Berlin Boys Basketball Preview

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Head Coach:  Nathan Ellis

2018-19 Record:  1-15

Key Returning Players:  Connor Votra   Shawn Pawlows   Roman Kane

After struggling a season ago the Mountaineers will hit the reset button, start fresh and look to change things, beginning with team chemistry.

” Building team chemistry has been the best part of out preseason.” remarked head coach Nathan Ellis.  ” We have merged with another district this year, (New Lebanon), and it’s great to see a different perspective from these new athletes.  ” They have forced us not only to create new team chemistry with them, but also given us an opportunity to rebuild our own chemistry.”

In addition to team chemistry, the scoring woes from last season need to be remedied.  “We have to work on consistent scoring this season.  Last year we struggled to find a way to put up points and it caused frustration within, and we have to work on that this year,” offered Ellis.

As for team strengths Ellis pointed to the other end of the floor.  ” We’ve identified ourselves as having a strong defense and to use that to lead us forward this year.”

Ellis says his Mountaineers will embrace the underdog role this upcoming season.  ” Plain and simply we had the worst record last year.  We are identifying ourselves as underdogs to help motivate ourselves moving forward.  We are okay with being the underdogs.”

That being said the Mountaineer mentor feels his squad could contend for the league title.  ” We feel as we were our own worst enemy last year.  Our chemistry was awful and we allowed a lot of outside noise onto the court.  We are working to play as one cohesive unit, and if we can do that, we fell we can accomplish a lot this year.”

The Mountaineers hope that their new basketball culture will translate to a competitive environment and more “W’s” this winter in Berlin.

 

Cambridge Boys Basketball Preview

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Head Coach:  Shea Bromirski

2018-19 Record:  8-14

Key Returning Players:  Brad Rowland  Ben Epler  Nick Murphy  Brian Hall  Soyer Matteson  Kaden Ogilvie

Former Cambridge standout Shea Bromirski takes the reins of the Cambridge program and will welcome back a number of returning players from last year’s team, that played competitively in the season’s second half.

” We return a lot off last year’s team,” said Bromirski.  ” We have experience and upper classmen running our show.”

Regarding the Indians identity this season Bromirski responded, ” I expect us to have great depth and the ability to play 9 or 10 guys.”  He continued, ” We have good size and will play tough physical defense.”

The Indians head coach touts, ” Hoosick Falls,” as the top contender in the Wasaren, high lighting a pair of Panther players.

” Jon Kempf has a scorer’s mentality unlike anyone in the league.  He can really shoot the ball.”

” Tristan Williams is bigger and more physically talented than anyone in the league, he can score around the rim or from deep.”

Both talented players in the competitive Wasaren as was Bromirski just a few years back. The first year head coach knows the league well and what it takes to navigate the gauntlet of the league schedule.

With an experienced and deep Indians roster, look for Cambridge to build on last season, putting themselves in the mix as tough out on a nightly basis for all league opponents this winter.

 

 

Waterford Boys Basketball Preview

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Head Coach:  Brian Eastman

2018-19 Record:  12-9

Key Returning Players:  Mike Talavera   Evan Fairclough   TJ Kelley   Gavin Bodah   Dom Pontore

I saw the Fordians just once last season and that was in the Wasaren championship game against Hoosick Falls.  They took the Panthers down to the wire in that one and I came away impressed with Waterford.

Well the Fordians return plenty of talent from last year’s group starting with Mike Talavera and TJ Kelley.  Over the weekend in the Waterford Tip-Off Tournament,  Talavera enjoyed 34 and 27 point outings with Kelley adding 16 and 20 point efforts as the Fordians cruised to the tournament championship.

Coach Eastman has liked what he’s seen in the preseason saying, “They are working hard each day.”

Eastman touts, “Quickness and work ethic,” as the Fordians main strengths of which there seem to be many.

“For us to be successful this year we must rebound and continue to get better each day,” added the head coach.

As for title contenders in the Wasaren, Eastman echoed what many have said, “Until somebody proves they can beat Hoosick Falls they are the favorites.”

“Team toughness,” is a phrase Eastman would like people to associate with his team this season.

That trait was evident watching the Fordians a season ago and if they can bring that to the floor again this year, look for Waterford to fill the win column and once again vie for a Wasaren title.

 

 

 

Tip-Off Tourneys Results

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A host of Wasaren teams wrapped up Tip-Off Tournaments on Saturday with a pair of league schools earning tournament championships.

Waterford 75  Salem 53

Leading Scorers: Fordians – Mike Talavera 27    TJ Kelley 20    Jake Houle 13       Generals – Eli Truhart 14     Ian Lockhart 12

Key Stat:  Waterford puts three players in doubles, shoots 16 of 17 from the stripe, and wins their own tip-off tournament in convincing fashion.

 

Hoosick Falls 63  Lake George 43

Leading Scorers:  Panthers – Jon Kempf 34     Max Kipp 10        Warriors – Cameron Orr 10   Juan Garcia 10

Key Stat:  The Falls used a 24-7 second period to take control, and used a 19-1 advantage in made free throws to keep the Warriors at bay.   With the win the Panthers claim the Lake George Tip-Off Tournament championship, beating two solid squads in St. Lawrence and Lake George over the weekend.

 

Argyle 74  Saratoga Catholic 73

Leading Scorers:  Scots- Peyton Lufkin 21    Derek Liddle 15    Parker Frost 12    Gabe Wood 12    Caide Flanders 12   Saints – Robbie Bolen 28    Anthony Barile 15    Hayden Day 12    Jordan Catone 11

Key Stat:  Argyle outscored the Saints 27-23 in the final period capped by a Gabe Wood’s tip-in at the buzzer giving the Scots the one-point “W” in the championship game of the Mike Beson Memorial Tournament.  Argyle held a 15-5 advantage in made triples, as the Scotties scored 60% of their game total from beyond the arc.

 

St. Lawrence 56  Stillwater 44

 

Saratoga Catholic 42  Loudonville Christian 35

Leading Scorers:  Saints – Ryleigh Dempsey 13         LC – Skyler Householder 18

Key Stat:  The Saints trailed 30-27 heading to the final frame, but outscored LC 15-5  over then final eight minutes to post the come-from-behind victory in the consolation game of the Mike Beson Memorial Tournament.

Friday Night Buckets

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Boys Basketball

Waterford 105  Heatly 20

Leading Scorers:  Fordians – Mike Talavera 34    TJ Kelley 16      Heatly –  Christian Sogardorf  6

Key Stat:  The Fordians hung 38 points on the  board in the first period and cruised to the one-sided decision.

Take Away:  Waterford wins in a mismatch here but the Fordians are a good basketball team that will be a tough out for anyone this year.

 

Lake George 51  Stillwater 49

Leading Scorers:  Lake George – Cameron Orr 16   Juan Garcia 14        Warriors – Josh Luca 15   Brian McNeil 12

Key Stat:  Lake George used a 16-13 advantage in the final frame to pull out the narrow “W” in the Lake George Tip-Off Tourney.

 

Saratoga Catholic 64  Galway 52

Leading Scorers:  Saints – Robbie Bolen 33   Jordan Catone 12         Galway – Ryan Bredan 13

Key Stat:  The Saints jumped out to a 19-4 lead after the first quarter and rode that cushion to the season-opening victory in the Beson Memorial Tournament.  Spa shot it well from deep, bottoming 13 triples with Bolen connecting on seven.

 

Hoosick Falls 57  St Lawrence 44

 

Girls Basketball

Cohoes 37  Stillwater 29

Leading Scorers:  Tigers – Olivia Huneau 15       Warriors – Trinity Cutler 8     Marley Mueller 7

Key Stat:  In a low scoring affair, free throws played a major part with Cohoes converting on 11 of 24 attempts, while Stillwater managed just 3 of 9.

 

Mechanicville 56  Watervliet 23

Leading Scorers:  Red Raiders – Chloe Goverski 12      Charli Goverski 10     Gianna Cavotta 10     Jada Brown 8         Cannoneers – Amai Maldonado 10

Key Stat:  Trailing 9-8 after one, the Raiders outscoring V’liet 34-4 over the middle two periods in posting the dominant “W”.

 

Galway 43  Spa Catholic 40

Leading Scorers:  Galway – Ryan Ripepi 13     Emma Spadaro 10     Morgan Drouin 10    Saints –  Ashley Upson 12

Key Stat:  Galway knocked down five 3-pointers and put three players in doubles to post the win in the Beson Memorial Tournament.

 

 

Witches Win Season-Opener

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Greenwich jumped out to a 26-10 lead at the end of one and extended their advantage to 49-17 at the half in cruising past Corinth 86-34 in the boys basketball opener for both squads on Tuesday night in Greenwich.

Alex Curtis with 23 points and Jesse Kuzmich with 19, led the Witches attack that used the long ball effectively, bottoming nine triples in the contest.

Isaac Melville with 10 points showed the way for the Tomahawks.

Hoosick Falls Boys Basketball Preview

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Head Coach:  Mike Lilac

2018-19 Record:  14-0 League  21-2 Overall

Key Returning Players:  Tristan Williams Sr.  Jon Kempf Sr.  Max Kipp Sr.  Dmitri Rose Sr.  Isiah Burnett Sr.  ( all who started at some point last season )  Zach Cahill Sr.  Nick Houghton Sr.  Sam Wickenden Sr.  Dylan Baker Soph.

While it’s not true that the last time Hoosick Falls failed to win a Wasaren championship was during the Bush administration, it sure seems it.  The Panthers, coming off a perfect 14-0 league campaign a year ago, have a won 84 of their last 86 Wasaren games including 54 straight.  They return five starters from last years squad, and seem poised to once again defend their league title.

“Our overall experience should be our biggest strength this year,” said longtime Panthers head coach Mike Lilac.  He added, “We will always stress our tough man to man defense,” a cornerstone of the Falls program for years.

As for this year’s preseason, Lilac likes that his team’s, “Shot selection is better and we seem to be taking better care of the basketball, keeping turnovers down.”

When asked what the Panthers need to do for another successful year, the head coach responded, “Rebounding the ball is the single biggest thing we need to do to be successful.   Outside of Williams we’re not very big.”  He continued, “We will need to bring the intensity every night as we have a bit of a target on our backs.  We will see everyone’s best shot.”

As for top contenders chasing the league crown Lilac said, “We should be in the mix,” but pointed out his Panthers last season had, “Several close games with Mechanicville, Waterford and Stillwater and they all return a lot.”

“Grit” is the one word the Falls mentor hopes people will associate with his squad this season.  “We always talk about having pride in the program and keeping our strong tradition going.”

And with an experienced, deep and talented Hoosick Falls squad ready to take the floor next week,  the smart money says the program’s winning tradition will continue to thrive.

 

 

 

 

 

Saratoga Catholic Boys Basketball Preview

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Head Coach:  Brett Simpson

2018-19 Record:  6-15

Key Returning Players:  Jordan Catone Sr.  Ryan McCarroll Jr. are the only returning varsity players.

It will be a brand new system for the Saratoga Catholic program this year and head coach Brett Simpson likes the learning curve so far.  “Our kids have been working hard inside and out of practices and scrimmages.  We have gotten stronger with every practice and will continue to as we move forward.”

Simpson pointed specifically towards, “Ball movement and shooting,” as strengths of his Saints adding, “We will look to push the tempo and use our quickness to our advantage.”

In their effort to improve on the team’s record from a year ago the head coach sites the need to, “Rebound and defend.  If we can do both of those things at a high level we will be a tough team to play.”

The Saints mentor realizes the Wasaren is filled with competitive squads listing Hoosick Falls and Mechanicville at the top while adding, “The Wasaren league is extremely tough.  Anyone can beat anyone on a given night.”

In closing, when asked for a word or phrase that he hopes people will associate with his Saints, Simpson stated “Play smart, play hard, play together.  If we can do those three things we will succeed in basketball and also the real world.”

 

 

 

Mechanicville Boys Basketball Preview

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Head Coach:  Rian Richardson

2018-19 Record:  12-10

Key Returning Players:  Anthony Atalla  Josh Germaine  Luci D’Ambro  Devin Garland  Tyler Dion

A year ago Mechanicville flashed the ability to play with anyone, and with plenty of returning talent from that squad, hopes run high in Raider Nation this season.

Coach Richardson likes what he’s seen thus far from his group.  “Our practices have been so competitive that each individual has improved which makes our team better each day. Each player brings a little something different to our team in a positive way.”

Richardson highlighted his squads work ethic, ” We’ve worked really hard early, starting back with our open gyms in April.”

The head coach touts the Raiders speed and quickness as strengths that, “Will help us defend and create mismatches offensively” and “Our experience, which should also be beneficial.”

As for keys to Mechanicville’s success this season Richardson pointed to teamwork.

“We will need to play as a team and share the ball to be successful.  Guys are currently learning their roles and if everyone buys in we will be competitive.”

Regarding his thoughts on contenders for the league crown Richardson offered, “We hope to be at the top when the season ends and we realize it won’t be easy.  Hoosick Falls returns five starters that lost in the Class C final last year.”

The Mechanicville mentor concluded by saying he wants, “People to say that we play the game the right way.”

Look for that, as well as a run at the Wasaren title from these Raiders, this season.

 

 

 

Hoosic Valley Boys Basketball Preview

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Head Coach:  Alex Lilac

2018-19 Record:  8-6 League  10-11 Overall

Key Returning Players:  CJ Bassett (Sr.)  Nick Santiago (Sr.) Matt Rowe (Jr.)  Logan Reilly (Fr.)

Last season the group from Schaghticoke, more nights than not was a tough out for league opponents and will look to do more of the same in the 2019-20 campaign.

“We have a young group that has blended nicely together on and off the court thus far”, said Lilac, who will lean on a pair seniors in Bassett and Santiago to provide leadership for the Indians.

A year ago the Valley showed prowess at the defensive end and look for their ability to guard to be a cornerstone again for this year’s version of the Indians.  “We have a gritty, defensive-minded team”, said Lilac, adding “We’re capable of beating anyone.”

He continued, “What our team needs to do to be successful is to get better each day and control what we can control.”

Regarding contenders for the league crown, Lilac named just one, the defending champion Panthers of Hoosick Falls.

Asked for the word or phrase he wants most associated with his squad, Lilac simply responded, “Toughness.”

For decades, going all the way back to packed houses, surrounding the small floor in the old Valley gym, opponents have known to bring their “A” game when facing the Indians  or risk going home with a loss.

This season promises to be no different as visitors will find a tough minded Valley team with the ability to guard, ensuring once again, they’ll be no nights off on the hardwood in Schaghticoke.