Schenectady Christian overcomes dreadful day at foul line

If you miss 20 free throws, you’re not supposed to win. Nobody told that to the Schen­ectady Christi

If you miss 20 free throws, you’re not supposed to win.

Nobody told that to the Schen­ectady Christian School boys’ basketball team, which pulled off the biggest surprise in Sunday’s Section II tournament games.

Chris McCarty scored eight points in the fourth quarter, Tyler Spence recorded a double-double and the Falcons neutralized Schuylerville with an effective 3-2 zone defense in posting a 39-35 Section II Class B quarterfinal upset win at Hudson Valley Community College.

“It shows we have a lot of heart and we’re going to play hard, and it shows that we have a great coach,” McCarty said after finishing with nine points, seven rebounds and five assists. “He had us ready.”

That was apparent from the start when Schenectady Christian (No. 6 seed, 15-5) scored the first nine points, and came within 46 seconds of a first-quarter shutout. The Falcons never trailed in the contest, though Schuylerville (No. 3, 16-4) did tie the game once at 23-23 when Austin Bateman opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a three-point basket.

“We made a bit of a statement early,” said Falcons coach Chad Bowman. “If it goes the other way, people would have thought that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

First-time Class B participant Schenectady Christian outlasted Cohoes for a 68-64 double-overtime win in the first round. With Sunday’s outcome, the Falcons advanced to Tuesday night’s semifinal round at the Glens Falls Civic Center, where they claimed the 2007 Section II Class CC title before advancing to the state final four.

The Falcons will meet Water­vliet at 6:30 Tuesday. Johnstown will take on Fonda-Fultonville in the other semifinal at 8.

“The mecca is the Civic Center. You get there, and it’s a good year,” said Bowman, who’ll have a team in the semifinals for the fourth time in five years. “I’m extremely proud of the way we hung in there. We didn’t play our best, but we played through it.”

Spence scored the game’s first basket on a feed from McCarty, and both would continue to play signif­icant roles for the Western Athletic Conference representatives.

Spence, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, totaled 13 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots, all of those rejections coming in the second half.

“Tyler is a kid who has improved throughout the season,” said Bowman. “He’s learned what it means to play tough. He’s been a key for us this year.”

Spence scored on two layups assisted by McCarty late in an 11-2 run after Bateman’s tying three, while earlier in the spurt, McCarty drove for his only two baskets and hit a free throw. The run equaled the Falcons’ largest lead, at nine, 34-25.

“He’s tough and gritty. He embodies a Schenectady Christian player,” Bowman said of McCarty, a senior who scored a career-high 26 points in the first-round victory. “He willed us to win the Cohoes game, and he led us tonight.”

Schenectady Christian’s 3-2 zone and outstanding defensive rebounding were big factors, too. With Schuylerville unable to work the ball inside, it played mostly a perimeter game, and ended up making seven of 41 three-point attempts and had few second-chance opportunities.

Bateman and Steve Backus both nailed three threes, and Backus topped his team with 18 points.

“Our defense was solid,” said Bowman. “They took a lot of threes, and for the most part, we had a hand in there.”

Schenectady Christian had its own struggles, but from closer range, with its 12-for-32 performance from the foul line. That included an 8-for-22 showing in the fourth quarter.

“It’s unsettling,” Bowman said. “Against Cohoes, it won the game. We had the people we wanted at the line.”

After Evan Denisofff’s three-pointer pulled Schuylerville within three with 59 seconds left, 35-32, McCarty sank three foul shots and Colin Stewart added another. McCarty had the ball often in the final quarter, and continually sifted through Schuylerville’s pressure defense to put his team in scoring position.

“Chris was great. He was un­believable in the Cohoes game down the stretch, and he did the same thing tonight,” said Bowman. “He either made a play by himself, or got the ball to one of our bigs.”

Backus’ final three made it 39-35 with 14 seconds to go, and Shane Lyons had his three attempt blocked by Spence as time ran out.

“The guys didn’t quit, and I give them credit,” said Schuylerville coach Matt Sgambati. “We played hard and had a shot.”

Stewart had nine points and seven rebounds for the Falcons. Backus added three steals to his state line, turning two of them into layups for Schuylerville’s only third-quarter points.

Sir Bills, Braves win

Ian Yost scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half, and Rich Christman netted 13 of his 17 in the second half to lift Johnstown (No. 5, 12-8) over Catskill, 67-59, and into the semifinal round for the first time since 2000.

Logan Husain and Christman both sank a pair of free throws with less than two minutes left as the Sir Bills extended a six-point lead to 10, at 63-53, and after Dean Forrester’s layup for Catskill, Husain dropped in two more.

Forrester, Jawara Herring and Mike Beauford had 17, 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Cats (No. 4, 13-7).

Brandon Mercado scored 11 of his 17 points in a 24-8 third-quarter run as Fonda-Fultonville (No. 1, 20-0) rallied and earned its fourth straight semifinal berth with a 56-44 win over Cobleskill-Richmondville (No. 9, 10-10).

Seth Hidde scored 14 points for the Braves, and Luke Nethaway had 13. Matt Wiliams scored 12 of his 17 in the first half to help stake the Bulldogs to a 23-18 lead.

Jordan Gleason fired in 19 points, and Watervliet (No. 2, 17-3) used a 31-15 third-quarter outburst to eliminate 2009 Class B champ Broadalbin-Perth, 89-73. Tyler Wood piled up 39 points for the Patriots (No. 7, 7-13) after netting 37 in a first-round win over Schalmont.

Maple Hill (No. 1, 18-1) got 16 points apiece from Chris Despart and Jake Jasiewicz in a 72-57 Class C first-round win over Berne-Knox-Westerlo (No. 17, 6-14). Ryan LaBelle scored 28 for the Bulldogs.

Kris Kelly led four double-digit scorers with 18 points, and defending champion Sharon Springs (No. 3, 13-6) rolled past Whitehall (No. 14, 3-16) in a Class D first-round game, 72-37.





Taplin 0-1-1, Moore 0-2-2, Co. Stewart 3-2-9, Spence 6-1-13, McClain 2-1-5, McCarty 2-5-9. Totals: 13-12-39.


S. Lyon 1-0-2, Bateman 3-1-10, Backus 6-3-18, Denisoff 1-0-3, Barber 0-2-2. Totals: 11-6-35.

SC 9  8 6 16 — 39

Schuylerville 3 13 4 15 — 35

Three-point goals: Co. Stewart, Bateman 3, Backus 3, Denisoff.



Chirichio 1-0-3, C. Husain 2-0-5, Yost 12-0-24, Roth 3-0-6, L. Husain 2-5-9, Bruce 1-0-3, Christman 5-5-17. Totals: 26-10-67.


Beauford 5-0-12, Herring 5-4-14, Forrester 8-1-17, Hall 3-3-9, Taylor 1-0-2, Jones 2-1-5. Totals: 24-9-59.

Johnstown 23 12 15 17 — 67

Catskill 15 12 18 14 — 59

Three-point goals: Chirichio, C. Husain, Bruce, Christman 2, Beauford 2.



Lindsay 1-0-3, Sommers 2-3-7, Westerveld 2-1-7, Williams 5-6-17, K. Greene 0-5-5, Thaxter 2-0-4, D. Greene 1-0-2. Totals: 13-15-45.


Hall 1-2-5, Myers 1-0-3, Hanson 0-2-2, Mercado 5-3-17, J. Sheehan 1-0-3, Hidde 6-2-14, Nethaway 4-5-13. Totals: 18-14-57.

C-R 11 12  8 14 — 45

F-F  8 10 24 15 — 57

Three-point goals: Lindsay, Westerveld 2, Williams, Hall, Myers, Mercado 4, J. Sheehan.



Frisch 3-0-6, Pratt 4-1-12, Wood 15-4-39, Kwiatkowski 1-0-2, Sheridan 1-2-4, Mittler 1-4-6, Breyo 0-1-1, LaPolt 1-0-2. Totals: 26-12-72.


D. Gleason 5-3-17, Kelly 6-4-16, J. Gleason 8-2-19, Legault 2-0-4, Pontore 4-4-12, Santos 2-0-5, Durocher 3-1-8, Nittinger 2-4-8. Totals: 32-18-89.

Broadalbin-Perth 13 15 15 29 — 72

Watervliet 21 21 31 16 — 89

Three-point goals: Pratt 3, Wood 5, D. Gleason 4, J. Gleason, Santos, Durocher.


First round



Audino 3-0-9, Krimsky 6-0-13, Repscher 2-0-5, LaBelle 12-1-28, Pitcher 1-0-2. Totals: 24-1-57.


Prinzo 4-2-10, Despart 5-5-16, Chesky 1-0-2, Jasiewicz 4-7-16, Briggs 5-2-13, Dan­aher 7-1-15. Totals: 26-17-72.

BKW 10 16 20 11 — 57

Maple Hill 23 10 11 22 — 72

Three-point goals: Audino 3, Krimsky, Repscher, LaBelle 3, Despart, Jasiewicz, Briggs.


First round



Christian 2-0-4, Cook 0-1-1, Hoagland 2-0-4, Therrien 6-0-14, J. Tisi 1-1-3, R. Tisi 4-1-11. Totals: 15-3-37.


Bartlett 1-0-3, French 5-2-12, Kaluza 1-0-2, Kelly 8-2-18, Larkin 5-1-14, Schilde 1-0-3, Simpson 3-0-7, Ullman 5-1-11, Webb 0-2-2. Totals: 29-8-72.

Three-point goals: Therrien 2, R. Tisi 2, Bartlett, Larkin 3, Schilde, Simpson.

Categories: High School Sports

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