Sponsor Support

Since the onset of Covid-19 this spring so much in our society has been impacted including businesses both large and small which have been greatly affected.

I say it all the time on our broadcasts that the businesses advertising on Wasaren Sportsnet make what we do possible. Although there’s no broadcast schedule at present I wanted to recognize businesses that advertised with us last year and encourage everyone to patronize, when possible, these fine establishments.

New Country Toyota of Clifton Park – 202 Route 146 Mechanicville

Val’s – 42 Hudson Avenue Mechanicville

Wiley Brothers – 1854 Route 40 Schaghticoke

Bonnier’s Service – 1140 Route 40 Schaghticoke

Legends Barbershop – 30 North Central Ave Mechanicville & 2443 Rt. 9 Malta

Off Broadway Hair Design – 15 South Central Ave Mechanicville

The Connors Agency – 40 North Central Ave Mechanicville

Guz Enterprises – 148 First Ave Mechanicville

Devito Salvadore Funeral Home – 39 South Main St Mechanicville

Zappia and Fryer Dentistry – 1 Pine West Plaza Albany

Carney’s Service Center – 18 South Central Ave Mechanicville

The Community Nursery School – 134 North Second Ave Mechanicville

End Zone Sports Pub and Restaurant 227 Park Ave Mechanicville

The Cambridge Tribesmen Booster Club

The Waterford-Halfmoon Sports Booster Club

The Tamarac Booster Club

Aviation Mall – 578 Aviation Road Queensbury

As always many thanks for all your support of Wasaren Sportsnet.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Wasaren Sportsnet Player of the Week

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Congratulations to Mechanicville boys basketball player Josh Germain on being named the Wasaren Sportsnet Player of the Week.

On Tuesday night in Mechanicville Germain scored 32 points, including four triples, in the Red Raiders 89-81 win over the Saints of Saratoga Catholic.

Two nights later in a defensive battle with neighboring rival Stillwater, Josh led all scorers netting 12 points with a pair of 3-pointers in Mechanicville’s 48-39 victory over the Warriors.

Congratulations to Josh, our newest Wasaren Sportsnet Player of the Week.

 

Cambridge Tops Xaverian in Rose Classic Super Slam

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Cambridge 53   Xaverian 38

Leading Scorers:  Indians – Sophie Phillips 14 points       Lilly Phillips 13 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks         Fiona Mooney 13 points, 13 rebounds       Ruth Nolan 9 rebounds                Xaverian – DiBiase 8 points

Trailing 15-14 after the first period of play, Cambridge outscored Xaverian 31-9 over the middle two frames in claiming their second victory in the Rose Classic Super Slam in Brooklyn over the weekend.

The Indians and their long ball prowess accounted for more than half of their game total, bottoming 10 triples in the contest with Sophie connecting on four, Lilly three, Ruth Nolan a pair and Fiona Mooney drilling one.

Cambridge earned a trio of tournament awards with Sophie Phillips named as the tournament MVP, Fiona Mooney collecting the Sportsmanship Award, and Abby Mahar  chosen for the Scholar-Athlete Award.

Fordians Win a Pair

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Waterford 110  Berlin/New Lebanon 41  (Friday)

Leading Scorers:  Fordians – Michael Talavera 26     TJ Kelley 17      Joe Panetta 15      Howard Phelan 12      Jake Houle 12      Dom Pontore 11         Mountaineers – Kasey Billert 8

Waterford scored 34 in the first period and led 60-21 at halftime, cruising to the league win over Berlin/New Lebanon.  The Fordians were able to place six players in double figures in the victory and a seventh Fordian Gavin Bodah scored nine.

 

Waterford 84  Greenwich 66

Leading Scorers:  Fordians – Michael Talavera 33       TJ Kelley 22       Dom Pontore 11     Witches – Jesse Kuzmich 19       Jayden Hughes 11

Waterford ran out to a 28-8 lead after the first period and went on to notch the comfortable road win over the Witches.  The Fordians converted on 31 of 35 free throws and with the win improve 2-1, 9-2 on the season.  Greenwich shot 7 of 13 from the stripe and slip to 0-3, 4-6 with the loss.

Mechanicville Rolls Past Indians

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After a competitive first half of play Tuesday night in Mechanicville the homestanding Red Raiders put together a dominant third period on both sides of the ball, outscoring Hoosic Valley 26-8 in the frame, and cruised from there to the 65-37 victory.

The Raiders held a 14-8 advantage after one, with senior guard Tyler Dion netting eight points to lead Mechanicville.

The two squads played evenly throughout much of the second quarter that saw the Indians Ethan Caiazza working the offensive glass to score six in the frame, while Josh Germain with five points and sophomore Tyler Eiseman with four points led the Raiders who took a 28-21 lead into the break.

The Valley started the third, finding freshman Logan Reilly on a backside lob, but the Indians would score just three points over the next 4:30 as Mechanicville took control.

Dion started things with a nice move in the paint, followed by a pair of dribble-drives from Germain that gave the Raiders their first double digit lead at 34-23.

After a Nick Santiago triple stemmed the tide briefly for Hoosic Valley, the Raiders Anthony Attala connected on two free throws, Luciano D’Ambro scored inside, and Dion followed with a deuce off a nice find from Devin Garland expanding the Mechanicville lead to 40-26.

An Attala score off an in-bounds play at the 3:30 mark finished a Raider run of 16-5 to start the period, and after three Valley free throws Mechanicville closed the stanza with 10 unanswered, the final points off a transition bucket by Garland on a good look from Kyle Johnson who had freed himself with a wrap-around dribble before dishing to his teammate.

In the fourth both squads went deep into their bench with the reserves getting plenty of run to close things out.

Caiazza with 11 points led the Hoosic Valley on the night as the Indians with the loss  slips to 4-4 on the year.

Dion with 16  points and Germain with 10 led the Raiders who improve to 9-1 on the season.

 

 

The Impact of the 3-Ball

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At halftime of the JV game Friday night in Hoosic Valley I walked over to the scorer’s table to see a friend and former teammate from back in the day at the Valley.  The first thing John said to me was., “Has this game changed much or what?”.  And I knew exactly what he meant.

We’d just watched a half of basketball where both teams time and again pulled up from three point land, and this was a JV game.

When we played in the late 70’s there was no three point line and the importance of taking a quality shot was stressed.  Take one bad shot and you heard about, take another and you were coming out of the game. Not saying it was right or wrong, just saying that’s the way it was.

But since the addition of the three point line back in 1988, an open look from beyond the arc has become a good look for many.  Sure, it depends on time, and score, and who’s letting it go, but the analytics say it’s something all teams should embrace, and most have, over the course of two decades of playing with the arc.

I crunched some numbers over the weekend looking at the top five girls and boys teams in both the Wasaren and Section II, regarding made three pointers .  After finding what each of the teams averaged in scoring, I set up three categories for each team looking at made threes per game, the percentage of a teams total points scored on threes, and the teams won/loss record.

Girls – Wasaren

Team                            Made threes/game           % of total points from 3’s                record

Cambridge                             8.7                                           39%                                     9-0

Stillwater                               3.5                                           26%                                     3-8

Hoosic Valley                        3.5                                            23%                                     6-4

Greenwich                             3.1                                            16%                                    8-2

Mechanicville                        3.1                                            16%                                    7-3

Section II

Shenendahowa                     9.3                                             35%                                   9-0

Cambridge                             8.7                                             39%                                   9-0

Guilderland                           6.8                                             36%                                   3-8

Mekeel Christian                   7.3                                             37%                                    9-1

Mayfield                                5.9                                             36%                                  5-6

 

Boys

Hoosic Valley                         8.1                                             42%                                   4-3

Spa Catholic                           7.8                                             36%                                   5-4

Greenwich                              7.3                                             41%                                   4-4

Tamarac                                 4.6                                              26%                                   1-9

Hoosick Falls                          4.5                                             13.5%                                 9-1

 

Section II

Argyle                                     11.6                                           44%                                   10-1

Niskayuna                               9.0                                             51%                                    7-3

Schoharie                                8.8                                             41%                                    6-4

Fonda                                      9.6                                              48%                                   8-1

Ballston Spa                            8.8                                              46%                                    3-6

What stands out to me is the percentage of total points scored on three point shots for the top five teams in Section II.

All of the girls teams are scoring between 35-39% of their total points on triples with Cambridge leading the pack at 39%.

The top five boys squads in the section rely even more so on the long ball with a range of 41-51% of their points coming from beyond the arc.  Those percentages are higher than I would have guessed.

In terms of won-loss records, while you can find an outlier in each category, 15 of the 20 teams listed have winning records.

While everyone knows you can make numbers say almost anything you’d like, we all realize that the three-pointer and the ability to shoot it well, and limit it defensively, is a huge part of today’s high school game.

I personally like the 3-ball when used effectively, just like any other strategy in basketball. It adds excitement to the game and would have been fun to have played with back in the day.

But exciting or not, miss a couple of off balance shots from beyond the arc, and that scorer’s horn is for me, as I go and sit next to Coach Wilsey and am reminded, in no uncertain terms, what a quality shot is supposed to look like.