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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 9, 2012

Voorheesville slips past a scrappy Schalmont team

ROTTERDAM –– With the regular season almost over, Schalmont desperately wanted its first Colonial Council win. Voorheesville was also reeling, carrying a four-game losing streak into town.

Both teams needed that boost of confidence. The Blackbirds got the win, 55 to 54, when Dominic Caputo’s long shot missed the mark for the Sabres as time expired at Schalmont on Tuesday.

Schalmont didn’t resemble a 1-14 team. Going toe-to-toe with the Blackbirds for the entire 32 minutes, the Sabres were enduring. Jay Castren’s two free throws towards the end provided Voorheesville with enough of a cushion.

Voorheesville (5-7, 8-8) Head Coach Don Catellier felt Schalmont’s pain; his team was on the losing end of many contests last season. Although the Birds weren’t about to walk out as losers of five straight.

“Their (Schalmont) kids played great tonight, but my guys stepped it up when they had to,” Catellier said. “We made clutch shots and grabbed rebounds when it counted.”

With the game tied at 51 to 51 late in the fourth quarter, Schalmont’s Nick Daversa committed on offensive foul to Head Coach Kevin Curtin’s dismay. However, the Sabres got another chance after Castren turned the ball over. Schalmont missed its next shot, and Russell Daly seized the rebound for Voorheesville, sailing a beautiful long pass to a streaking Noah Crawford, who calmly put the ball through the basket for the lead.

After the game, Daly and Crawford recognized the Sabres’ effort.

“This was a good learning experience for us,” said Daly, who scored 10 points. “We learned how to win in the fourth quarter. You can’t learn that by blowing someone out. We battled.”

Crawford, a sophomore, was the quickest player on court. He slashed up and down the floor, and most of his baskets came on the break because he was just too fast. Crawford finished with a game-high 19 points off the bench, including 10 points in the third quarter to help Voorheesville build an eight-point lead.

“I don’t know if we would have won if I didn’t come into the game and start making plays,” said Crawford, who made a shocking finger roll lay-up in the third quarter.

Daly, a senior, said that Crawford would be a “stud” long after he’s gone from Voorheesville. “We have a rising star here in Mr. Crawford,” Daly said. “He’s the quickest guy on the court. Once his jump shot comes through, the whole offense will open up for him. Oh, and he’s pretty great on defense, too.”

Catellier told The Enterprise that Tuesday’s win was “huge” as his team starts to descend into the Class C sectionals. The Blackbirds could finish second in Colonial Council’s Division I behind powerhouse Watervliet.

“We’re very dangerous when we play as an entire team, but we have trouble doing that sometimes,” Daly said. “I’m not pointing fingers.”

On Tuesday, a win peaked to a better mood.

“We got our confidence back,” Catellier said.

—By Jordan J. Michael

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