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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 28, 2010

Colonial Council title now long shot for Blackbirds after loss

By Jordan J. Michael

VOORHEESVILLE ––The Blackbirds’ basketball team is now its own worst enemy.

Voorheesville had a chance to grab a hold of first place in the Colonial Council with a win at home against Lansingburgh on Friday, but the Knights came to town and waged a war, winning 68 to 52.

The score was almost the exact reversal of when the two teams first met, in Lansingburgh, on Dec. 11. The Blackbirds won that game, 68 to 53, and were ranked number one in the state at the time.

Voorheesville is now staring up at the Knights and tied with Watervliet at 8-2 for second place. The team still has two tough road contests left against Mechanicville and Watervliet.

“Our backs are against the wall now,” said Head Coach Don Catellier after Friday’s agonizing loss. “It’s not like our schedule gets any easier down the road.”

In the first meeting, the Blackbirds held Lansingburgh’s two biggest scorers, Tyler Hammett and Sajae Pryor, to eight combined points. On Friday, Hammett and Pryor combined for 34 points.

“The key to beating them is shutting those guys out,” Catellier said. “We couldn’t keep Hammett and Pryor in check this time and it cost us badly.”

Alex Drake hit a three-pointer towards the end of the first quarter to give the Knights a 16-to-12 lead. Drake continued to hit shots in the second quarter and Lansingburgh opened up an eight-point lead.

A three by Conor Cashin and a jumper by Mike Noland helped Voorheesville get back into the game. The Knights had a 28-to-25 lead at halftime.

“Lansingburgh’s role players stepped up in the first half,” said Catellier. “Kids were making shots off the bench and we couldn’t catch up.”

Ethan Mackey, who went 12 for 12 from the foul line for the Blackbirds, cut the Knights’ lead to one early in the third quarter. Chris Castren, who scored 13 points, had a steal and a strong finish to give Voorheesville its first lead of the game, 31 to 30.

The two teams traded baskets for several minutes, each grabbing successive one-point leads. However, the game changed when Dominic Fruscio drilled a quick three off an inbound pass for Lansingburgh.

The Knights gained momentum and Hammett and Pryor scored at will to secure the win for the team. Voorheesville’s confidence took a nosedive.

 “Catellier and I chatted before the game about how we always have close games,” said Lansingburgh Head Coach Guy DiBacco. “We were able to string together some stops tonight and it got us the win.”

“Hard work pays off,” added Pryor. “We had big stops.”

Voorheesville can still capture a Colonial Council championship, but the team needs to win out and get some help.

“First place was there for the taking,” said Catellier. “But, it slipped through our hands.”

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