High School Basketball: Spartans finally begin play tonight

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys’ basketball team is in midseason form in one sense, and not in th

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys’ basketball team is in midseason form in one sense, and not in the way that you’d want to be.

The lineup includes five players who have some nagging injuries, the kind of bangs and bruises you’d expect to have well into the season. The problem is, the Spartans are playing their season opener tonight, under some unusual circumstances.

Burnt Hills made such a deep run into the state Class A football playoffs that almost half the basketball roster is still playing catch-up in their winter sport as they head into a game at Shenendehowa, which has already won three games,

including one over Schenectady.

Still, head coach George Dudas, the highly successful Burnt Hills girls’ coach who took over the boys’ team this year for Bill Martin, likes his team. The Spartans just need some time to make the transition from football to basketball.

“They’re at the football banquet tonight, as we speak,” Dudas said with a chuckle Monday night.

“Everybody’s had about 25 practices and games, and these football players haven’t had enough, really, to even scrimmage.”

Burnt Hills was scheduled to open its season more than a week ago, but postponed two games as it scrambled just to put together a team and get in enough practices.

From the football team, the basketball roster includes quarterback Paul Layton, Craig Page, Bret Dennis, and two 6-foot-5 players, Zachary Morton and Jacob Meyers, whose sisters, Sarah and Rachel,

respectively, played for Dudas’ team that went to the state Class A semifinals in 2006.

Because Burnt Hills has had a strong girls’ soccer program for years, Dudas has some exper­ience with seasons that overlap like this.

“It’s not very dissimilar to what we’ve done with the girls before, although we’ve never had to put in a whole new program before,” he said. “The biggest thing we tried to do was not put in too much too quickly, so they wouldn’t be in a position to be confused and then freeze up. If we were going to border on doing too much or not enough, we leaned toward not putting in enough.”

Compounding matters is the fact that Layton, the Spartans’ best outside shooter, will be out for two weeks with a broken tailbone he suffered in Burnt Hills’ 35-28 loss to Sweet Home in the Class A champ­ionship game at the Carrier Dome.

Another key player, not from the football team, is Hayden Skalski, a point guard who got a few starts last season.

“Depending on how things pan out, we’re going to have some depth,” Dudas said. “This forces us to have depth, with Paul not in there.

“It’s a big difference. One day, you’re at the Carrier Dome playing for a state championship, and Monday morning, you’re on the hardwood. You don’t know the plays, then you get force-fed everything in about a week and have to try to soak it all in.”

Shenendehowa opened the season with a 69-49 win over Nazareth, then beat Schenectady (68-65) and Ballston Spa (72-47). Matt Miner is averaging 17.7 points per game for the Plainsmen.

Even though Dudas had to wait a while to put his team together, that didn’t prevent him from scouting what some of the other teams have been doing.

“They’re talented, and they’re deep,” he said of the Plainsmen. “The couple of games I saw, their kids off the bench played great, so they’ve got some shooters up and down the lineup.

“We’ll improve as the season goes on. We’ll compete.”

Emma Willard wins

Caroline McManus scored 17 points, and Sarah Hutcherson contributed 10 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and seven steals to power Emma Willard over Heatly, 48-33, in a Central Hudson Valley League girls’ game Monday.

Bridgette Plummer had 10 points and 10 rebounds as Schuylerville defeated Corinth, 43-38, in a non-league game. Ariell Traino scored 20 points for Corinth.

Nikki Cavallo topped three

double-digit scorers with 13 points as Tamarac defeated Mayfield,

48-28, in a boys’ non-league game.

Erica Derby and Zysria Osepa added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the 1-0 Bengals. Mayfield dropped to 0-2.

Steve Wilday scored 27 points, including a free throw and a layup

in the final 30 seconds, to lift Galway over Northville, 56-51.

Clay Ardoin scored 16 points to lead Dolgeville to a 48-36 non-league victory over St. Johns­ville. Jackson Smith scored 14 points for the Saints (0-2).





Greene 4-5-14, McCarthy 1-1-3, Cuzdey 1-0-2, Howe 0-2-2, F. Gross 3-0-6, A. Gross 1-0-2, Brown 2-0-4. Totals: 12-8-33.


Hucherson 3-4-10, McManus 4-2-10, Painter 2-1-5, Levy 2-0-4, K. McManus 8-1-17,

Porter 1-0-2. Totals: 20-1-48.

Heatly 2 15 13  3 — 33

Emma Willard 16  6 11 15 — 48

Three-point goals: Greene.




Allen 2-0-4, Clothier 1-1-3, Madison 1-5-7,

Shipper 2-0-4, Traino 6-5-20. Totals:



Palmer 2-3-7, Ranck 3-1-7, McShane

2-0-5, Fane 0-1-1, Hathaway 2-0-4, McCloud 3-3-9, Plummer 5-0-10. Totals: 19-9-43.

Corinth 9  5 15 9 — 38

Schuylerville 11 18 10 3 — 43

Three-point goals: Traino 3, McShane.






Cavallo 4-4-13, Derby 4-2-12, Osepa

5-1-11, Smith 3-0-6, Matthews 2-0-4, Galbraith 0-2-2. Totals: 18-9-48.


Warner 3-0-6, Mawery 3-0-9, Henry 1-0-2, Morey 1-0-2, Miskinis 1-2-4, Graudons 1-2-4, Brower 0-1-1. Totals: 10-4-28.

Tamarac 19 14 6 9 — 48

Mayfield  2 13 7 6 — 28

Three-point golas: Cavallo, Derby 2, Mawery 3.



Cowper 4-1-10, S. Wilday 10-3-27, Kerwin 3-1-7, M. Wilday 1-0-2, Ferguson 2-4-8,

Stover 1-0-2. Totals: 21-9-56.


Bills 6-1-14, Briggs 3-0-6, Laporta 2-1-5, VanNostrand 3-0-7, Williams 7-0-14, Rose 2-1-5. Totals: 23-3-51.

Northville 10 10 16 15 — 51

Galway 16 10 13 17 — 56

Three-point goals: Cowper, S. Wilday 3, Kerin, Ferguson 4, Bills, Laporta, Rose.



Robotham 1-1-3, Gray 3-0-6, Ardoin

5-4-16, Weaver 1-0-3, Barton 4-0-9, Harlow 1-0-2, Scharpou 2-6-9. Totals: 17-11-48.


Smith 4-5-14, Szczesniak 4-1-9, Jaikin

1-0-2, Bennett 0-3-3, Bellen 2-0-4, Hart 2-0-4. Totals: 13-9-36.

Dolgeville 14 13 10 11 — 48

St. Johnsville 17  1  9  9 — 36

Three-point goals: Ardoin 2, Weaver, Barton, Smith.

Categories: High School Sports

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