Mekeel Christian Academy took a few hits in the regular season, and Lions basketball coach Chad Bowman was OK with that.
“Playing Gloversville, Broadalbin-Perth, Syracuse [Institute of Technology], those games were great for us,” Bowman said after
Mekeel beat Watervliet, 71-47, Tuesday in a Section II Class B first-round matchup. “Our non-league schedule helped us win that game.”
Bowman said his Lions were ready for Watervliet’s speed and aggressive play, things his Western Athletic Conference Southern Division and overall champs had seen in setbacks against Broadalbin-Perth and Syracuse IT, and in wins against Gloversville, Bishop Maginn and Columbia Prep.
“We knew they [Watervliet] weren’t going to come in with anything but bad intentions for us, and with confidence,” said Bowman. “Instead of them imposing their will on us, we imposed our will on them.”
Bowman said rebounding was a key to Mekeel’s 18th win. Damonte White led a balanced board effort with 11 to go with his 24 points. Fellow junior Scott Voelker had 20 points, 15 in the first half when the fifth-seeded Lions built a 33-23 advantage.
“Getting off to a quick start was big for us. We did that by establishing the boards. There were not a lot of second shots,” said Bowman. “Ravena rebounds very well, and we’ll have to contest and limit again.”
Mekeel and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk play at 6:30 tonight, and top-seed Hoosick Falls meets Schuylerville in the second game of a Class B quarterfinal twinbill at Hudson Valley Community College.
“They like to shoot the ball. They like up-tempo. They like to play in transition,” Bowman said of 13th-seeded Ravena, which upset No. 4 Catskill Tuesday, 73-69. “They like to put up points. They’ll present a challenge.”
Mekeel was denied a trip to the sectional final four at the Glens Falls Civic Center the last two years after quarterfinal losses to Mechanicville and Cairo-Durham.
“We were there five out of six years and then we hit a little rut,” said Bowman, who guided Mekeel (then Schenectady Christian) to its only sectional title in 2007. “It’s something we’d like to do.”
Making her Case
Greenwich senior guard Alexis Case scored 54 points Tuesday in an 86-33 win against Galway to equal the second-highest output in Section II girls’ basketball history.
Case’s school-record performance in the sectional Class C first-round game included 20-for-40 shooting from the field with four threes, and a 10-for-11 showing from the foul line. She scored all 14 first-quarter points for the Witches and had 16, 17 and seven in the next three periods.
Case also had seven rebounds, seven steals and four assists.
Melissa Gaughan of Stillwater scored a Section II-record 57 points (1985-86) and Katrina Springer of Broadalbin-Perth had 54 (1986-87).
Michelle Bain of Hadley-Luzerne scored 52 (1983-84) and Caryn Schoff of St. Johnsville netted 51 (1993-94).
Shea Irish of Warrensburg scored 60 points for the Section II boys’ high total this season in a double-overtime loss to Hartford on Feb. 12.
Schenectady baseball coach John Isabella has been pondering the way he’ll approach the 20 games on his regular-season schedule.
It will be a different type of season for the Patriots and the rest of the former Big 10 teams, with no league title to chase, but postseason bids to go after.
Schenectady’s non-league slate includes games with defending state Class B champion Schalmont, Albany Academy, Western Athletic Conference heavyweight Saratoga Central Catholic and neighboring rival Niskayuna.
“Usually, in our non-leaguers, we try to save our pitchers and play a lot of guys,” said Isabella. “All of our games are non-league games this year, but they all count for something. We’ll have to adjust some things.”
Isabella said the drive for a .500 record will be at the top of the Patriots’ to-do list. That will get Schenectady into the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
“Hopefully, we can put it together,” said Isabella, whose returning cast features Big 10 co-MVP Jordan Bernacet. “We want the .500 mark. We’re going to have to battle for it.”
Schenectady, Albany, Bishop Maginn, Catholic Central, Christian Brothers Academy, LaSalle and Troy have agreed to play each other twice to fill out their schedules. Schenectady has additional games set with Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Ballston Spa and Colonie, teams they’ll join next season in the Suburban Council.
“I was thinking about it. We might see a lot of number twos. Wouldn’t those teams use their number ones for league games?” Isabella asked. “I’m thinking that could help us. I’m also thinking there are a lot of good numbers twos out there.”
Spring practice for varsity and junior varsity teams begins a week from Monday.
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Categories: High School Sports