Patriots again reign in Aqua League

The Schenectady High School boys’ swimming and diving team captured its fourth straight Aqua League

The Schenectady High School boys’ swimming and diving team captured its fourth straight Aqua League championship last week when it beat Albany Academy in a showdown between 4-0 teams.

The Patriots outscored the Cadets, 99-87, to complete their second 5-0 Aqua League season after going 4-0 in 2007 and 2006. Albany Academy was the last team to defeat Schenectady in league competition to conclude the 2005 campaign.

“We came out a little flat, and things started to turn with the diving,” said Schenectady coach Brian Melanson. “The diving hit, and there was a four-point swing. All of a sudden, the points started to come.”

Schenectady secured the meet win and league banner when its all-senior 400-yard freestyle relay team of Tim Ravas, Ethan Brooks-McDonald, John Fitzmaurice and Will Dobson prevailed in the final event. Dobson had earlier placed first in the 100 backstroke and 50 free, and sophomore Adam Weisse placed first in the diving.

“We talk about goals at the beginning of the season, and winning the league is always one of them,” said Melanson, who has 13 seniors who were part of all four Aqua champ­ionships. “To do it again after losing some key members of the team, it’s a very good accomplishment. I’m pleased and proud.”

Schenectady went 7-4 overall this season, with non-league victories over Niskayuna and, for the first time, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. The Patriots also defeated Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, Albany, Amsterdam and Canajoharie/Fort Plain in league meets.

Along the way, 21 of Schenec­tady’s 33 athletes qualified for the Section II large division championships to be held Thursday (diving) at Ballston Spa, and Friday and Saturday (swimming) at Niskayuna. The Section II small division championships are Thursday (diving) at Ballston Spa, and Friday and Saturday (swimming) at Amsterdam.

“Getting a lot of guys in the finals is a goal of ours,” Melanson said. “Maybe a couple of our guys will hit state times.”

Shenendehowa completed its third straight undefeated dual-meet season last week with a 103-61 Suburban Council win over Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. The Plainsmen finished 8-0 in the league and 10-0 overall, and extended their three-year dual record to 32-0.

Queensbury completed an 8-0 Foothills Council season with a 58-33 win over Hudson Falls. The Spartans went 12-1 overall, losing only to Shenendehowa.

Milestone watch

Mohonasen senior Nicole Adach needs six points to become the second female in school history to reach 1,000. A four-year starter who is headed to St. Michael’s, Adach will go after the milestone tonight when the Mighty Warriors host Col­onie. The Suburban Council all-star scored 24 points in Friday’s 72-38 win over Ballston Spa, and is looking to join Amanda Blackstone as a 1,000-point producer at Mohonasen. Blackstone graduated in 2002 with 1,336 points. . . .

Averill Park junior Katie Duma reached the career 1,000-point plateau with 17 in Friday’s 41-39 loss to Shenendehowa. . . .

Hadley-Luzerne senior Jesse Sussman became the school’s all-time scoring leader Friday night in a 66-24 win over Wells, with a 37-point effort boosting her mark to 1,407. Michelle Bain, a 1984 grad­uate, had held the school record with 1,398 points. Sussman also had 15 steals and five assists.

Post gets osborne

Bishop Maginn senior Alexis Osborne has signed with Division II Post University in Waterbury, Conn., and has plans to compete in basketball, soccer and softball for the Eagles of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.

Osborne was recruited by several Division I schools for basketball, including Brown, Pennsylvania and Fordham. She will study pre-law while playing on scholarship at Post.

Osborne is among the finest three-point shooters in Section II, and nailed three long-distance shots while totaling 13 points in Bishop Maginn’s recent 51-48 upset of Big 10 leader Schenectady. The guard made six three-point baskets and totaled 21 points in a 53-51 sectional win over Niskayuna as a junior.

Osborne attended Watervliet before moving to Bishop Maginn for her junior season.

Fewer games

High school athletes in New York state will be competing less starting in the fall 2009 season as part of cost-cutting measures approved last weekend by New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee received recommendations from the NYSPHSAA’s Fiscal Concerns ad hoc committee, and more changes could take place in the future.

“The representatives serving on the Executive Committee are very concerned with the fiscal challenges schools are facing,” said Nina Van Erk, NYSPHSAA Executive Director in a release. “The Exec­utive Committee has taken action to assist schools, leagues, conferences, sections and the NYSPHSAA to reduce costs related to the inter­scholastic athletic program. The rationale supporting these incremental reductions will have a significant impact for our school members. For example, the savings realized by schools may act to protect lower level programs, such as modified, from being elim­inated.”

Following are some of the actions recommended by the Fiscal Concerns ad hoc committee that were voted on by the Executive Committee at its quarterly meeting in Binghamton:

— Support the use of telephone conference calls and video conferencing for NYSPHSAA meetings to reduce the travel reimbursements costs for the NYSPHSAA and sections. Approved.

— Support the use of officials from the host section at all NYSPHSAA regional contests, except when the sections involved mutually agree to use neutral officials. Effective with the 2009-2010 season and contin­uing to 2010-2011 school year. Approved.

— Support the reduction of the maximum number of contests permitted during the regular season. Sports with 24 contests will be reduced to 20, sports with 20 contests will be reduced to 18, and sports with 18 contests will be reduced to 16. Football will be reduced from 10 to nine. The ninth game is permitted, with section approval, for teams who do not qualify for sectional play. For the teams involved in the sectional tournament the maximum number of contests shall be 10. For the sections involved in the state championshiop, three additional games are permitted for a total of 13 games for the season (one game for regionals, one game for semifinals and one game for championships). Effective for 2009-2010 and for 2010-2011. Approved.

— Support the reduction of the number of classes and divisions in team and individual NYSPHSAA championship competition. Referred to championship advisory committee.

— Support the reduction of participants in NYSPHSAA champ­ionships in individual and comb­ination (team/individual) sports. Referred to championship advisory committee.

Here and There

The Berkshire boys’ basketball team has forfeited the remaining games on its schedule. “They had some disciplinary issues away from basketball, and decided its was time to stop their season,” said Central Hudson Valley League coordinator Adam Cole. “They are holding their kids accountable.” Berkshire was winless (0-12) prior to the decision. Berkshire won Section II championships in 1998 (Class D), 1999 (Class C) and 2000 (Class B). “They didn’t win a game, but they pushed some teams to the limit,” said Cole. “It’s unfortunate, but they’re doing what they felt they had to do.” . . .

Section II’s last unbeaten boys’ basketball team met its match Thursday when sophomore Ross Bentley scored a putback basket with 20 seconds left to propel Greenville past Maple Hill, 54-52. Maple Hill entered the Patroon Conference game with a 16-0 record and a No. 2 state Class C ranking. . . .

Niskayuna senior Louis Serafini set a school record in winning the 3,200-meter run at the Suburban Council indoor track and field championships at the University at Albany. Serafini ran a 9:37.32 to edge Scott Maughan (9:37.82) of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. . . .

Former Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons football coach Carm Audino has been tabbed to take over the program at Catholic Central, while Tom Isabella is Schenectady’s new varsity softball coach. . . .

Christian Brothers Academy hockey player T.J. Lane, who is ranked fourth in his class with a 97 grade-point average, was honored Friday for selection as the My4 TV/US Army Student-Athlete of the Week.

Categories: High School Sports

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