Waiting on High School Sports

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Today I was looking back at the last post on our website and it had to with basketball all-stars.  It was a March post, the month when everything changed.  Fast forward to the end of July and Covid-19’s impact remains ever present.

Over the past four and a half months the high school sports scene has gone dark and with Section II’s announcement that the start to the fall season would be delayed into September, with the possibility that fall sports could actually play out in the spring, the only thing certain about high school sports is the uncertainty.

When play came to a halt this past March, the Cambridge and Mechanicville girls basketball squads were in pursuit of a state title having advanced into regional play after earning Section II championships.  I wouldn’t have bet against either group being the last team standing in their respective classifications, something obviously we’ll never know.

All athletes this spring were also forced to take a knee, and with the fall schedule on hold all three high school seasons have been compromised by the uncompromising virus.

Over these past few months we’ve missed the many special and unique things that sports has to offer.

How about the roar of a crowd when a player rises and buries a go-ahead jumper with seconds remaining, watching a centerfielder run down a ball in the gap on a warm May afternoon, or the sound of a fast ball from a hard throwing lefty popping the catchers mitt.

We’ve missed momentum swings and come-from-behind W’s, squads that understand the meaning of teamwork, a packed house for a rivalry game, and players with a high level of “want to”.

Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for a header, off a perfect corner, that finds the back of the net, or a tight spiral finding a receiver in stride on a go route for six.

And while those are some things we’ve gone without and look forward to seeing again real soon,  we realize that sports is just the candy store relative to the bigger picture, where individuals in our country and around the world continue to fight the virus.

Here’s hoping that through our science and medical communities efforts, we soon will have an answer for Covid-19 and safely restart activities on and off the athletic fields.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All State Girls Basketball Selections; Phillips Class C Player of the Year

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The New York State Sportswriters Association released it’s Girls Basketball All State selections on Wednesday and a number of Wasaren players were recognized, including Cambridge’s Sophie Phillips who was selected as the New York State Class C Player of the Year.

Class C

Sophie Phillips         Player of the Year          Cambridge        Jr.

Lilly Phillips             First Team                     Cambridge        Jr.

Fiona Mooney          Fifth Team                    Cambridge         Jr.

Sami Dickinson        Tenth Team                  Hoosic Valley    Sr.

Stasia Epler              Honorable Mention       Cambridge        Soph.

 

Class B

Charlie Goverski       Fourth Team                Mechanicville   Sr.

Logan Thayne           Eighth Team                 Hoosick Falls     Sr.

Amy DiSiena             Honorable Mention       Mechanicville   Jr.

Molly Brophy            Honorable Mention       Greenwich        Jr.

 

Wasaren Girls Basketball All-Stars

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MVP –  Sophie Phillips       Cambridge

First Team

Lilly Phillips              Cambridge

Molly Brophy            Greenwich

Logan Thayne           Hoosick Falls

Charli Goverski        Mechanicville

Syrita Faraj                Tamarac

 

Second Team

Fiona Mooney           Cambridge

Stasia Epler                Cambridge

Marley Mueller         Stillwater

Sami Dickinson         Hoosic Valley

Amy DiSiena              Mechanicville

 

Honorable Mention:  Cambridge – McKayla McLenithan,   Ruth Nolan       Greenwich – Adrianna Rojas,   Tess Merrill,   Norah Niesz      Spa Catholic – Ashley Upson,   Molly O’Reilly,   Lauren Maher      Hoosic Valley – Samantha Lanoue,   Ashlyn Chartier,     Hoosick Falls –  Molly Walker      Mechanicville – Jada Brown,    AJ Joseph        Tamarac – Jordyn Sorel,    Gabby Cellucci,   Katie Machnick      Berlin/New Lebanon – Aaliyah

 

Mechanicville Runs Past Canton

The Mechanicville girls basketball team checks all the boxes.  The Raiders have an experienced, athletic and skilled roster, that is well coached and shows toughness and a high level of compete.  Add to that the revenge factor that they carried into Tuesday night’s regional run in Saratoga against Canton, who eliminated Mechanicville in last years Class B regional final in Potsdam, and this Raider squad simply would not be denied, posting the 58-43 “W”.

Mechanicville started slowly, misfiring on their first dozen shots, but slowly gained traction and held a 14-10 advantage after the first period.  With the game knotted at 19-19 midway through the second, the Raiders finished the frame on an 11-0 run to take a 30-19 lead into the break, and never looked back.

A trio of seniors led the Mechanicville attack with Charli Goverski scoring a game-high 21 points, Jada Brown 11 points and AJ Joseph adding 10 for the 20-5 Raiders.

Mechanicville now looks ahead to a Friday night matchup in Beekmantown where they’ll face Northeastern Clinton in the Class B Regional Final at 5 p.m., with the winner advancing to the state final four.

 

 

Raiders, Indians Earn Sectional Titles

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Mechanicville 56   Mekeel Christian Academy 46

Leading Scorers:  Red Raiders – Chloe Goverski 12       Charli Goverski 11       AJ Joseph 10  Amy DiSiena 10       Jada Brown 8          Mekeel – Promise Mitchell 10       Avery Mills 10   Jillian Ballard 10

Leading 14-7 after the first period, the Raiders took control with a 21-7 second frame, holding a commanding 35-14 lead at the break and were never headed, earning their second straight Section II Class B crown at HVCC on Saturday.

Mechanicville put four players in doubles and held a 5-0 advantage from beyond the arc.

With the win the Raiders move to 18-5 on the year and look ahead to regional play this week.

 

Cambridge 68   Maple Hill

Leading Scorers:  Indians – Sophie Phillips 23      Lilly Phillips 18        Wildcats – Paige Bleau 9      Natasha Strock 9

Not even an 11:00 tip Saturday morning at HVCC could take Cambridge out of their game as the Indians ran out to a 25-10 lead after the first quarter, and by the break had doubled up Maple Hill at 40-20, cruising to the Section II Class C title.

Cambridge made more free throws than the Wildcats attempted, and converted on 16 of 21 trips to the stripe.  Prowess at the line is something that will serve Cambridge well as they continue their post season run.

That run resumes this week in regional play as the 22-1 Indians begin defense of their 2019 Class C state title.

Raiders, Fordians Fall in Finals

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Schalmont 53   Mechanicville 46

Leading Scorers:  Schalmont – Shane O’Neil 22       Jake Sanford 13         Red Raiders – Josh Germain 16        Devin Garland 13

Mechanicville trailed 26-10 at the break, cut the deficit to 34-26 after the third but fell short in their comeback attempt in the Section II Class B championship game.

The Raider finish the season with an outstanding 22-2 mark and Wasaren Champions.

 

Lake George 52  Waterford 48

Leading Scorers:  Warriors – Luke Pelcher 19       Juan Garcia 10           Fordians – TJ Kelley 23       Michael Talavera 11

Waterford held a 31-26 lead at halftime time and continued to play on front for most of the second half.  But Lake George drew even with 3:08 left on a pair of Pelcher free throws, and later, two more from the stripe by Pelcher gave the Warriors a 50-48 advantage with 19.4 seconds remaining.

After a timeout, Waterford turned the ball over and Lake George closed things out to earn the Section II Class C championship.

Waterford completes a fine season with a mark of 17-7.

Wasaren Teams March To The Finals

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We made the case on Sunday with six Wasaren teams playing in Section II semifinals that with the exception of the Hoosick Falls Mechanicville boys matchup where someone had to fall, that all others could win and advance to championship games.

On Tuesday night, while Maple Hill eliminated the Hoosic Valley girls, needing overtime to do it, Cambridge and Mechanicville girls teams and the Waterford boys all earned “W’s” and will play in title games this weekend.

Cambridge 84   Berne-Knox 36

Leading Scorers:  Indians – Sophie Phillips 25 (7 3’s)        Lilly Phillips 19       Stasia Epler 16         Fiona Mooney 15              BK – Alexis Wright 13          Taylor Meacham 11

Cambridge put 28 points on the board in the opening period and hung 31 more in period number three, routing Berne-Knox in their Class C semifinal Tuesday night at Colonie.  The top-seeded Indians bottomed 16 triples and put four players in doubles, as they ready for the title game against #2 Maple Hill on Saturday at 11 a.m. at HVCC.

 

Mechanicville 53   Schalmont 48

Leading Scorers:  Red Raiders – Charli Goverski 20        AJ Joseph 12          Chloe Goverski 9 Schalmont – Payton Graber 17        Karissa Antoine 14        Haley Burchhardt 11

The Raiders built a 35-17 halftime advantage, weathered a Schalmont comeback effort in the third, and closed things out over the final frame to post the victory in their Class B semifinal at Averill Park on Tuesday.

The #4 Raiders and defending Class B champs will face Mekeel Christian Academy on Saturday at HVCC.

 

Waterford 54  Fort Plain 52

Leading Scorers:  Fordians – TJ Kelley 27        Jake Houle 9        Fort Plain – Troy Butler 20     Robert Jordan 11       L. Thomas 11

Waterford trailed 32-21 at the break, but used a 22-8 third period to take the lead and held off Fort Plain for the Class C semifinal win.

The #11 Fordians will face Lake George in the championship game Friday night at the Cool Insuring Arena at 5 p.m.

 

Maple Hill 49   Hoosic Valley 45      No other info at this time.

 

Red Raiders Advance to Championship Game

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Mechanicville 66   Hoosick Falls 58

Leading Scorers:  Red Raiders – Josh Germain 21       Tyler Eiseman 12      Tyler Dion 12       Luciano D’Ambro 10        Anthony Attala 8                 Panthers – Tristan Williams 21         Jon Kempf 19           Isiah Burnett 8

In a close game throughout at the Cool Insuring Arena Monday night, Mechanicville held a 47-44 advantage entering the final frame and used a 19-14 fourth period to close things out, posting the Class B semifinal “W” and advancing to Friday nights championship game with Schalmont.

Very little separated the two Wasaren squads in the contest that saw the Panthers hold a 4-3 advantage in made 3-pointers, while both teams shot it well from the free throw line, the Falls connecting on 19 of 24 and the Raiders converting 16 of 22.

The Raiders balanced attack, where on any given night a variety of Raiders can lead in scoring and typically three or more will post double digits, once again proved pivotal.

Germain’s 21 points led four Mechanicville players in doubles as the Raiders, who with the win move to 21-1 on the year, advance to face Schalmont who turned back Glens Falls 52-43 in their Monday night semifinal.

The Class B champion will be decided Friday night at the Cool Insuring Arena with a scheduled a 6:45 tip.

 

 

Six Wasaren Squads Eye Semifinal Runs

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With the Section II basketball tournament down to the semifinal round in all the classifications the Wasaren league will be well represented where they live, in classes B and C.

Three boys teams remain with Mechanicville and Hoosick Falls in the class B final four and Waterford in the C’s.

On the girls side Cambridge and Hoosic Valley have semifinal berths in the C classification while Mechanicville plays in a class B semifinal run.

The 11th seeded Fordians of Waterford have dropped #6 Schoharie 57 – 33 and #3 Granville on Saturday, 64 -50.  TJ Kelley and Michael Talavera have led the way over the first two rounds averaging 40 points combined .

Waterford will face #7 Fort Plain on Tuesday at the Cool Insuring Arena.  Fort Plain owns wins over Stillwater and Berne-Knox coming into the semi’s on Tuesday.

In the B’s #9 Hoosick Falls will face #4 Mechanicville in the semifinal round on Monday night at the Cool Insuring Arena.  The Panthers blew out Fonda 74-43 in round one and eliminated the number one seeded Catskill squad in the quarters, 60-58 with Isiah Burnett and Jon Kempf scoring 19 points

#4 Mechanicville has given the Raider faithful their monies worth with a pair of overtime victories over Greenville 66-63 and Broadalbin-Perth 46-45.  In the Greenville “W” Devin Garland with 18 points and Anthony Attala with 14 led the way, while in the defensive themed Broadalbin game Tyler Dion led the Raiders with 12 points.

On the girls side, #1 Cambridge put 38 points on the board in the first period, cruising to a 63-30 win over Salem in their only sectional outing.  Three players scored doubles and the Indians connected on nine triples with Ruth Nolan bottoming five.

Cambridge faces #5 Berne-Knox on Tuesday in their C semifinal, Knox coming in off a 67-59 win over Warrensburg.

Also in the C’s #6 Hoosic Valley will play in a semifinal run at Colonie taking on #2 Maple Hill.

The Valley has posted wins over Chatham and Duanesburg with Sami Dickinson scoring 20 and 30 points respectively in the two outings, and Emaleigh Peckham knocking back three triples in both games.

Maple Hill has blown out Voorheesville and Mayfield to get here and owns a 58-37 win over Hoosic Valley back in December.

In the B’s #4 Mechanicville comes into their Tuesday night semifinal with #1 Schalmont off a 62-28 victory over Broadalbin Perth and a 62-48 win over Ichabod Crane.  The Raiders put four players in doubles in the Broadalbin “W” while Charli Goverski with 24 points and AJ Joseph with 16 led the way in the Crane win.

Schalmont got here with a 57-46 win over Cobleskill, with Payton Graber scoring 25 points including five makes from beyond the arc.

Who moves on to the championship game?

For the girls Cambridge absolutely will advance while Hoosic Valley and Mechanicville will have their work cut out for them.

The Valley lost to Maple Hill back in December, look for the Indians to gain revenge and post the “W”.

Mechanicville faces the #1 seed in Schalmont, but the Raiders have been here before and are the defending Class B champions.  I like the Raiders in the upset.

For the boys I think Waterford continues it’s march from their 11th seed, handling their business with Fort Plain.

As for the Hoosick Falls / Mechanicville matchup the saying goes it’s hard to beat the same team three times in a season.  Not sure I agree with that thought but that is just what Mechanicville would have to do having defeated the Falls twice this season.

Obviously no secrets between the two squads and both are excellent basketball teams.  Depth goes to Mechanicville and that could be the difference here.

So I guess I picked every Wasaren team to advance with the exception in the all Wasaren affair between Mechanicville and Hoosick Falls where I think the Raiders win close.    Sure I’m biased, but all five teams have a realistic shot at playing for sectional titles come next weekend.

 

 

Sectional Hoops

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Mechanicville 66   Greenville 63 OT

Leading Scorers:  Raiders – Devin Garland 18        Anthony Attala 14          Greenville – Damien Fiducia 26 (5 3’s)

In a close game throughout the Raiders trailed by two at 40-38, entering the final frame. but forced overtime where they secured the Class B opening round “W”.  Next up for Mechanicville is a quarterfinal run with Broadalbin – Perth and Shen on Friday night.

 

Hoosick Falls 74   Fonda 43

Leading Scorers:  Falls – Jon Kempf 37 ( 16 of 16 from line)        Tristan Williams 23        Fonda – Jackson Atty 17

The Panthers ran away over the middle two periods outscoring Fonda 39-16 in their Class B opening round victory.  The Falls advance to face Catskill at HVCC on Friday.

 

Waterford 57   Schoharie 32

Leading Scorers:  Fordians – TJ Kelley 20 (5 3’s)       Michael Talavera 15         Schoharie – Shane Helmstadt 11

After a close first period the Fordians held Schoharie to single numbers in each of the final three quarters, pulling away for the Class B opening round win.  Waterford moves on and will meet Granville at HVCC on Saturday morning.

 

Granville 65   Cambridge 61

Leading Scorers:  Horde – Jarett Williams 25 ( 5 3’s)       Josh Oakman 18        Indians – Brian Hall 16      Jeff Burke 10

Cambridge led 31-28 at the break, but Granville used the long ball, drilling 11 triples on the night to notch the Class B “W”.

 

Voorheesville 62   Hoosic Valley 45

Leading Scorers:  Blackbirds – Zaveon Little 23       Anthony Puma 19       Matt Paccini 12 Indians  – Tyler Eddy 14        CJ Bassett 11       Logan Reilly 10

The Indians trailed 27-14 at the half, trimmed the deficit to 41-33 after the third but fell short in their comeback attempt in a Class C opening round run.

 

Fort Plain 65    Stillwater 59

Leading Scorers:  Forts Plain – Troy Butler 21     L. Thomas 16        Robert Jordan 12          Warriors – Brian McNeil 28

Fort Plain led 35-25 at the break after which the Warriors outscored the Forts 35-30 but came up short in Class C play.

 

Girls

Ft. Edward 53   Spa Catholic 20

Leading Scorers:  Forts – Gabby Thomas 18        Haleigh Condon 10

The Forts held the Saints to single numbers in every quarter on their way to the Class D quarterfinal win.