The Schenectady High School boys’ basketball team hasn’t factored into the Big 10 championship race since 2006, when it lost to Christian Brothers Academy in a playoff game for the top spot.
Veteran coach Mark Sausville believes he has a cast capable of putting together another title push in a league his Patriots dominated in the first half of this decade.
“I think we’re good enough. We’re as good as anyone around,” said Sausville, whose small but quick Patriots open their season tonight at home against Catholic Central. “I’m optimistic. There are things we have to do and some things we need to overcome, but I like my group.”
Schenectady climbed back to respectibility last season with 9-7 Big 10 and 12-10 overall records after struggling for wins the previous two winters. The Patriots will look to continue their upward swing behind seven key returning lettermen, including Big 10 first- team all-stars Derrick Millinghaus and Reece Jackson.
“We’ve practiced well and scrimmaged well, and they all play hard,” Sausville said. “I like what I’m seeing.”
Schenectady’s opponents will see a lot of pressure defense and a motion offense to compensate for its lack of size. At 6-foot-6, Jackson is the tallest veteran player, though the senior is expected to miss several more weeks while recovering from ankle surgery.
Jackson averaged 15.5 points last season, second on the team behind Millinghaus’ 18.8 average.
“How we share the ball will be a major factor,” said Sausville, who is 13 wins shy of 200. “We can’t settle for quick shots. That’s what I’m preaching, right now. We’re good when we share the ball.”
Among those sharing playing time will be Devonte and Shadell Millinghaus, Josh Williams, Kayshon Long and Jacob Miner.
“CBA, Bishop Maginn, Schenectady and Albany are the top four in the Big 10, and the title chase is going to be unreal. There should be some tremendous games,” said Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei. “They’ve all got kids back who know how to play.”
Schenectady won its last Big 10 title in 2005, while Sausville also guided the Patriots to the top spot four straight times from 2000 through 2003. Bishop Maginn is the two-time defending league champion, with CBA finishing on top in 2004 and 2007, as well as in 2006, when it downed Schenectady in that playoff game.
Schenectady will not be hosting its Arthur Hilliard Memorial Tournament this season, and will fill out its 18-game schedule with non-league games later this month at Poughkeepsie and Albany Academy. All of Schenectady’s varsity home games begin at 6:30 p.m.
Record for Tallman
Mohonasen senior Ashley Tallman set a school record with 31 points — 15 of them coming on five three-point baskets — in Friday’s 57-43 non-league win at Gloversville.
Tallman scored a career-high 20 points in a 50-38 season-opening win over Guilderland before topping that total while also pulling down 10 rebounds against Gloversville. Tallmen’s high as a junior was 15 points, accomplished twice during Mohonasen’s Section II Class A championship season.
Amanda Blackstone produced 30 points twice for Mohonasen, during the 2000-01 season against Niskayuna and during the 2001-02 season against Glens Falls.
Popolizio among elite
Shenendehowa midfielder Molly Popolizio has been named to the 2009 National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas Girls’ High School All-America team.
Popolizio was one of seven players from New York selected to the 82-member team, which will be recognized at the All-America Luncheon Jan. 16 in Philadelphia, Pa., as part of the annual NSCAA Convention.
A Suburban Council first-team all-star, Pololizio had 13 goals and five assists for Section II Class AA runner-up Shenendehowa. Her overtime goal forced sudden death before Bethlehem beat the Lady Plainsmen in the sectional final, 2-1.
Niskayuna record setters Laura Manor, Kina Zhou, Emily Whitaker and Emma Terwilliger have been named to the Section II all-star first team for girls’ swimming and diving.
The foursome joined for a Section II-record 3:36.93 in winning the 400-yard freestyle relay to cap off the Section II Division I meet last month, and went on to place fourth at the state championships. Shenendehowa had held the Section II 400 free relay record (3:37.17) since 1998.
Manor’s sectional performance included wins in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly, and the senior placed second in the 200 IM at the state event for Section II’s best finish.
Olivia Sampson and Kelsey Barbour of Shenendehowa, Jenna Bickel of Guilderland/Voorheesville, Addison Walkowiak and Briana Borgolini of Ballston Spa, and Lily Powell, Tara O’Donnell, Grace Ayer and Lauren Zemering of Bethlehem also made the Section II all-star first team.
Courtney Duchesne, Kelly Ludeke, Emily Hiskinson, Lauren Zentko (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake); Brooke Barber, Eileen Goralski (Queensbury); Devon Delay (Ballston Spa); Lisa Liu (Shenendehowwa); Hanlon MacDonald (Albany); Talia Sternbach, Bailey Wind (Shaker); Justine Wooden (Gloversville/Mayfield).
What they’re doing
Former Albany Academy running back Dion Lewis set a University of Pittsburgh record with 47 carries, and had a season highs with 194 yards and three touchdowns, in the Panthers’ 45-44 Big East loss to Cincinnati Saturday at Heinz Field.
Lewis’ third touchdown gave Pitt a 44-38 lead with 1:36 left before Cincinnati rallied for the victory. The freshman back, an Albany
native who also attended Blair Academy in New Jersey, had his ninth game with over 100 rushing yards and his seventh in a row.
Lewis helped Albany Academy reach the state Class B championship game in 2006.
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Categories: High School Sports