it.

The boys’ team bounced back from a loss to Canajoharie on Friday to beat the Eagles, 46-42, on Tuesday. The Lady Bulldogs have to shake off some rust, having not played since Thanksgiving weekend. Their game against Canajoharie on Friday was postponed due to illness on the Cougars’ team.

The Lady Bulldogs beat Duanesburg on Tuesday, 50-31.

The Lady Bulldogs took a commanding lead in the first quarter and held a 12-5 advantage at the end of the first frame. They outscored the Eagles in every quarter the rest of the way to cruise to the win.

The Bulldogs were led by Brittany Krimsky’s 21 points. Anna Kusler added 10 points and Andrea Van Dyke chipped in with nine.

Nha Wright led Duanesburg with 11 points.

BKW is now 1-2 overall and 1-0 in the WAC.

The BKW boys’ team had a much closer game against Duanesburg. But the Bulldogs outscored the Eagles, 12-8, in the final quarter to win their home opener.

BKW trailed, 12-10, at the end of the first quarter and 28-21 at halftime. But the Bulldogs came back in the third quarter, outscoring the Eagles 13-6, to tie the game, 31-31, going into the final stanza.

Lenny Coons led the Bulldogs with 15 points. Matt Lounsbury added eight points and Josh Skinner chipped in with seven points.

The Bulldogs are now 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the WAC.

Next up for the BKW basketball teams are match-ups with Schoharie and Schenectady Christian. The boys’ team hosts Schoharie on Friday while the girls travel to take on Schenectady Christian on the same night. The boys’ team then will be at the Tamarac Tournament next Friday and Saturday, while the Lady Bulldogs will be in the Greenwich Tournament on the same dates.

Bulldogs making strides on the mat

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — Wrestling mats might just be the new house for the Bulldogs.

The Berne-Knox-Westlerlo wrestling team — in its second year as a varsity squad — is starting to feel comfortable on the mat and might be heading into its most successful season.

BKW showed its new found mat muscle by winning its own tournament to start the season.

"We had success in every way," said BKW Coach Jeff Vogel. "The parents came out and participated. They ran the kitchen and at the doors, and helped sell T-shirts. And, on the mat, everybody scored points. We had four first places and six second places to win the tournament. It was a great day all-around"A great day for the program."

The Bulldogs got wins from Seth Pitcher in the 125-pound weight class, Najee Stewart, at 140 pounds; Josh Glick, at 145 pounds; and Keith Domermuth, at 275 pounds.

"Stewart won four matches on the day," Vogel said. "He is very dominating on his feet; he did a great job.

"Josh Glick won his five matches in less than five minutes," Vogel said. "He was dominating on the day."

Those four wrestlers had early success, but Vogel sees good things for every wrestler in the line-up.

"I expect good things from everybody," Vogel said. "We lost to Canajoharie by 60 points last year in our first match as a varsity team. This year, we lost to them by one bout. We lost by 11 points, but we lost to a team that we lost to by 60 points last year and graduated very few seniors. We picked up 50 points."

The Bulldogs also lost a close match to Broadalbin-Perth in their first competition after the BKW Tournament.

"They beat Fonda by 30 points," Vogel said. "We lost to Fonda last year by 30 points and we lost to Broadalbin by three and we didn’t wrestle our super heavyweight because it was a non-league match and they didn’t have one. If Keith wrestles, we probably win the match.

"Big things from everyone"

"I expect big things from everyone," Vogel added. "We have a saying. ‘We’re not doing this to sell popcorn.’"

And the Bulldogs will have every position filled, a rarity for a new, small-school team.

Freshman Grady Picinich will fill the 96-pound slot for the Bulldogs this season. David Tiernan, a junior, will wrestle in the 119-pound division and Tommy Bushnell, also a junior, fills the 130-pound weight class.

"We are expecting a lot out of him," Vogel said of Bushnell. "Schoharie had a kid move in from California, and he was a state champion. Tommy was in his weight class at our tournament and he held his own. Tommy will be a player come February."

Kacey Dean, a sophomore, will be in the 125-pound weight class.

"She fits in the line-up well," Vogel said.

Michael Belott, a junior, is in his first year on the team and will be wrestling in the 135-pound class. Stewart is at 140 pounds and Glick is at 145 pounds.

Matt Hoffman is also at 145 pounds and is improving tremendously in his first year, Vogel said.

Nolan Diamond, a ninth-grader, is in the 152-pound slot and sophomore Greg Hannay is at 160 pounds.

"He is vastly improved," Vogel said. "We finished second [at the BKW Tournament]. He is doing some good things on the mat."

Aaron Romey, a sophomore, is at 171 pounds and Steven Gerard is wrestling at 189. Gerard is the only senior on the team.

Dominick Penk wrestles at 215 pounds.

"He finished second," Vogel said of the junior’s performance at the BKW Tournament. "But he can beat anybody he sees on the schedule. He is a very athletic heavyweight."

Domermuth will wrestle at the 275-pound super-heavyweight class this winter. He wrestles in the TNT Club during the off-season and that aided him in finishing fourth in the section in Division II last year. He will be one of the front runners for the small-school super heavyweight title this year.

Pastor’s help

"We’ve picked up points on teams that are way ahead of us," Vogel said. "Looking around, we have 22 wrestlers on the modified. I’m pleased with the numbers. Most are from our pee-wee program. In another year, we’ll have a team that has underclassmen just as experienced as the seniors on it. The pee-wee program went from 25 to 60 wrestlers and I expect more growth this year."

The program gets help from Pastor James Malloly. He is a pastor of a church in South Berne and also runs a club wrestling program a couple nights a week during the summer.

"He has a lot of boys in the club," Vogel said. "He has greatly accelerated the program for us."

Helping out Vogel at the varsity level and coaching the modified is David Funk. He has been with the program for the past couple of years and coached at Norwich High School, near Binghamton, for 30 years.

"He brings a lot more things to the table," Vogel said. "Having him is a huge asset."

The Bulldogs wrestled at Catskill on Tuesday. BKW then will send a junior varsity squad to the Niskayuna tournament on Saturday while the varsity will wrestle at Burnt Hills on the same day. BKW then will travel to Duanesburg on Dec. 21 before taking a break for Christmas.

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