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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 4, 2010

Bulldogs a big handful for top-seed Maple Hill

By Jordan J. Michael

The Berne-Knox-Westerlo boys’ basketball team gave top-seed Maple Hill a legitimate scare on Sunday night.

The game was finally played in Maple Hill after it had been postponed numerous times due to bad weather. BKW Head Coach Andy Wright said that everyone thought the Wildcats would roll over his team, but the Bulldogs were close until the end.

BKW trailed by four with fewer than three minutes to go in regulation. Maple Hill ended up pulling away for the 72-to-57 win. No Patroon Conference opponent had scored that many points against the Wildcats during the regular season.

“Anyone that follows Bulldog basketball would have been proud,” said Wright. The team won only six games all year. “My guys walked out of that gym with their heads held high because no one gave them a chance,” the coach said.

The Bulldogs were led by the spirited play of senior standout Ryan LaBelle who scored 28 points, including three three-pointers. LaBelle had a break-out season after being overshadowed by David Sikule last year.

“He was unbelievable and I think Maple Hill was quite impressed by his performance,” Wright said of LaBelle, who has some colleges looking at him. “They’ll always remember him.”

The Wildcats had a 13-point lead after the first quarter and led by the same amount at halftime. The Bulldogs closed the gap to 50 to 46 at the end of the third quarter and kept pace with Maple Hill.

BKW hadn’t practiced for the previous five days due to the snowstorms. Coach Wright told The Enterprise that his team could have been even more competitive if it got a few practices in.

“Our guys did a lot of shoveling and laying around while being stuck at home,” said Wright. “A practice wouldn’t have hurt.”

Sophomore Nate Krimsky chipped in with 13 points for the Bulldogs and senior Paolo Audino hit three times from behind the arch for nine. However, the Wildcats got double figures from each of its starting five seniors. Christopher Despart and Jake Jasiewicz each scored 16 points.

“They all put up good numbers,” Wright said. “We knew they would. That’s why they’re the number-one team.”

BKW will look for stronger records in the future, but the character of seniors LaBelle, Audino, Curtis Clark, and Jacob Tambasco can never be touched, said their coach.

“I don’t think our record was a reflection of how hard they worked,” said Wright.

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