Brandon Fischer had a chance to win Saturday’s Class AA regional basketball game late in regulation when the Shenendehowa senior spun quickly on the baseline and put up a short jumper that bounced away.
That move, or any other one, wasn’t possible at the outset of the season.
“I didn’t want to miss any time, but it was a long process,” said the Plainsmen’s 6-foot-6 starting forward. “I had to make the best of it, and I sucked it up.”
Since missing Shenendehowa’s first three games with a severe left ankle sprain, Fischer has been a key figure in his team’s run to the state final four with his scoring, rebounding, defense and passing.
He delivered a season-high 18 points in Saturday’s 70-64 win against Henninger at Colgate University, helping the Plainsmen earn their first regional title since a 1987 sweep of New Rochelle and Monroe-Woodbury.
“He rolled it before the season. We were at West Genesee playing some teams,” said Shenendehowa senior guard Tom Huerter. “It was a nagging thing, but lately, he says he feels pretty good, and he’s been playing great or us.
“On defense, he contests shots. He tires out the guys he goes against. He’s a horse on the boards.”
He’s still playing with discomfort, though, the lingering effect of a right ankle sprain he sustained early in Shenendehowa’s 79-47 Section II quarterfinal win against Schenectady.
“I didn’t practice the next few days, but I wasn’t going to miss the Catholic Central game,” he said.
Fischer scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half when Shenendehowa pulled away from the Crusaders in a 68-48 win. He added six points in a 47-42 title-game win over Guilderland, the only game in the last seven when he didn’t reach double digits.
“Bring intensity, score when needed,” said the LeMoyne College commit of his role with the state’s No. 7-ranked team. “Be a presence inside and rebound as much as possible.”
Fischer scored on a tip-in and a layup during Shenendehowa’s 15-6 game-tying run to close the fourth quarter against Henninger. His two free throws and layup started an 11-0 overtime spurt that sealed the Plainsmen’s 23rd straight win, 70-64.
“He’s so big and strong. It’s hard for other teams to handle him,” said Huerter. “If we need a basket we’ll dump it down and let him create.”
“The guys have trust in me,” said Fischer, who is averaging 11.2 points and 8.5 rebounds.
Shenendehowa will meet Mount Vernon (Section I, 19-3) in a state semifinal game Saturday at 2:15, following the Class AA matchup between Aquinas (Section V, 22-0) and Brentwood (Section XI, 23-1).
“It takes me a while to warm up, but I’m OK once I get going,” said the 18-year-old Fischer, who is lead big man in a rotation that includes Erik Kromer, Mike Gillooley and Matt Alverson. “I plan on leaving it all on the floor.”
Scotia-Glenville has surpassed two of the great win streaks in area boys’ basketball lore with its 51 in a row.
Heading into the postseason, Scotia-Glenville was tied with Mont Pleasant’s power teams of 1931-32 and 1932-33 that prevailed in 46 straight games. The Tartans boosted their streak with three sectional and two regional wins.
Legendary coach Sig Makofski’s had other Mont Pleasant teams with win streaks of 42, 39 and 36 games.
Scotia-Glenville moved past Watervliet earlier in the regular season. Watervliet put together a 43-game win streak from 1990 through 1992 with multi-hall of fame coach George Mardigan. Watervliet, like Scotia-Glenville, captured New York State Public High School Athletic Association and Federation championships as part of its streak.
Scotia-Glenville is 73-1 going back to the 2012-13 season which ended with a regional loss to Bishop Ludden. The Tartans’ 27-0 mark last season included a regional win over Bishop Ludden.
Belleville won a state-record 104 consecutive games from 1966-71. Passaic, N.J., won a national-record 159 straight games from 1919-25.
Lake George senior Joel Wincowski jumped to No. 7 on the state’s all-time scoring list with his 48-point outburst against Potsdam Saturday.
Wincowski boosted his varsity points total to 2,564, which included 23 fourth-quarter points, in the Warriors’ 70-58 Class C regional win. Kyle McAlarney of Moore Catholic is next on the state scoring list with 2,566.
Lake George (24-1) meets Haldane (Section I, 18-4) in a state semifinal game today at 5.
Former Glens Falls star Mike Van Schaick dropped 46 points on Saranac in a 2003 regional win. Former Saratoga Springs standout Tim Parker piled up 40 points against Scarsdale in a 1988 regional win.
Shenendehowa, Scotia-Glenville and Lake George will be looking to join Watervliet (2013 Class B; 1991 Class C) and Schenectady (1998, 2001 Class A) as a two-time NYSPHSAA boys basketball champion.
Shenendehowa won the Class A title in 1987, and Lake George captured the Class C flag 2013.
Green Tech (Class AA), Hoosic Valley (Class C) and Scotia-Glenville gave Section II three champions last year. Section II also had a trio of champions in 2013, with Argyle (Class D) joining Watervliet and Lake George.
Cadets in federation
Albany Academy will meet Canisius in a Class A semifinal game of the New York State Federation Basketball Tournament of Champions a week from today at the University at Albany.
Albany Academy (16-3) did not have to qualify for the season-ending tournament as the lone Class A school in the Association of Independent Schools Athletic Association. Canisius (23-5) advanced by winning four games in the Catholic High School Athletic Association playoffs, the last two against Long Island champion Chaminade and New York City champion Kennedy.
The other March 27 Federation Class A semifinal will pit the winners of this weekend’s NYSPHSAA and Public School Athletic League tournaments. Scotia-Glenville won both the NYSPHSAA and Federation Class A titles last year, beating Albany Academy first and then Holy Trinity for the Federation crown.
Albany Academy captured the Class A Federation title in 2013. Watervliet (1991, Class C) was the first Section II boys’ team to win a Federation championship before Academy and Scotia-Glenville joined the Cannoneers.
Categories: High School Sports