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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 4, 2007

Bulldogs split another holiday tournament

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — The Berne-Knox-Westerlo boys’ basketball team put together another solid performance in a holiday tournament.

After splitting two games at the Tamarac Tournament, the Bulldogs split two games in the St. Johnsville Tournament last Wednesday and Thursday.

The Bulldogs beat Herkimer on Wednesday in the first round of the tournament but lost to St. Jonhnsville in the final the next night.

BKW used strong second and third quarters to beat Herkimer, 65-60. The Bulldogs outscored Herkimer, 18-14, in the second stanza to tie the game, 30-30, at halftime.

The Bulldogs pulled away in the third quarter, winning the stanza by a 17-11 tally to take a six-point lead into the final frame, 47-41.

Rich Geist led the Bulldogs with 19 points. Matt Lounsbury added 13 and Josh Skinner scored 12 points. David Sikule chipped in with nine points and Lenny Coons added eight for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs couldn’t keep up with the host school last Thursday and fell in the championship game, 57-45.

BKW trailed after the first quarter, 17-14, and then was outscored, 16-10, in the second stanza to fall behind, 33-24, at halftime.

Skinner led the Bulldogs with 13 points. Coons scored eight points for BKW and Sikule and Geist each scored seven points.

The Bulldogs returned to Western Athletic Conference action on Wednesday against league rival Schenectady Christian.

The Bulldogs then host Sharon Springs on Friday and Middleburgh on Tuesday.

The BKW girls’ basketball team had the week off after splitting in two games in the Greenwich tournament just after Christmas. They began the new year with a big contest against Schoharie on Wednesday. The Lady Bulldogs then play at Sharon Springs on Friday and host Middleburgh next Wednesday.

Dutchmen have tough holidays on the road

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — It was a tough holiday season for the Guilderland boys’ basketball team.

After coming off two impressive road wins against Suburban Council foes, the Dutchmen suffered losses going into the holiday break and then split two games during the vacation.

Guilderland lost to Niskayuna on Dec. 19 and then lost to Christian Brothers Academy, 70-39, in the opening round of the Columbia Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27. The Dutchmen bounced back with a 63-51 win over Queensbury in the consolation game the next night.

"We are in a bit of a funk," said Guilderland Coach Ron Osinski. "We lost some confidence with the kids. And I don’t think playing CBA was a way to build confidence. Hopefully, we got back on track and we can build on the game against Queensbury. Hopefully, we can move forward and keep getting better."

"We lost our fight"

Guilderland played well early against CBA, considered the best Class AA team in Section II, before the Brothers pulled away.

"In the first quarter and two or three minutes in the second quarter we competed," Osinski said. "We did well against CBA. I don’t know if they wore us down or what. We lost our fight and that was disappointing. We were not competitive in the latter stages of the game."

Guilderland trailed by just four points, 14-10, at the end of the first quarter, but were outscored in the next three frames — 17-8 in the second, 21-12 in the third, and 18-9 in the fourth.

Brett Marfurt led the Dutchmen with 23 points.

Bouncing back

Guilderland bounced back the next night against Queensbury.

"Consolation games are tough," Osinski said. "It was an important game after losing two in a row. Against CBA, they beat us to loose balls and contested shots. They ran and executed better. CBA took us out of our defensive and offensive schemes. They are a really good team. I don’t know if any other team in the area can compete with them. They’ve got a lot of size and some kids who can shoot the ball. They are tough inside and outside.

"Against Queensbury, we did a better job," Osinski added. "We made some mistakes. We could’ve had a sizeable lead at the end of the first half, but we got careless with the ball in the second quarter, instead of building on the lead. We had a 20-point lead, but they cut it to 11 because of careless ball handling."

The Dutch led, 15-9, at the end of the first quarter and 31-24 at halftime. Guilderland built the big lead in the third quarter but couldn’t totally shake the spunky Spartans.

Marfurt led the Dutchmen with 26 points and Mark Domaracki scored 17 points.

"Brett played well in both games I thought," Osinski said. "He didn’t score in the first quarter [Thursday] night. He’s been consistent throughout the season. Mark came on and scored a lot early last night.

"Uwane Okure played a good floor game," Osinski added. "We defended very well and he brought the ball up the court well. Taylor Walden hustled and was scrappy inside and did a lot of things. He didn’t score a lot of points, but he does some good things."

Osinski saw more effort from his players in the second game of the tournament.

"I thought we hustled more," the coach said. "We got on the floor and that led us to get quick baskets. We went down and got the ball."

"Too far to come back"

However, nothing went right for the Dutchmen against Niskayuna on Dec. 19.

"The first half was very similar to the Columbia game," Osinski said. "We didn’t shoot the ball well and it had an effect on us. We were down, 32-11, at halftime. From their standpoint, they shot the ball real well and played much better than I’ve seen them play. We didn’t execute well and we got down 21 points and it was too far to come back."

The Dutch ended up losing by a score of 56-42.

Guilderland gets to play a home game on Friday — something it hasn’t done in a long time.

"We haven’t been home in a month," Osinski said. "December 5th was our last home game. It’ll be good to be back in familiar surroundings."

The Dutch will have a tough challenge awaiting them on their return to the GHS gym. They will have to play a tough Saratoga team that is unbeaten in league play and features two all-league caliber players in Jordan Stevens and Garrett Bishop.

After Friday’s contest, the Dutchmen will host Bethlehem on Tuesday and Averill Park on Jan. 12.

Tournament a Lady Dutch treat

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — Guilderland girls’ basketball coach Frank Cacckello and his team reached an epiphany after suffering their second big defeat.

After a loss to Columbia on Dec. 15, Cacckello and his team had a talk. They talked about what had happened in the past two games — the Lady Dutch suffered a hugely disappointing loss to Colonie on Dec. 12 — and where to go from there.

"I told them that it was partly my fault," Cacckello said. "I told them it wasn’t fair to compare them to other teams we’ve had here. Especially some of the successful teams that we’ve had. They each made an individual sacrifice.

"I learned something," Cacckello said. "As a coach, you have to care for them and they’ll care for you and they’ll do anything for you. You have to show them that you care. I see change, and we’ll carry this on absolutely."

The Lady Dutch have won three games since that heart-to-heart talk, including winning their own tournament last week.

Guilderland beat Bishop Maginn, 53-23, on Wednesday and beat Horseheads of Section IV, 43-34, on Thursday.

"We’ve come a long way," Cacckello said after Thursday’s game. "We’re playing really outstanding the last couple of weeks. We spoke a couple of weeks ago about making the team better. They played for one another. In my six years of coaching, I’ve never come across a team like this. I’ve coached some great teams, but I’ve never had one that played for each other like this one has the past two weeks. And that showed tonight."

Commanding lead

Guilderland used a tenacious defense in the first half against Horseheads to build a commanding lead.

The Lady Dutch scored the first 11 points of the game and did not allow Horseheads to score until 1:29 remained in the first quarter.

Nikki Branchini made a three-point basket to get the Dutch rolling. Mary Kate O’Connell scored on a hook shot and made two free throws to give Guilderland a 7-0 lead.

Kristin Pezze made a jump shot and O’Connell added one of her own to give the Dutch the big lead.

Horseheads got on the scoreboard on an inside basket by Missy Loughlin. Loughlin was fouled on the play and made the foul shot to make the score 11-3.

Horseheads started to come back but baskets by Alicia Bowman — off a rebound — and O’Connell gave the Lady Dutch a 15-8 lead at the end of the first stanza.

Guilderland tightened up the defense in the second quarter, giving up just one point in the frame. The Dutch only scored four points in the frame, to hold a 10-point advantage, 19-9, at halftime.

"Enjoyable game"

Horseheads, which is ranked 13th in the state, put together a run in the third quarter and chipped at the Guilderland lead.

The Raiders went on a 7-2 run to cut the lead to five points. A three-pointer by Amanda Rothstein made the score 21-16 with 5:19 left in the third frame.

Pezze’s jump shot scored the only points in the run for the Dutch.

Guilderland built the lead back to nine points on a jump shot by Tricia Loux and two foul shots by O’Connell.

Horseheads kept battling, with back-to-back baskets to cut the lead back down to five. But Guilderland took a six-point lead at the end of the third quarter after Bowman made a foul shot.

The teams traded baskets for most of the fourth quarter but Horseheads could not cut into the Dutch lead. Guilderland was able to pull away late in the quarter by making four consecutive foul shots.

"We held them to nine points in the first half," Cacckello said. "But we knew that we would have to handle their press. They are a team that goes up and down the court. And, in the second day of a tournament, we were lucky to face a team that relies on the fast break. It took a toll on their legs. But they are a great team. They’re ranked 13th in the state."

O’Connell led the Lady Dutch with 17 points. Branchini scored nine points and Pezze and Loux each scored six.

Loughlin led Horseheads with 13 points. Rothstein added nine for the visiting team.

"They are very well coached," Cacckello said. "They mixed up their defenses and we couldn’t adjust. But every time they came down the floor, we made them work for what they got.

"We took their best shot in the second half," Cacckello added. "They came at us early. This is one of the most enjoyable games I’ve ever coached. In the fourth quarter, we had a chance to close it out; the kids acted like it was still the first quarter. We continued to play hard and they had no response for us."

"Getting better"

The wins were something the Dutch wanted to accomplish at the beginning of the season.

"We had eight goals for the season," Cacckello said. "One of those goals was to win our Dutchmen Classic. I thought we had a tough field. We played a very talented Bishop Maginn team and we handled them very well. Playing in a tournament like this will get us ready for sectionals."

Against Bishop Maginn on Wednesday, the Lady Dutch dominated in the second half to open up a close game.

Guilderland led, 10-6, at the end of the first quarter and 23-14 at halftime.

The Lady Dutch then held the Golden Griffins to three points in the third quarter and scored 16 points themselves to take a 39-17 lead into the final frame. Guilderland’s defense then held Bishop Maginn to six points in the fourth quarter to cruise to the win.

Bowman led the Lady Dutch with 11 points. Jen Madsen and Danielle Burns each added seven points and Pezze, Branchini, and Loux each scored six points.

Horseheads beat Shaker, 57-31, in its first-round game of the tournament. Shaker beat Maginn, 54-41, in the final game of the tournament.

Guilderland will celebrate the new year before it plays again. The Dutch will travel to Saratoga on Jan. 5.

"It’s midseason and we keep getting better," Cacckello said. "The kids want to get better. This is what you want, heading into the second half of the season. We feel we can play with anybody though we know how tough the Suburban Council is. We can’t wait to get on the court on January 5."

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