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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 13, 2007

Drew Smith goes to Ualbany

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — Andrew Smith is keeping his electric football skills at home.

The Guilderland senior has made his college choice and it’s — the University at Albany.

Smith chose Bob Ford’s program over the University of New Hampshire and will enroll at the school in the fall where he will play for the Great Danes.

"I feel great about Albany," Smith said after Tuesday’s basketball game against Colonie. "I went with [teammate Paul] Booker and Kyle Hussey and had a great time. Bob Ford is a great coach and Coach [Ryan] McCarthy is a good quarterbacks coach. It’s a program on the rise. Dr. [Lee] McElroy is a great Athletic Director."

Smith said part of the reason he decided to go to the University at Albany is because he will be able to play offense. But that is just a part of it.

"I want to study business and they have a hell of a program," Smith said. "My godfather is Dr. [L. Oliver] Robinson the superintendent at Shenendehowa. He told me it is a good school. I know a couple of people there."

Albany won the Northeast Conference this fall and played in a bowl game earlier this month against the University of Dayton in Ohio. Ford was named Coach of the Year in the conference.

The university is trying to get funding to build a new stadium that would help the program rise from the middle of the pack in the NCAA Football Championship Division (formerly Division I-AA) to the upper part of the division.

Albany is also handing out full scholarships to football players.

"I’m the first they’ve given one to since they began giving them out," Smith said. "They just went to full scholarships. That is something that means a lot to me. I get to be in the hometown and stay in the community and still play Division I-AA. I definitely want to help them rise and be a factor in Division I-AA.

"I want to help them reach the level of a UNH and an Appalachian State and be near the top of Division I-AA level," Smith added. "And with the work they are doing there, it’s possible."

New faces emerge to help Dutch hold off Colonie

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — It was the usual suspects, and the not-so-usual suspects who kept the Guilderland boys’ basketball team unbeaten in Suburban Council play.

Senior star Brett Marfurt scored 18 points to lead the Dutchmen and, more importantly, varsity newcomer junior Jon Terry scored 14 points to help in the 57-52 win over Colonie.

"Jon is tough inside," said Guilderland Coach Ron Osinski. "He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He’s 6-1, but he plays like he is 6-6. He is strong and he has good foot work out there."

Terry came up big despite being outsized by a Colonie front line that featured players who are 6-6, 6-5, and 6-4.

"One big play"

Colonie’s size gave them an early advantage. The Garnet Raiders jumped out to a 7-0 lead before Guilderland woke up.

A fast-break lay-up by Marfurt and then a driving one-handed slam dunk by Terry energized the Dutch and got them back in the game.

"That was one big play," Marfurt said. "That picked up our energy and we used to it to the end of the half. It was a big run and it cleared away their 7-0 start."

Guilderland trailed, 12-10, at the end of the first quarter, but used its athleticism to take the lead in the second quarter.

Trailing, 16-14, the Dutchmen got a basket off a rebound by Kevin Kost. Terry made a reverse lay-up to give the Dutch their first lead of the game.

They quickly lost the lead on a foul shot but exploded by scoring the next 12 points.

Guilderland got a spark as Andrew Oteng-Baah came off the bench and made a steal and went in for an uncontested lay-up to give the Dutch the lead again.

Marfurt made a jump shot and then, later, Oteng-Baah made another fast-break lay-up and was fouled. He converted the free throw to make the score 23-17 in favor of the Dutchmen.

Andrew Smith made a three-point basket and Dan Gejay scored inside for the Dutch. Colonie’s Kyle Macfrici made a jump shot with one second left in the quarter to end the Dutch’s run and make the halftime score, 30-19.

"They made a couple of shots and went up 7-0," Osinski said. "I then called the timeout, and we were able to get back and eventually went ahead. It was a low-scoring first half. We held them to 19 points; that’s pretty good defense. Then they started to make shots and the [Sean] Peer kid hurt us inside. With [Herb] Tedford, they make a good front line."

"I thought Andrew Oteng-Baah was the difference in the first half," Osinski said. "He gives us energy. He is quick. Once he gets everything down, he’ll do more than just spell a kid. He is somebody who will help us win."

Holding off a comeback

Colonie showed it is a good team and fought back to make things interesting in the second half.

The Garnet Raiders were able to cut the lead to six points by the end of the third quarter by outscoring the Dutchmen, 16-11, in the frame.

With timely baskets and clutch foul shooting, the Dutchmen were able to hang onto the win.

Again, Marfurt and Terry came up big. Marfurt scored seven points in the final six minutes of the game and Terry had four, as the Dutchmen were able to hold off Colonie.

The Garnet Raiders’ comeback was fueled by Tashaun Newsome who scored all of his 18 points in the second half, including a couple of three-pointers in the fourth quarter.

"They are a good team," Osinski said. "They weren’t going to let us run away with it. They shot the ball well in the second half. They are a big team... They’re 2-1 now, but they are not going to let many teams beat them."

"We knew they would make a run in the second half," Marfurt said. "We have to weather halves like that if we want to win sectionals."

Kost added seven points for Guilderland as eight players reached the scoring column. Mafrici scored 11 and Tedford scored 10 points for Colonie.

Osinski saw good play from some of his other players, who did not get any points.

"Chris Mannarino did a good job in the first half," the coach said. "He was one of the reasons we got back into it."

Osinski was impressed his team was able to hold on to the win and sees it as a big step his team took.

"That is one thing we didn’t do last year — hold off a comeback," Osinski said. "I thought we did a good job in the last two minutes of the game to hold them. We kept our composure and got easy shots and easy foul shots.

"I know senior leadership helps that," Osinski added. "But I think the two juniors that started [Kost and Terry] did a nice job."

The Dutchmen are now 3-0 in the Suburban Council and 4-1 overall. The Dutchmen also beat Ballston Spa and Mohonsen in their last two games.

Next up for the Dutch are a pair of home games. On Friday, Guilderland takes on Columbia, and on Tuesday, Niskayuna comes to town.

But as long as the Dutch get players like Terry contributing, Marfurt feels his team will be all right.

"Teams key on me and Drew," Marfurt said. "Other guys stepped up and made shots. We have five guys on the court that can score."

GUILDERLAND - It was an up-and-down week for the Guilderland girls' basketball team.

After opening the season with a split of the Bethlehem Tip-off Tournament on Dec. 1 and 2, the Lady Dutch split their next two games.

Guilderland beat Ballston Spa, 54-25, last Wednesday but lost to Mohonasen, 44-42, on Friday.

The Lady Dutch followed that contest up with a game Tuesday at Colonie. The Lady Dutch lost to the Garnet Raiders, 53-36. Guilderland beat Colonie in the second game of the Bethlehem Tournament.

On Friday, Mohonsen led for most of the game and held off a frantic Guilderland fourth-quarter charge. The Lady Dutch outscored the Mighty Warriors, 21-13, in the stanza but could not catch up, losing by two points.

Senior Danielle Burns scored all 15 of her points in the fourth quarter to lead the Dutch in scoring and the comeback attempt.

Sophomore Katherine Keegan made two of her three-point baskets in the fourth quarter to aid in the comback attempt. She finished with nine points.

Mohonasen had three players finish with 12 points - Nicole Adach, Jen Piscitella, and Dayne Lasken.

Things were much better for Guilderland in last Wednesday's game against Ballston Spa.

The Lady Dutch jumped out to an early lead and cruised to the big win. The big quarter was the second, as Guilderland outscored the Scotties, 20-7, in the frame.

Jen Madsen led the Lady Dutch with 12 points. Casey Peebles, Melissa Winne, and Alicia Bowman each added eight points.

Marissa Traver led the Scotties with 12 points.

Next up for Guilderland is an always-tough trip to Columbia High School in East Greenbush. The Lady Dutch follow that with a trip to Niskayuna.

The Lady Dutch return home after Christmas to host their own Lady Dutch Holiday Classic. Guilderland opens with Bishop Maginn on Thursday, Dec. 27 and play Burnt Hills the next day. Shaker is also in the tournament.

Cadets march to late win against Blackbirds

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — For three-and-a-half quarters, you could cut the tension with a knife.

The Albany Academy and the Voorheesville boys’ basketball teams went back and forth in a Colonial Council contest on Friday in Voorheesville.

Albany Academy held a 37-36 lead at the end of the third quarter. The Cadets pulled away in the fourth frame as the team’s depth and players’ athleticism had finally worn down the Voorheesville players and led to a 56-45 win for Academy.

"I’m happy with the kids," Voorheesville Coach Don Catellier said after the contest. "We had a game plan and the kids worked their butts off."

And work their butts off they did as Voorheesville played tough against an Academy squad that had been crowned a favorite in the Colonial Council in the pre-season after the arrival of transfer Chris Pelcher guided by new coach, Brian Fruscio.

The Blackbirds could not keep up with the Cadets in the fourth quarter, especially after Evan Christner picked up his fourth foul on the Birds first possession of the frame.

Albany Academy went on a 12-0 run to open the quarter, knocking off the pesky Blackbirds and giving the Cadets control of the game.

Pelcher scored five of the 12 points and Shavar Fields scored four in the run.

"Their big guys are difficult guys to play," Catellier said. "And we just ran out of big guys. Pelcher is a great player. It was a battle all night. We held them down. He averages 21 points a game and we held him to 10 under his average. I’m definitely happy with the game plan. The kids did a great job."

Voorheesville’s big kids, Brian Wise and Christner, were in foul trouble for most of the game. Wise fouled out in the third quarter, and when Christner picked up his fourth foul early in the fourth quarter, he was forced to play more tentatively so as to avoid a fifth foul, which would have disqualified him from the game.

That allowed Pelcher and Fields to take over in the middle and let the Cadets go on their scoring run.

"They are very physical," Catellier said of the Cadets. "This showed that we can play with the big boys. We’ll be all right."

Pelcher finished the contest with 11 points. Fields led the Cadets with 13 points. James Field scored 11 points and Tyler Foster added nine.

Mackey Lloyd led the Blackbirds with 11 points. Christner and Mike Tesch each scored nine points.

"Never easy"

Voorheesville trailed, 11-7, at the end of the first quarter and looked to be knocked out of the game in the second quarter. The Blackbirds fell behind by 10 points with 1:51 left in the half.

But Lloyd made two free throws and Kevin Klembczyk made one to cut the lead to seven points.

Lloyd then followed that up with two big three-point shots that cut the lead to one, 24-23, at halftime.

"You can’t ask for anything more," Catellier said of his players’ effort. "They went out there and played a great team. They are going to win a lot of basketball games. They got a lot of kids back and Pelcher transferred in," he said of Academy. "Then throw Coach Fruscio into the mix. That’s a great ball club over there."

Catellier only sees his team improving after playing so well against Academy.

"We’ll get better from this," the coach said. "This is just our second game of the year. They’ve played three games already.

"I found out a lot of what this team is made of," Catellier said. "We can play with people. At the defensive end, we were good. We have a chance in the [class] C’s to play a long ways. They knew they were in a game tonight."

The Blackbirds opened the season with a win last Tuesday against Cobleskill.

"That was a nice win," Catellier said. "Everyone played a lot. We saw some things from the kids. I think we have good depth. The juniors came in tonight, knowing what to expect," he said after Friday’s game. "This wasn’t their first experience."

Voorheesville followed up Friday’s tough game with a trip to Lansingburgh. The Blackbirds came back from being down 15 points to beat the Knights. Christner made a baseline jump shot with five seconds left to give the Blackbirds the win.

"We’re thrown right to the frying pan," Catellier said. "In our league, it is never easy. Every night, someone new comes to play."

The Blackbirds travel to play Mechanicville on Friday then returns home to play Ravena and Schalmont before Christmas. After the holiday, the Blackbirds play in the Spa Catholic Tournament.

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville wrestling coach, Brent Pierce, knows the past success the Blackbirds have had and would like to one day see the program reach those heights again.

This year has gotten off to a good start, as Pierce has more wrestlers on the team than Voorheesville has had in the past couple of years.

"We have all but two weight classes filled," the coach said. "We don’t have anyone at 125 and 96 pounds. We have 14 total. Last year, we had six, seven, or eight, depending on injuries."

Pierce was approved for the position at Monday’s school board meeting. He replaces Dennis Robinson who was the Blackbirds’ coach for the past couple of years.

"We have a young team with mostly freshmen and sophomores," Pierce said. "We have two juniors. We’re looking to grow. It’s nice to have that core to work with. It’ll be good for the future of the program."

There are no seniors on the team.

Pierce had been an assistant working with the varsity team under Robinson. He volunteered for six seasons. John Curran is the modified coach.

"We have a strong staff," Pierce said. "Dennis will come help with the youth program in January."

"A strong team"

Pierce likes his new role as the head coach, even with the added responsibilities.

"I enjoy it," he said. "There is a lot to it. But I’m looking forward to a good season with good kids. We get a lot of support from the school and other coaches. This is a strong team and we are building for the future.

"I’ve got a good feel for the program," Pierce added. "I’ve known the kids for a while and I know the Colonial Council."

The Blackbirds opened the season Dec. 1 at the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Tournament. Voorheesville placed third overall as a team and had some individuals win on the mat.

Pierce saw four of his grapplers walk off the mat after winning their final matches. Three Blackbirds also finished in third place.

Taylor Treadgold won the 112-pound weight class at the BKW tournament. Andrew Clark took first place in the 135-pound weight class. Dylan Foster won the 140-pound weight class. Jimmy Sheedy won the 171-pound weight class.

Sam Genovesi took third place in the 130-pound weight class. Frank Kaus was third in the 145-pound weight class. Ryan Kraft was third in the 215-pound class.

Eighth-grader Don Case had the fastest pin. He won a match in the 285-pound class with a 14-second pin.

"It was a good start to the year," Pierce said.

"We did pretty well," Treadgold said. "We’re looking pretty good. We’ve got more kids than last year. We’ll be better."

Also on the team this winter are Jacob Brill, Tyler Cooper, Russell Gorgon, Brian Ketchman, Colton Parrott, and Jordan Tanis.

Sheedy and Treadgold, both sophomores, are the team’s co-captains.

"With these 14 kids and just missing two weight classes," Pierce said, "we’ll be more competitive than in the past couple of years. We won’t be giving up as many points with forfeits. We will fill out the weight classes and that will make us stronger and more competitive."

"Lots of history"

Pierce also said that the 14 wrestlers who come to the room in the basement under the new middle-school addition are all dedicated.

"The kids coming out have worked hard in season and in the off season," the coach said. "Wrestling has become a year-round sport and very competitive."

Pierce hopes that these wrestlers form a foundation for rebuilding the tradition that Voorheesville wrestling used to carry under the former coach, Richard Leach.

"The last time Voorheesville won the Colonial Council was in the late ’80s," Pierce said. "There’s lots of history here. Some of the seniors that wrestled last year have come back. And we have kids whose parents wrestled before and are aware of the tradition. I tell them I want to bring it back alive."

And this team, Pierce thinks, might have the dedication to do it.

"This is a very hard-working group," Pierce said. "And they are starting to grow. They are more involved in after-school wrestling groups, like TNT and Journeymen. That will help them keep that competitive edge."

Despite being young in age, the wrestlers have a lot of experience on the mat.

"A lot of these guys have been wrestling since third and fourth grade in the pee-wee program," Pierce said. "A lot of these kids, I’ve had since pee-wee program and a lot of them I had as modified kids, too."

For this year, Pierce’s goal is to get as many wrestlers as he can to qualify for the Section II meet at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

"I want to get a few kids placing at the sectional qualifier and at the Class C tournament," Pierce said. "I want to get a lot of kids on the mat at sectionals. That is more experience gained."

"I want to go to sectionals," Treadgold said. "I think a lot of us want to go to sectionals."

Pierce also has other goals in mind, and a schedule that will make his wrestlers better as the year goes on. The Blackbirds lost to Ravena in a league dual meet last Thursday, and they competed in the Glens Falls Tournament last Saturday.

Voorheesville will also compete in tournaments at Cohoes, Shaker, Schenectady, and Lansingburgh.

"We want to win more duals," Pierce said. "If we are healthy, we won’t lose 12 to 18 points due to forfeits. We’ll be competitive. We have some good tournaments we’re heading to."

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