A Heavyweight Matchup in Schaghticoke

Friday nights and high school basketball for decades in the Wasaren has meant packed houses, vocal fan bases and high-quality, competitive play on the floor.  The passion for the sport in league circles has been ever present for fifty years with memories of big games shared long after the final whistle.   Tonight’s matchup in Schaghticoke has the makings and feel of a big-time regular season run when the Bengals of Tamarac pay a visit to face the Indians of Hoosic Valley. 

I’ve seen both teams play once this year and as you might expect there are similarities between the two squads. 

Both have a high compete level at the defensive end with length, active hands and the willingness to step in and take a charge or contest shots at the rim. 

Offensively both teams like the transition game and will pull the trigger from deep, while always hunting an open teammate with a better scoring opportunity. 

Tamarac comes in with an 8-2, 6-0 mark on the season and are ranked #8 in the state in Class B.   They average 78 points per contest, the highest in Section II, and allow 54 points at the defensive end.  The Bengals are a veteran group with eight seniors, a pair of juniors and a freshman on their roster.  Offensively they are skilled and deep with nine players having scored in doubles this year.  

Tamarac is led by senior Joey Poulin who scores it at 26 per game with 25 triples, and senior Mikey D’Agostino averaging 14.5 ppg with 28 makes from beyond the arc.  While Poulin and D’Agostino lead the way seniors James Blake II and Jack Casey are also double figure scorers with additional shot-makers coming off the Bengals bench.

Hoosic Valley enters with a 9-0, 5-0 record and a #12 state ranking in Class C. The Valley averages 76 points per game, number two in Section II, and defensively give up 49 points per.  The Indians roster shows five seniors, five juniors and a sophomore. Offensively they are skilled and versatile possessing the ability to score off the dribble or penetrate and kick out to spot up shooters.

Senior Isaiah Eckler leads the Valley attack at 21.4 points per game with 26, 3-pointers. Senior Logan Reilly at 12.4, junior Chris Jones 11.4 and junior Gabe Coffin 11.1 round out a quartet of double figure scorers for the Indians, while senior Tyler Eddy scores at 8.5 ppg, but can score in bunches, pouring in 13 second-half points in a 65-62 win over Ichabod Crane in December. 

While there’s still a long way to go in this basketball season tonight brings together the two front runners from their respective north and south divisions of the Wasaren.  Two elite squads facing off where at games end one will absorb their first loss in league play. Here’s hoping for another regular season classic, on this Friday night in Schaghticoke.

 

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