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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cambridge Rolls Over Mt. Anthony

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Cambridge 56  Mt. Anthony 27

Leading Scorers:  Indians – Sophie Phillips 18      Lily Phillips 12         Patriots – Grace Mahar 11

Cambridge ran out to a 27-6 lead after the first eight minutes, added to their cushion with a 20 point second period and cruised from there to the non-league road victory over the Patriots of Vermont.

The Indians connected on nine triples in the “W”, running their mark to a perfect 7-0 on the season with a big home matchup on Wednesday when they’ll welcome in the Red Raiders of Mechanicville.

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

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‘Twas the night before Christmas and in Wasarenland

Players had gathered for the basketball tournament at hand.

A two on two tourney was about to unfold

Standing room only, no tickets left unsold.

A boy and girl player from each league school

Playing as teammates on the eve of the Yule.

Make it Take it, was the rule on this day

Or “Winner’s Outs”, said another way

First team to 11, have to win by two

Would reduce the field to a precious few.

The sound of a whistle began first round play

Games at each end in a half court fray.

Cross-overs and jumpers, blocked shots and more

It was something to see, the talent on the floor.

As the round played out it was great holiday fun

Except for good players who were one and done.

Mueller and Galarneau, Kuzmich and Brophy

Upson and Bolen would take home no trophy.

Gone too, Stalker and Ritter, Faraj and Rice

Their defense was naughty but all their J’s were nice.

One semifinal bounced Bassett and Lanoue

In the other Thayne and Kempf, they went home too.

Mechanicville and Cambridge were the last teams to ball

Goverski and D’Ambro facing Phillips and Hall

But before the game started, at the far end of the gym

The door swung open with Santa and the Mrs. stepping in.

“Combine your teams,” yelled Santa, “Two in and two out.”

“While Mrs. C and I show you what the game’s all about.”

Phillips and Hall started against the holiday pair

Quickly learning Kris’s wife could score from anywhere.

Knocking down jumpers and scoring at the rim

The hopes for the Wasaren began to look grim.

Trailing 6-2 Goverski and D’Ambro took the floor

Each connected once from deep but would score no more.

Santa blocked a D’Ambro floater that opened everyone’s eyes

It had plenty of arc, but the Kringle Man can rise.

He showed athletic skill belying his diet

The man lives on cookies and milk, I think I might try it.

Santa bottomed five in a row to close the championship out

As for the tourney’s best, the north’s duo left little doubt.

And from a cheering gym Santa quickly ran to his sled

Filled with plenty of gifts for the long night ahead.

Having enjoyed his run in the gym down below

Santa’s magical sled rose through the night time snow.

And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,

“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoosic Valley Girls Basketball Preview

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Head Coach:  Walt Dorman

2018-19 Record:  15-6

Key Returning Players:  Sam Dickenson  Emaleigh Peckham  Anna Jensen

Coming off a 15 win season a year ago the Indians will have,  ” A nice mix of returning players and a few new ones,” according to head coach Walt Dorman.  A trio of starters in Dickenson, Peckham and Jensen give the veteran coach a solid core to build around.

In the early going things have looked good for the Valley with Dorman commenting, ” We had a nice tempo this preseason.”

On a team with strengths on both sides of the ball Dorman highlights what’s been the Indians calling card for years, ” Our ability to play tough man to man.”

As for goals set for the Schaghticoke squad Dorman said simply, ” To improve everyday as a player and a person.”

The head coach touted Cambridge and Mechanicville as the front runners for the Wasaren title in a league with a host of quality teams.

While Coach Dorman didn’t respond with a word or phrase he most would like people to associate with his team this year, I know what fans will most likely see from the Indians.

A tough, physical man to man team, with the ability to extend the floor defensively and turn opponents over, leading to transition buckets.  Also a program that brings to the court a winning pedigree, and a high level of compete.

All longtime cornerstones of the Hoosic Valley program that I’m confident will be ever present, once again, this winter in Schaghticoke.