Undersized Warriors will be tested by Plainsmen

Size isn’t everything. With its all-under-six-foot Mighty Mite backcourt, Mohonasen has proven that

Size isn’t everything.

With its all-under-six-foot Mighty Mite backcourt, Mohonasen has proven that time and again, and has maneuvered its way into contention for the Suburban Council South Division boys’ basketball championship.

“We’re beginning the last third of our schedule, and we’re not only competing for the South Division, but for the whole Suburban Council. We’re in the running,” Mohonasen coach Ken Dagostino said. “For us, I’d say that’s pretty good. It’s an opportunity they’ve earned with hard work and good play.”

Mohonasen has won eight of its last nine games despite a size disadvantage in each contest, capped by a 71-61 victory over Bethlehem at Sunday’s Coaches vs. Cancer High School Challenge. The Mighty Warriors host an even hotter team tonight, and to no surprise, a bigger one, in North Division-leading Shenendehowa.

The Plainsmen (9-1, 13-1) have won nine consecutine games, a string which began with impressive triumphs against Nottingham and Proctor, and culminated last Friday with a 58-37 blistering of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

“It won’t be the first time we’re facing that,” Dagostino said of the Plainsmen, who’ll start 6-foot-6 Ryan Murphy in the middle and four others who stand at least 6-2. “They’ll create some matchup problems for us, but at the same time, I think we can create some matchup problems for them, too. Our guys are quick and smart.”

Mohonasen (8-2, 10-4) will start four returning seniors from last season’s Section II Class A semifinal team in 6-2 forward Jordan Macejka, 5-11 guard Robert Tedesco, and 5-10 guards Anthony Robustiano and Nick Battaglia. Garrett Sisson, an emerging 6-2 sophomore, completes the starting lineup.

“They’re a scrappy team and they move the ball well, and on top of it, the game is at their place,” said Shenendehowa coach Tony Dzikas. “Playing at their place is never a picnic. We’re expecting a real good game from them.”

Macejka (team-leading 15.8 ppg) scored 22 points and took down 15 rebounds in Sunday’s win, while Robustiano and Battaglia both netted 15 points in the comeback effort which left Mohonasen and Guilderland both with eight wins in the South Division.

“We’ve got to play our game,” Dagostino said. “With the size we have, we can’t really change much. We’ve got to stick with what we do best.”

And that’s run the court, make smart, timely passes, hit shots and dig in defensively with a variety of schemes. Dagostino said all of those phases of the game must come together in order to end a two-game slide against Shenendehowa.

“I believe we’re capable of winning this game,” said Dagostino, whose Mighty Warriors edged Shenendehowa in 2006-07, 52-51, but dropped five- and three-point games to the Plainsmen last season. “Everyone in the program believes, but we’re all realistic about it. We’ve got to play good basketball. They’re the best team in the league, right now.”

Shenendehowa has registered seven double-digit wins during its nine-game streak, which began after a 64-61 loss to Saratoga Springs in mid-December.

“We started off the year playing real well, moving the ball and getting good shots, and then we went through a stretch where we were winning, but I didn’t like the way we were playing,” Dzikas said. “We’re back to where we were. Now, we’re playing like we did in those first four, five games.”

Among Shenendehowa’s strengths are depth (eight Plainsmen have scored in double digits), athleticism and length and the ability to drive, kick the ball and deliver from the perimeter. The Plainsmen knocked down 11 three-point baskets against Burnt Hills, with Dan Lee making four, and Matt Lee and Jake LaPan draining three apiece.

“They shoot it. They let it go,” Dagostino said of the Plainsmen’s propensity for the long ball. “They’re like a big version of us. If you stretch us out, you have Shenendehowa. Our styles are similar.”

Dzikas agreed.

“They do a good job of penetrating and kicking it out, like us. They’ll do it three, four, five times until they get the shot they want,” he said. “We don’t want to let them get that penetration. We don’t want to be chasing guys around all night.”

Junior guard Matt Miner (15.8 ppg) has been Shenendehowa’s most consistent point producer with 12 double-digit outings, including a career-high 32 in a 65-59 win over Proctor.

More big games

Fonda-Fultonville (8-0, 11-2) can clinch at least a share of the Western Athletic Conference Northern Division title with a home win tonight against second place Galway (6-2, 9-5). Galway was upset by Fort Plain Monday, 55-34, setting up Fonda-Fultonville’s opportunity.

The top four teams in the Wasaren League collide tonight, with first-place Hoosick Falls (7-1, 11-2) hosting Tamarac (7-2, 13-2), and Stillwater (7-2, 10-5) entertaining Granville (6-3, 11-3).

The Schenectady girls (8-0, 15-1) can clinch no less than a share of the Big 10 title at home against Bishop Maginn (5-3, 7-6), while the Suburban Council headliner pits division leaders Shenendehowa (10-1, 12-3) and Mohonasen (8-2, 12-2) on the Lady Plainsmen’s court.

Sorensen milestone

Junior guard Jackie Sorensen scored 19 points to eclipse 1,000 for her career in Waterford-Halfmoon’s 53-37 Central Hudson Valley League loss to Emma Willard.

Lindsey Wright added eight points for the Fordians (6-6, 6-9).

Katherine McManus scored 16 points for Emma Willard (7-1, 7-3).

Taylor Race produced 21 points, and Germanton (12-0, 16-0), ranked No. 2 in the state in Class D, rolled to a 49-11 CHVL win over New Lebanon (4-8, 6-10).

Hudson Falls (5-4, 7-8) rallied in the second half to post a 57-50 Foothills Council win over Broadalbin-Perth (1-8, 2-9). Avery Light led the Patriots with 21 points.

The Heatly boys (8-2, 10-4) beat Loudonville Christian, 50-36, in the CHVL. Jared Rebeor led the Eagles (7-3, 8-6) with 13 points.





Sorensen 7-5-19, Hines 1-0-3, Wright 3-2-8, Gattulli 1-2-4, Strohmier 1-1-3. Totals: 13-10-37.


C. McManus 5-0-12, Levy 0-2-2, K. McManus 7-2-16, Johnson 3-1-7, Porter 3-0-6, Hutcherson 1-2-4, Mullen 2-0-4, Mogoli 1-0-2. Totals: 22-7-53.

WH  7 10 8 12 — 37

Emma Willard 12 26 9  6 — 53

Three-point goals: Hines, C. McManus 2.



Race 10-0-21, M. Fuchs 0-2-2, V. Fuchs 1-0-2, Cameron 2-0-4, Krieg 4-0-8, Wright 5-0-12. Totals: 22-2-49.


Colon 2-0-4, Furlano 3-1-7. Totals: 5-1-11.

Germantown 10 11 8 20 — 49

New Lebanon  4  4 3  0 — 11

Three-point goals: Race, Wright 2.




Ferlazzo 6-0-14, Light 7-5-21, Murphy 1-5-7, Stead 3-0-6, Weitershan 0-2-2. Totals: 17-12-50.


Bartlett 5-2-12, Bromley 4-3-11, Buonviaggio 4-0-8, Derway 6-4-16, Purdy 1-1-3, Starks 3-0-7. Totals: 23-10-57.

Broadalbin-Perth 11 15 11 13 — 50

Hudson Falls  9 13 17 18 — 57

Three-point goals: Ferlazzo 2, Light 2, Starks.





Smith 1-0-2, Rebeor 6-1-13, Overholt 4-0-10, King 1-0-2, Freda 2-0-4, Bovenzi 0-1-1, Vadney 2-0-4. Totals: 16-2-36.


Bryant 5-3-13, Fish 2-0-4, Gleason 1-0-2, A. Heffern 6-0-14, P. Heffern 3-0-7, Lazzaro 2-4-8, Pringle 0-2-2. Totals: 19-9-50.

Loudonville Christian  8 4 10 14 — 36

Heatly 17 8 12 13 — 50

Three-point goals: Overholt 2, A. Heffern 2, P. Heffern.

Categories: High School Sports

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