The Shenendehowa boys’ basketball team has an opportunity to join a small Section II list and make area history, too, when the New York State Public High School Athletic Association semifinals and championship games are staged this weekend at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The event will be moving to Binghamton starting next season, and he held there for three years before host site bids are renewed.
The No. 3 is what Shenendehowa will be going after, as in three state titles, something no Section II boys’ hoop team has attained. Scotia-Glenville, Schenectady, Watervliet and Lake George each have snared two New York crowns, and the Plainsmen joined them with their Class A wins in 1987 and their Class AA victories last year.
The Plainsmen can also become just the second Section II team to claim back-to-back championships, with Scotia-Glenville turning the trick last year and in 2014 at the Class A level while compiling a 53-1 record.
Shenendehowa (Class AA, 24-0) will be joined this weekend by Troy (Class A, 19-5) and first-time final-four participant Hudson (Class B, 26-0).
Troy’s last final-four appearance in 2013 ended with an overtime semifinal loss to eventual Class AA state champ Bishop Kearney. Interestingly, after Troy lost to Henninger in a 2002 regional game, Henninger went on to capture the state Class AA title. Troy also lost to Scotia-Glenville in the Section II finals before the Tartans went on to snag their back-to-back New York crowns.
Here’s a few more tournament tid bits.
* Shenendehowa and Aquinas Institue of Rochester (Section V, 22-3) will meet Saturday at 12:30, and Baldwin (Section VIII, 22-1) will go against Middletown (Section IX, 19-4) at 2:15 in the Class AA semifinals. Sunday’s final is set for 3:15.
Troy will take on Williamsville South (Section VI, 22-3) Saturday at 9 in the morning, and Elmont (Section VIII, 21-3) will battle Byram Hills (Section I, 21-5) at 10:45 in the Class A semifinals. Sunday’s title tilt is set for 1:30.
Hudson will play Olean (Section VI, 25-0) Friday at 6:15, and Bishop Grimes (Section III, 22-2) will play Marlboro (Section IX, 22-3) at 8 in the Class B semifinals. Friday night’s title game goes off at 9.
* The Hudson-Olean game is the only one of the 10 semifinals scheduled that will pit two unbeaten teams. Shenendehowa, Moriah (Section VII, 25-0) and Oriskany (Section III, 25-0) are the other unbeatens remaining in the state. Moriah and Oriskany are on opposite sides of the Class D bracket.
* Of the 20 final four teams, Shenendehowa is the only returning champion. Aquinas, Haldane (Class C) and Moriah are the other returning teams from last year, when they each lost in semifinal games.
* For the first time since 2003, Section II will not have a team in the Class C final four. Section II Class C representative Saratoga Central Catholic rallied from a 20-point, third-quarter deficit only to fall short in a regional loss to Brushton-Moira last week.
* Section II has had three state champions in each of the last three years. From 2004 (when the tournament expanded from four clases to five) through 2012, Section II had only two champions in Christian Brothers Academy (2010, Class AA) and Bishop Maginn (Class AA, 2008). That Bishop Maginn team was led by current Troy coach Rich Hurley.
Lake George (Class C) won a state title last year, joining Shenendehowa and Scotia-Glenville, and in 2013, joining Watervliet (Class B) and Argyle (Class D). Green Tech (Class AA) and Hoosic Valley (Class C) joined Scotia-Glenville as New York titlists in 2014.
* Shenendehowa beat Bishop Ludden in its regional game 70-54 behind Kevin Huerter’s 23 points, and Luke Hicks’ 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Troy outlasted CBA-Syracuse in its regional game 54-51 in overtime when Daniel Buie went 5-for-6 from the foul line in the final two minutes to cap a 19-point performance. Jack McLaren added 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Hudson beat Northeastern Clinton 76-66 and Ogdensburg Free Academy 70-63 in its regional games, with Mike Alert leading five double-digit scorers with 15 points in the OFA victory.
* The Aquinas basketball roster has nine players who were on its football team that beat Saratoga Springs 44-19 for the state Class AA championship last November. The group includes state co-player of the year Earnest Edwards, who scored four touchdowns in that game when the Little Irish completed a 13-0 season.
Albany Academy (16-4), idle since a win over Eagle Academy on Feb. 20, is scheduled to play the Catholic High School Athletic Association representative in the New York Federation Tournament of Champions Class A semifinal round on March 18 at the Times Union Center.
As the lone Class A team in the Association of Independent Schools Athletic Association, Albany Academy received automatic entry into the Federation tournament.
Saturday’s CHSAA Class A final at Villa Maria College will pit Canisius (25-2) against Monsignor Farrell (22-5). Each of those teams has won three CHSAA tournament games.
Canisius beat Scotia-Glenville and then Albany Academy to secure the 2015 Federation Class A title. Academy won the Federation title in 2013.
Shenendehowa’s only loss last season after 25 wins came in the Class AA Federation semifinals against Wings Academy.
FOLLOWING A TREND
Saratoga Springs will be looking to repeat history when it travels to Buffalo’s HarborCenter this weekend for the state Division 1 hockey final four.
Following a 3-2 overtime loss to Pittsford in the 2012 state semifinals, the Blue Streaks bounced back the next year to beat both Niagara-Wheatfield 4-1 and McQuaid 5-0 for their second New York title.
Saratoga (19-4-1) lost to Baldwinsville in last year’s semifinals in overtime 2-1. Up next for the Blue Streaks is a Saturday noon semifinal with West Genesee (Section III, 21-2-1), which is ranked No. 1 in the state.
“I think the guys are going to be ready to play,” Saratoga coach Dave Torres said after Saturday’s 5-0 regional win against Monroe-Woodbury. “We’ve often talked about our mission, and our mission is not yet complete.”
Junior Jonathan Luce sparked Saratoga Saturday with two goals and two assists, scoring his pair before the game was three minutes old. The victory left the Blue Straeks 9-0-1 in their last 10 games.
“We’ve got to keep playing like we have been,” Luce said.
Mamaroneck (Section I, 22-2) and Pittsford (Section V, 17-5-1) play Saturday morning at 9:30 in the first Division 1 semifinal. Sunday’s championship game is set for noon.
CHISOM TO UTICA
Guilderland senior Marquis Chisom, the Daily Gazette’s 2015 co-Defensive Player of the Year, will continue his football career at Empire 8 member Utica College.
A Section II discus champion with track speed, Chisom made 39 solo tackles and was in on 84 takedowns for the Section II Class AA semifinalist Dutchmen. The 6-3, 280-pound defensive tackle recorded four sacks and recovered a fumble for the Dutchmen, helping them go from two wins to seven.
“He led the team in tackles,” Guilderland football coach Dan Penna said of the Empire Division Defensive Player of the Year. “For a lineman who was getting double and triple-teamed and had teams running away from him, that’s unheard of.”
Chisom will be joining a Utica team that has former Schenectady coach Jim Kramer on its staff, and will have former Section II standouts Felix Rodriguez, Tyler DePasquale and Teddy Van Galen on its 2016 roster. Utica went 4-6 last season, with five losses by seven points or less.
Chisom said he will be joining the Utica track and field team and enroll in the college’s health studies program.
“[Former Guilderland quarterback] Frank Gallo went there, and said it was an awesome school,” Chisom said.
Chisom is a member of Guilderland’s Section II champion competitive co-ed cheerleading team.
Saratoga Springs senior pitcher Cory McArthur has committed to SUNY-Cortland, the 2015 NCAA Division III baseball champion.
McArthur excelled in relief last spring for the Blue Streaks, going 5-for-5 in save opportunities. He had a semifinal save against Guilderland and title-game save against Shenendehowa in the Section II Class AA tournament, and earned another against Cicero-North Syracuse in the regionals. The right-hander got the win in relief when Saratoga beat Orchard Park in a nine-inning state semifinal.
McArthur started at offensive guard and defensive end this past fall for Saratoga’s 11-1 football team.
MEADER, STACK REMEMBERED
The Schenectady athletic family lost a star performer and longtime Eddy Meet fixture with the recent passing of John “Jack” Meader.
The Nott Terrace and Yale University running champion was elected to the Schenectady City School District Athletic Hall of Fame back in January, and, along with Art Allen and Randy Cross, will be inducted in September.
Meader’s voice could be heard calling out track and field athletes and race results at the Eddy Meet for 57 years. His numerous running titles included a first-place effort at the 1948 Grout Run, and in 2013, he served as an honorary race starter when the cross country meet was staged for the 75th time.
The multi-national high school champion had a distinguished career as a lawyer and corporate executive.
Condolences are extended to the Meader family, as well as the family of Ray Stack, a longtime history teacher in the Schenectady City School District and an assistant coach for Schenectady High School’s 1998 state championship boys’ basketball team.