New playoff criteria will aid small schools

Smaller schools that meet larger schools in Section II baseball leagues will have a greater opport­u
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Smaller schools that meet larger schools in Section II baseball leagues will have a greater opport­unity to reach postseason play based on a new formula put together by the Section II baseball committee.

“We asked ourselves, ‘How can we help smaller schools,’­ ” said Al Roy, Section II baseball coordin­ator. “We came up with a criteria, and we think it’s a good change. It’s going to help some of the smaller schools, and coaches will know exactly what they have to do.”

Teams such as Class A Mohon­asen, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Bishop Maginn, and Class B Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons, which compete in the Class AA-dom­inated Suburban Council and Big 10, could benefit greatly with the new criteria. Class D St. Johnsville and Northville, members of the Class B- and C-heavy Western Athletic Conference, could, as well.

“Smaller schools will have more of a chance to get in,” Roy said.

Section II teams need at least a .500 league record to automatically qualify for postseason play, though teams that are close to that mark are considered, and often let in. A smaller school such as Mohonasen or Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake may still reach the playoffs under the new formula, even with a 4-10 Suburban Council record.

“If your league record is 4-10, and three of those wins are against bigger schools, they would count as three additional wins for qualifying purposes. That would give them seven wins, and a better opport­unity to get in,” Roy explained. “We would still seed them where they belong, though, based on that 4-10 league record.”

The Section II baseball committee recommended the new criteria to the Section II Athletic Council, which approved it last month.

“With this in place, coaches are going to use different strategies. They may start different pitchers against bigger schools. They’ll be thinking about ways to beat those bigger schools,” he added. “And it reinforces our [Section II baseball committee] belief that league play is most important.”

Roy said the baseball committee is opposed to an open Section II tournament.

“Our feeling is, you have to earn your way in,” he said. “There are also time constraints involved, and facility and cost issues.”

lady rams move up

Amsterdam’s unbeaten girls’ basketball team has moved from No. 7 to No. 4 in the latest East Region rankings compiled by USA Today. Coach Eric Duemler’s Lady Rams completed their first 20-0 regular season (they were 19-1 in 2006-07) with a 59-43 win Thursday over Albany.

For much of the season, Amsterdam has been ranked No. 1 among Class AA teams by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

compton can do

Pressed into action with several teammates unavailable, eighth-grader Monica Compton reached career highs with five three-point baskets and 15 points in Schenectady Christian’s 30-29 win over Fonda-Fultonville Thursday night in the Western Athletic Conference championship game.

Compton gave the Falcons the lead for good with her fifth three-point hoist, at 29-27, with a minute to play. The performance by the 5-foot-9 guard helped Schenectady Christian complete its first 20-0 regular season.

Compton, who excelled last season at the junior varsity level, came into the game with only two three-point baskets and 22 total points.

brundage reaches 100

St. Johnsville boys’ basketball coach Jason Brundage picked up his 100th win last week when his Saints beat Canajoharie, 50-35, in a Western Athletic Conference crossover game.

Brundage had 12 wins at Scho­harie, and has 88 in eight seasons at St. Johnsville. He led St. Johnsville to Section II Class D championships in 2001 and 2007.

Evan Springer had a big performance in the milestone win with 10 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Anthony Vicciarelli led the Saints with 14 points.

Shen jv 19-1

Shenendehowa’s junior varsity boys’ basketball team concluded its season last week with a 57-41 victory at Saratoga Springs, and with a 19-game winning streak.

Coach Sean Hunter’s Plainsmen lost to Big 10 JV champ Bishop Maginn to start their season, 63-54. The Plainsmen’s 19-game streak included 16 Suburban Council wins, and a 59-58 double-overtime triumph over Proctor of Utica.

Sean Hunter is assisted by his father, Gary Hunter, a former varsity boys’ coach at several area schools.

neri to wagner

Christian Brothers Academy wide receiver Nico Neri has signed a letter of intent to play football at Wagner College of the Northeast Conference.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior from Ravena caught two touchdown passes last season, in wins over Queensbury and LaSalle, and had single-game bests with four

receptions and 96 yards in a loss to Ballston Spa. The Class AA Empire Division second-team all-star, who also considered Marist, St. John Fisher and Ithaca, finished his

senior campaign with 15 receptions and 400 yards.

Plainsmen second

The Shenendehowa girls’ basketball team finished second in the Lockport Kiwanis Tournament, losing to Nichols, 66-54, in the champ­ionship game Saturday night.

SHENENDEHOWA

Turner 6-1-17, Ferro 1-0-2, Ray 0-2-2, Shea 3-5-11, Goodwin 2-3-7, Woodward

1-0-3, Holland 5-2-12. Totals: 18-13-54.

NICHOLS

Donahue 5-5-16, Smith 2-0-6, Dougherty 7-0-20, Walton 1-0-3, Heldwein 2-0-5, Camp 7-2-16. Totals: 24-7-66.

Shenendehowa 15  9 17 13 — 54

Nichols 13 14 20 19 — 66

Three-point goals: Turner 4, Woodward, Donahue, Smith 2, Dougherty 6, Walton, Heldwein.

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