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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 21, 2006

Coach looking for more fight from Bulldogs

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — The question isn’t the size of the fight in the Bulldogs, but how long they put it up.

The Berne-Knox-Westerlo boys’ basketball team struggled early before clawing their way back to force overtime in Friday’s game against Schoharie. But the Bulldogs’ fight went away as they lost, 56-55.

"It’s a huge disappointment for our team," said BKW Coach Andy Wright after the game. "You love to have the opportunity to win the game. We were down nine at halftime, but we battled back in the third quarter.

"We get off to slow starts," Wright added after Friday’s game. "We were down by nine at halftime tonight and we were down by seven at halftime to Duanesburg. We are not playing our type of game in the first half. We are not dictating the tempo. I had to fire them up at halftime both nights."

BKW beat Duanesburg, 46-42, on Tuesday.

But against Schoharie, the Bulldogs didn’t have enough to pull out the victory after forcing the extra session.

Tense ending

Sophomore David Sikule made a three-point basket with 15 seconds left in regulation to knot the game at 49-49.

The Bulldogs had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter when Matt Lounsbury stole a pass and Wright called a timeout. But the Bulldogs couldn’t get a good shot off in the final seconds and the game went into overtime.

The teams traded foul shots to begin the extra frame. Schoharie got two from Jesse Bradt and BKW got one from Joe Conklin.

Schoharie took a three-point lead on a drive to the hoop by Wade Schaffer. Schaffer was fouled but did not convert the free throw.

BKW cut the lead back to one with 2:20 left in the overtime. Josh Skinner tossed in both ends of a one-and-one at the free-throw line.

But the Indians continued to stay ahead when Zakkary Martinez scored after grabbing a rebound off a missed shot by Bradt.

The Bulldogs got a foul shot from Lenny Coons to cut the lead to two and tied the game up soon after Lounsbury made a steal.

Lounsbury stole a pass and drove to the basket for a lay-up that tied the game 55-55. But it would be the last points the Bulldogs would score.

Schaffer scored the winning point for the Indians on a foul shot with 1:15 left in the game.

Neither team could score in the final minute and the Bulldogs couldn’t get that last shot to go down.

"The boys wanted to beat this team," Wright said. "We had two competitive games with them last year and we won one of them."

Bradt led all scorers with 22 points in the contest. Schaffer added 13 for the Indians.

BKW had four players reach double figures. Lounsbury and Coons each scored 12 points. Sikule and Skinner each added 10 points for the Bulldogs.

Coons was constantly hounded by Schoharie defenders for the entire game.

"They played Lenny Coons very well," Wright said. "He draws double teams in most games. They double-team him and he still scores in double figures."

Slow start

The Bulldogs got off to a slow start but weren’t blown away in the first quarter, trailing by just three points, 16-13. BKW struggled in the second quarter, getting outscored, 13-7, and trailed 29-20 at the intermission.

"We’re not going to achieve our potential if we are unable to play competitively in the first half," Wright said. "To win against skilled teams, they’ll hold that against you and beat you.

"I didn’t think we would have three losses this early," Wright added. "I thought we would have two at most. The third is a real blow."

The Bulldogs opened the season with a split in the Rensselaer Tournament. They lost to Hoosick Falls in the opening game but came back to beat Heatly in the consolation contest. BKW then lost to Canajoharie to begin the Western Athletic Conference season.

But the Bulldogs will have help on the way. On Monday, Mike Hopper, who transferred from Voorheesville, was cleared by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and will play on Friday. Hopper is 6 feet, 10 inches and will provide a big inside presence for the Bulldogs.

The Christmas break will not provide much of a rest for the Bulldogs. BKW is entered in the Tamarac Tournament this Friday and Saturday. The Bulldogs take on Watervliet in the first game.

The Bulldogs then travel to St. Johnsville to take on Herkimer in the two-day St. Johnsville Tournament on Dec. 27 and 28.

BKW returns to league play with a contest against Schenectady Christian on Jan. 3.

"We play four games over the Christmas break," Wright said. "Two of those opponents are the real deal. I believe Watervliet and Herkimer are both state-ranked."

But Wright feels those games will make his team stronger in what is going to be a tough WAC season.

"It’s going to be a competitive season in the league," Wright said. "The past few years, it’s just been two teams. This year, it’s going to be a battle. Teams will be fighting."

Lady Bulldogs chase Cougars, 64-39

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — The players on the Berne-Knox-Westerlo girls’ basketball team look like they have found their confidence. And at the right time.

The Lady Bulldogs bounced back from a loss to Schenectady Christian on Friday with a 64-39 win over Canajoharie on Monday night. The game was re-scheduled to Monday from two weeks ago.

"We played well," said BKW Coach Tom Galvin. "We had an emotional loss to Schenectady Christian. We responded against Canajoharie. They are a very good team. I was surprised we were up 39-11 at halftime."

The Bulldogs lost to Schenectady Christian by four points, 54-50, after trailing by a large margin at halftime.

But that didn’t happen on Monday. BKW got out to a fast start and never looked back. The Bulldogs led by 10 points, 15-5, at the end of the first quarter and led, 39-11, at halftime by using a pressure defense and good outside shooting against Canajoharie’s zone defense.

Senior C.J. Vincent and sophomore Andrea Van Dyke hit from the outside while Anna Kusler and Brittany Krimsky were solid in the inside despite being in early foul trouble. Lauren Ford also overcame foul trouble to have a good game for the Lady Bulldogs.

"C.J. and Andrea got out of their shooting slumps," Galvin said. "They played a zone defense and the best offense against that is to hit shots. We had nine three’s, and, any time you hit nine three’s, it makes my job pretty easy."

Galvin and Vincent spent Sunday night working on her shooting after practice.

"We shot, shot, and shot," Galvin said. "It was about 10 p.m. when we rolled out of there. And she hit five today."

Vincent finished the game with 17 points and eight assists to lead the Bulldogs who were ahead, 47-27, at the end of the third quarter.

Ford added 13 points and made seven steals for the Bulldogs. Van Dyke scored 10 points and Krimsky and Kusler each chipped in with eight points.

Galvin was able to get every player in the game. Alysha Van Dyke scored four points; Kristin Spinnato and Allyson Bates each had two.

"We are playing well," Galvin said. "We moved the ball well and played tough defense."

"Wheels come off"

Against Schenectady Christian on Friday, the Lady Bulldogs found themselves down 32-13 at halftime.

"We played as hard as we could; we just weren’t getting the right opportunities," Galvin said. "And then the wheels started coming off."

At halftime, Galvin gave his team a talk, but had conceded the win.

"I gave them the respect speech," the coach said. "I said the game will be in the papers and people are going to say that Berne-Knox-Westerlo got their butts kicked. We just started to chip away and we got it down to four with three minutes left. We just couldn’t get over the hump. We had foul trouble""

Van Dyke and Vincent fouled out late in the game, and that hurt the Bulldogs’ offense. But Galvin was pleased with the effort.

"It told a lot about the character of this group. We could’ve laid down, but we fought back and almost had an amazing win."

The Bulldogs are now 2-1 in the Western Athletic Conference and have an overall record of 2-3.

"We are winning the games we should," Galvin said. "But at Christmas we’re participating in a tough tourney. But that will make us even better."

The Bulldogs will be in the Greenwich Tournament on Friday and Saturday. BKW will take on Hudson Falls on Friday and then play either Salem or Greenwich on Saturday.

Galvin said that the tough competition against those larger schools will make his team better as it heads into the heart of its league schedule, starting after the holidays.

The Lady Bulldogs will face Schoharie on Jan. 3.

The Bulldogs, Galvin feels, might have found themselves as they head into the break.

"At this time of year, I’ll take this," Galvin said after Monday’s game. "This team is starting to realize how good they could be. This is one of the most talented bunch of players I’ve had. And they are starting to play like that."

Dutchmen upended in Niskayuna

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — After two big wins, the Guilderland boys’ basketball team was upset on Tuesday.

The Dutchmen earned impressive wins over Colonie on Dec. 12 and over Columbia on Friday, but were beaten by Niskayuna, 56-42, on Tuesday.

The Silver Warriors only had one league win heading into the game and got defensive on their home court, holding the Dutchmen to 11 first-half points — four in the second quarter.

Niskayuna led, 32-11, at halftime and cruised from there.

Alex Olbrych led the Silver Warriors with 16 points. Will Burkey added 13 and Garrett Bush scored 12.

Guilderland was led by Brett Marfurt’s 13 points. Jimmy Munsie added nine points and Mark Domaracki scored eight.

On Friday, the Dutchmen found themselves trailing early against Columbia, but this time they were able to come back.

Guilderland trailed, 16-9, at the end of the first quarter and 28-14 at halftime. The Dutch came back by outscoring the Blue Devils, 23-14, in the third frame, but still trailed, 42-37.

Columbia went cold in the fourth quarter, scoring just three points and Guilderland took advantage, scoring 10 points and taking the win.

Marfurt led the Dutchmen with 23 points. Domaracki scored 15 points for Guilderland.

Travis Jones scored 27 points for Columbia, including seven three-pointers.

Guilderland will have a break for Christmas before the Dutchmen hit the road again. The Dutchmen will take part in the Columbia Holiday Tournament. Guilderland will play Christian Brothers Academy on Wednesday and then play the next night. They return home on Jan. 5, but have a tough game against Saratoga, which is unbeaten in the Suburban Council.

Lady Dutch dominate Warriors

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland girls’ basketball team split its two games this past week.

The Lady Dutch got back on the winning side with a 49-18 victory over Niskayuna at home on Tuesday. The Dutch had lost to Columbia, 49-40, on Friday.

Guilderland got 19 points from Kristin Pezze to win Tuesday’s game easily. Danielle Burns scored seven points and Alicia Bowman added six for the Lady Dutch, who saw 11 of 12 players score in the contest.

Guilderland was also strong on defense as it shut out the Silver Warriors in the first quarter, and held a 10-0 lead after the opening stanza. The Lady Dutch did not allow Niskayuna to reach double digits in points in any of the four quarters.

The Lady Dutch had a 31-8 lead at halftime and 42-12 at the end of the third quarter.

On Friday, the Lady Dutch were victimized by Columbia’s Amber Batzold and Kaleigh Lussier. Batzold scored 18 points and Lussier added 15 points to give the Blue Devils the win.

Guilderland got off to a strong start, leading 15-6 at the end of the first quarter and led by a 26-21 score at halftime.

Columbia used defense to come back in the third quarter. They held the Lady Dutch to four points and scored 14 themselves to take the lead, 37-30, heading into the fourth quarter.

Nikki Branchini led Guilderland with 12 points. Pezze was held to just four points.

The Lady Dutch are now 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the Suburban Council. They will get a little break for Christmas and then host their holiday tournament next week. Guilderland will play Bishop Maginn at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 27, and then host Horseheads of Section IV on Thursday. The Thursday game will be played at 3 p.m.

Young Dutchmen look to grow on skates

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The young players on the Guilderland hockey team are going through growing pains in the early part of the season.

The Skating Dutchmen have just six seniors on their 20-player roster and are working on gaining experience. That was evident as they played well against an unbeaten Mamaroneck team of Westchester County only to self destruct in the final half of the contest.

Mamaroneck won the game, 7-2, coming back from a 2-1 second period deficit.

"The kids were falling apart," said Guilderland Coach John DeRubertis after Saturday’s game. "That’s what I’m addressing today. We were winning, 2-1, and then we took a slew of penalties. And that team’s strong suit is scoring on the extra man. They have skilled forwards. We were down two men and they did not have any success, but then they score to make it 5-2 and that finished us."

The Dutchmen trailed, 4-2, at the end the second period, and were down two skaters as three Guilderland players started the period in the penalty box. But they killed off one of those penalties when Mamaroneck scored to take a three-goal lead.

Brian Conner got the tally for the Tigers after getting his stick on a loose puck in front of the goal.

B.J. Michaeli and Tom Spader tacked on goals for the Tigers to turn the game into a rout.

"We’ve got a lot of growing up to do as far as mentally and athletically," DeRubertis said. "We just fall apart. The kids get frustrated and they start slamming their sticks and arguing with the refs."

DeRubertis addressed those concerns to the team in the dressing room at the end of the game more than the game itself. The loss came after the Dutchmen had won their last two games after starting the season 0-4.

Dutch strong at start

The Dutch more than held their own against a team loaded with snipers, especially in the first two periods.

Guilderland played a very good first period, killing off a couple of penalties and playing tough against a physical opponent.

Mamaroneck did get on the scoreboard with 6:16 left in the opening stanza.

Brett Jackson scored with an assist from Nick Hardy. Hardy put the puck on goal and Guilderland could not clear out. Jackson got his stick on the puck and tipped it past Guilderland goalie Brendan Glennon to take a 1-0 lead.

The Skating Dutchmen came back later in the period to tie the game.

Greg Warnken, a freshman, scored on a power play. He got a pass in front of the goal from Dan Dickenson and put the puck into the net for the goal.

The first period ended in the 1-1 draw with Mamaroneck holding a slight edge in shots on goal, 10-8.

The second period looked even more promising for the Dutchmen.

Dickenson scored his first varsity goal just 45 seconds into the middle period. Dickenson got a pass from John Potts on a two-on-one breakaway.

Potts got the puck at about center ice and skated fast with Dickenson on his left. Potts passed the puck and Dickenson rifled a shot into the upper corner for the tally to give the Dutchmen a 2-1 lead.

Profuse penalties

But then the Dutch found themselves in trouble. Seven times the Dutch were called for penalties in the period and Mamaroneck was able to take advantage of two of them.

The first came with 7:01 left in the frame on Jackson’s second goal of the contest. Jackson got a cross-crease pass from Hardy and poked the puck into the net to even the game, 2-2.

The Tigers took the lead with 5:29 left in the second period.

Scott Krenkel scored a power-play goal with an assist from Michaeli and Andy Satalich.

Hardy gave the Tigers the lead for good with 2:10 left in the second stanza.

Each team had a skater in the penalty box when Hardy put home the puck with an assist from Jackson.

Glennon finished the game with 18 saves for Guilderland. He was replaced in the third period by John Laviano, who finished the contest with five saves and gave up one goal.

Luke Glasser made 20 saves in net to get the win for Mamaroneck.

The Dutch were outshot, 30-22, in the contest.

"We won our last two games with strong efforts," DeRubertis said. "When we have success, we get strong play from all three lines. I’m rolling three lines, except when we have guys out on the power play. This is a three-line team and all three are working hard. The third-line forwards are my penalty killers and are getting extra shifts that way. We are working hard in our wins. But we’re young and we’re trying to find the net. Scoring has been an issue."

Win in OT

Guilderland did score four goals in the first game of the tournament. They needed overtime to do it, but they beat Lake Placid when Potts scored the game-winner in the extra session.

Nick Koss and Ben Fogel scored for the Dutchmen in that contest.

That win followed a 3-1 decision over Capital District High School Hockey League rival Saratoga.

"That win was tremendous for us," DeRubertis said. "We came home for our first league game. Saratoga is one of the stronger teams over the years. They are always competitive. It was a 3-1 win in that game but anyone who saw it thought it should have been 6-1.

"We’ve had problems scoring and Lake Placid was the same," DeRubertis added. "Instead of being up 3-0 after the first period, we were up just 2-1. We were playing the same way we were against Saratoga. We had great opportunities."

Though DeRubertis thought his team shouldn’t have had to play in overtime, he thinks it might help his team in the long run.

"It was great to win it in overtime," he said. "It’ll be great for our confidence down the road. The games should be competitive. Any team in the section can win it. What I’m wondering is how competitive we are when we have a two-goal deficit. Any one of those games can have that result. It’s a situation we’ll probably be in and I want to see how we handle it."

The Dutchmen will hit the road for another tournament. They will play in the Clinton Tournament in Central New York on Friday and Saturday, facing some top-notch competition.

"It’ll be very difficult," DeRubertis said. "We’ll see Clinton, Rochester McQuaid, and Aquinas, which is a perennial state champion.

"But over the years, with our non-league schedule," DeRubertis said, "we’ve built it as competitive as anybody’s in the state. I’ll put our non-league schedule up against anybody."

Comeback stolen from Lady Blackbirds

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — With the crowd roaring and excitement filling the gymnasium at Voorheesville, the Lady Blackbirds clawed their way back into Tuesday’s game against Schalmont. But it took just two plays for the gym to go quiet and the momentum to end.

The Lady Blackbirds were trailing by two points when back-to-back turnovers led to easy lay-ups and a win for Schalmont. The final score was 48-38.

"We had two turnovers when we cut it to a two-point lead," said Voorheesville Coach John McClement. "That killed us. I went with a smaller line-up. A quicker line-up got us there but those turnovers gave them easy opportunities to score."

The Birds had trailed, 38-29, at the end of the third quarter when they started to go on a run.

Courtney Bourque scored on an inside basket with 6:18 to go in the contest to cut the lead to seven points.

She scored again inside with five minutes left to cut the lead to five and get the crowd back into the game.

Senior Jenna Massaroni made a strong move to the basket, getting the bucket despite being fouled. She converted the free throw chance and the score was 38-36 with just over four minutes left in the contest.

Schalmont committed a turnover on its next possession and Sabres coach, Joe Lochner, called a time-out. His team responded with the biggest plays of the game.

Voorheesville had the ball at the top of the key when a pass was stolen by Kelly Woodrow, who coasted to the hoop for an easy lay-up.

Woodrow made a steal in the exact same spot on the next Voorheesville possession and again had an easy lay-up to give the Sabres a six-point lead with 3:19 left in the game.

The Blackbirds couldn’t get another basket until 15 seconds were left in the game and they were forced to foul.

"We spot them an 11-point lead," McClement said. "We beat them in the third quarter by two, then we came back. We had our chances. You could feel the momentum all of a sudden change. But it was an outstanding effort. We did all the right things up to three minutes to go. I guess that made up for all our mistakes."

"Some breakdowns"

The Blackbirds played well in the first quarter against the Sabres, trailing by just one basket, 12-10, after the opening stanza.

Schalmont dominated in the second quarter, outscoring the Blackbirds, 17-7, and taking a 28-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Voorheesville then out-scored Schalmont, 12-10, in the third quarter to cut the lead under double digits.

But it wasn’t enough.

"We didn’t finish what we needed to do," McClement said. "We had some breakdowns against their zone defense."

Woodrow led all scorers with 19 points. Brittany McDonald added 16 points for Schalmont and Joelle Litz scored 11. Only one other Sabre scored in the game. Carolyn Barber scored two points.

Voorheesville got balanced scoring as seven Lady Blackbirds got points in the game. But none reached double digits.

Massaroni and Casey Becerra each scored seven points. Prendergast scored six points as did Katie Bollentin. Bourque and Brittany Vogel each had five points for Voorheesville. Kelly Larsen had two points for the Birds.

"I’m working a lot with the kids," McClement said. "I want to keep them fresh. I’m trying to keep them fresh because we’re trying to really get after it. Conditioning has not let us down. We’re making game mistakes. Turnovers are costing us. We need to cut down on our turnovers. We cut down on them in this game; it was just the timing of the last two.

"We’re going to make mistakes," McClement added. "We played hard to get back into the game. At that point, we needed to take care of the ball."

"Getting better"

The Blackbirds are a young team that is gaining experience in each game. The Birds are trying to bounce back from a two-win season last winter.

Voorheesville is 2-5 this season and 2-3 in the Colonial Council. The Blackbirds beat Ravena and Lansingburgh in league games this season.

"Absolutely, we’re getting better," McClement said. "I feel like any night, we’re capable of playing our best. We haven’t put it together and have a complete game.

"We’ve had our moments," McClement said. "We are capable of doing a great job. The kids are looking for their identity as a team."

The Birds will continue looking for that identity on Friday at Cohoes. The Birds will then have a break for the holidays before returning to Colonial Council action against Watervliet on Jan. 5.

"We were doing the things we need to do to be successful," McClement said. "We’re just not doing enough of them."

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