2017-18 Daily Gazette All-Area boys’ basketball team

Girard III joined by Jackson, O'Dell, Moll and Mahoney on first team
Glen's Falls Joseph Girard III was an easy choice for The Daily Gazette all-area team.
Glen's Falls Joseph Girard III was an easy choice for The Daily Gazette all-area team.

Glens Falls basketball coach Rob Girard was certain his star guard was in line for a special season, that he would generate a load of points from all parts of the court with his vast array of talents.

What Joseph Girard III went out and did, his coach never could have imagined. Who could have?

“We thought if he scored 35, 40 a game we’d be successful, but 50, that’s crazy,” coach Girard said of his second cousin. “It’s freakish, and I mean that in a good way.”

Girard III’s 50-point average came in a 23-game span when he broke one record after another, including the state’s all-time scoring mark. He knocked down 179 3-point baskets to nearly match his 181 2-point field goals, and made 250 free throws while missing only 25.

He averaged 36.4 points as a sophomore when he led the 24-1 Indians to the Section II Class B title. The basketball and football star scored 910 points that season, and topped that with 1,149 this season for what the New York State Sportswriters Association is recognizing as the state record.

“He was bigger and stronger,” Rob Girard said of the three-time Daily Gazette All-Area first-team selection. “He worked all through the spring and summer. He didn’t take days off.”

Girard III was an easy choice for the all-area first team, joining Jordan Jackson of Mekeel, Shane O’Dell of Schalmont, Isaiah Moll of Colonie and August Mahoney of Albany Academy.


The New York Gatorade Player of the Year scored 60 points twice and had other games with 59, 58, 57, 56, 54 and 50 (four times). His low for the season was 41.

Girard III’s first 60-point outing came in an 86-76 win over Amsterdam Dec. 15, when he broke his own school record of 52, set as a freshman. He passed Jimmer Fredette for the Glens Falls career mark with 46 in a 74-73 Dec. 19 loss to Scotia-Glenville, upping his total to 2,449. With 50 points in an 81-64 win against Schuylerville Jan. 11, he moved to the top of the Section II career scoring list with 2,692.

He became the state’s all-time points leader with 44 in a 74-68 win over Amsterdam on Jan. 18, pushing his stats to 2,952. Girard III will have 3,306 points entering his senior campaign.

“His range was better,” Rob Girard said. “Because he was stronger, he finished better. Let’s hope those things continue to get even better.”

Girard III tied the Section II one-game record with 12 3-point baskets the night he became Section II’s career points leader. He also had three games with 11 3s and another with 10, and extended his streak of scoring beyond the arc in every varsity game going back to his eighth-grade season.

“You can do whatever you want. You can throw the kitchen sink at him,” Schalmont coach Greg Loiacono said of defending the three-time Foothills Council MVP. “The kid’s going to pull up from half court, and you can’t do anything about it. He’s a great player and gets all the attention for a reason. He deserves everything.”

A superb dribbler with great vision, Girard III averaged 7 assists, and also snared 8 rebounds per game.

“He’s a such a great shooter,” Rob Girard said. “That opens up people, and he finds those guys.”

Girard III was there for the other guys on the rebuilt Glens Falls team, which finished 20-3 after an 87-82 Section II semifinal loss to Schalmont. Girard III scored 56 points in that game.

“Real good leader,” Rob Girard said. “Junior year, he stepped up. As an eighth-grader, freshman and sophomore, he took a back seat. He helped our kids who didn’t have a lot of experience.”

Girard III has received basketball scholarship offers from some of the nation’s elite programs, including Duke, Michigan, Syracuse, Ohio State and Oklahoma. He is a finalist for the MaxPreps National Player of Year award.


Mekeel Christian Academy coach Chad Bowman cannot say enough about Jordan Jackson’s transformation from a good player on a Section II runner-up team to an exceptional player on a state champion.

“Tremendous work ethic,” Bowman said of his 6-foot-1 combo guard who received all-star recognition time and again late in the season. “He has such a strong desire to get better as a player. He’s a sponge. Extremely coachable. He has the mentality that he’s not going to waste time in the gym. He is so committed.”

Taller, stronger, better with the handle and more effective with his shooting touch, Jackson averaged 18 points, 5.5 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals for the 25-4 Lions. He was named the Section II Class B tourney MVP after the Lions beat Schalmont for the title 69-59, a game in which he accumulated 26 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.

“He improved in all areas,” Bowman said. “He blew up this year, and he’s going to get better. The ceiling is very high.”

Jackson scored in double digits in all but two games, with highs of 31 and 29 points. He drilled 67 3-pointers and shot 80 percent from the line.

“He was a model of consistency,” Bowman said. “When you are mentally prepared and physically fit, you’re not going to have a bad night.”

Jackson was named to the all-tournament teams after Mekeel won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association title and finished second at the New York State Federation Tournament of Champions. At the NYSPHSAA tourney, his 3-pointer late in regulation was huge when Mekeel beat Briarcliff 68-61 in double overtime, and his one-on-one defensive work against Leo Gallagher was a key to the Lions’ 42-37 title-game win over Seton Catholic.

“He is a really great off-the-ball defender,” Bowman said. “When we wanted to X-out someone, we looked to Jordan.”

Jackson is getting a lot more looks now from college recruiters.

“He went from a sophomore who wasn’t even on the WAC all-star team to getting a scholarship offer from Saint Rose,” Bowman said.


Whether Shane O’Dell was operating inside or outside, the 6-foot-4 sophomore consistently filled the Schalmont scorebook.

“He can play any position on the floor, one through five,” Loiacono said. “Sometimes we played him at point guard. Sometimes we played him at the three or four. He could end up playing the two for us. He could end up playing the five.”

That’s a rare luxury Loiacono has with the versatile O’Dell, who with his 3-pointers, mid-range jumpers and drives averaged 24 points for the Section II Class B runner-up Sabres. In their postseason run, he put up 25, 43, 39 and 27 points to earn all-tournament honors.

“He really played well in the sectionals,” Bowman said. “He elevated his game. He scored more. He produced more.”

In the sectionals, O’Dell had 25 points and 10 rebounds in a 77-38 win over Broadalbin-Perth, 43 points (15-for-20 shooting) and 10 rebounds in a 73-68 win over Hudson, 39 points and eight boards when the Sabres eliminated Glens Falls 87-82, and finished with  27 points and eight boards in a 69-59 loss to Mekeel.

In the Hudson game, he nailed five 3-pointers, and for the season he went 40-for-90 from beyond the arc. Throughout the campaign he also attacked the basket with vigor.

“His lower body strength and balance are exceptional, and that’s why he is able to finish so well,” Loiacono said. “Once he gets stronger in the upper body area, and grows some more, he is going to be awfully tough to guard.”

O’Dell is already a tough defender, a combination of long arms and great anticipation. He blocked seven shots in a game, and had six steals in another.

The Colonial Council first-team all-star averaged 7.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.7 blocks per game. He is currently playing in the backcourt for the Albany City Rocks in the Elite Youth Basketball League.

“He is a good ball handler,” said Loiacono, who sees O’Dell playing a guard position after high school. “He’s got to continue to work on that to get where he wants to be.”


Colonie coach Ken Dagostino knew Isaiah Moll would be the focus of every defense his team faced, yet still asked for more from the 2017 Suburban Council Player of the Year.

Moll delivered and won the award again while leading the rebuilt Garnet Raiders to their second straight Section II Class AA title-game appearance.

“He was on everyone’s dart board,” Dagostino said of the two-time Gazette All-Area first-team pick. “Thirty two minutes, 24 games.”

Moll’s average grew from 15.3 points as a junior to 23.3 as a senior, and the 6-foot-7 swingman grabbed 12.4 rebounds a game after averaging 9.5 last season. His assist average went up, too, from 3.5 to 4.1.

“He was better in a lot of areas,” Dagostino said of the 17-year-old, whose output included 40 3-pointers and a near-80-percent free throw average. “He handled the ball batter. His shot improved. He was more aggressive attacking on offense.”

Moll scored in double digits in every game but his last, and during one stretch went nine consecutive games with no less than 23 points. He poured in a career-best 37 points in a 73-50 win over Columbia when he went 17-for-20 from the line. He also had a pair of 35-point outbursts and two games with 32, each of those coming in a victory.

“When we needed him to, he took over a lot of games for us,” Dagostino said. “Obviously he will be missed at Colonie.”

Moll’s guttiest effort came when Colonie upset top-seed Saratoga in the sectional semifinals 48-41. Playing with thigh and back cramps, the all-tournament team selection still managed to get 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds as well as three assists.

“He made some big shots in that game,” Dagostino said.

Moll, who scored 1,287 career points, will continue his career at the University of Vermont.


A reserve as a freshman and a complementary player as a sophomore to Gazette first-team star Hameir Wright, August Mahoney took on a lead role for the Albany Academy Cadets this season.

His scoring average went from 16.3 points to 21, and his assist average went from 1.2 to 5. Along the way, his collegiate stock rose, too.

“He’s a grinder,” Cadets coach Brian Fruscio said of the 6-foot-3 lefty point guard. “Anything he gets is because of his hard work.”

Mahoney worked hard and well at the Federation tournament where he scored 31 points in an 83-61 win over Brooklyn Law and Tech and 26 in a last-second 59-57 loss to Park School of Buffalo. The all-tournament pick went 7-for-8 on 3-pointers in the semifinal, and went 10-for-10 from the line in the title game.

After those performances Mahoney, a  Saratoga Springs resident, received offers from Illinois, Manhattan and Yale to go with others that had earlier come his way.

“He has an extremely high IQ. He is an extension of his coach on the court,” former Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei said. “He understands tempo of the game and how to get people involved. On top of that he is tremendously skilled.”

Mahoney and Albany Academy sophomore Andre Jackson are playing this week with the USA Select team at the U18 Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Germany. Fruscio is serving as an assistant coach.


Joseph Girard III, Glens Falls, 11, 6-2, 50.0

Jordan Jackson, Mekeel Christian Academy, 12, 6-1, 18.0

Isaiah Moll, Colonie, 12, 6-7, 23.3

Shane O’Dell, Schalmont, 10, 6-4, 24.0

August Mahoney, Albany Academy, 11, 6-3, 21.0


Duncan Tallman, Mohonasen, 11, 6-1, 16.2

Chris Hulbert, Shenendehowa, 12, 6-2, 14.0

Carter Stewart, Mekeel Christian Academy, 12, 6-6, 15.4

Deonte Holder, Mekeel Christian Academy, 12, 6-0, 18.8

Andre Jackson, Albany Academy, 10, 6-6, 15.0


Christian Corker, Scotia-Glenville, 12, 5-10, 20.5.

Abbas Merchant, Shenendehowa, 11, 6-1, 14.7

Dante Bouchard, Gloversville, 10, 5-9, 27.2

Willie Brown, Amsterdam, 12, 6-4, 18.7

Brian Hart, Saratoga Springs, 12, 6-4, 12.2


Suburban Council: Anthony Germinerio (Averill Park), Luke Alteri (Ballston Spa), Jordan King (CBA), Drew Signore (CBA), Will Aybar (Colonie), Grant Mengel (Guilderland), Jalani Abdul-Aziz (Mohonasen), AJ Lawton (Saratoga), Cameron Coles (Schenectady), Jake Cook (Shaker), Sloan Seymour (Shaker), Nazaire Merritt (Troy).

Foothills Council: Ozzie DeJesus (Amsterdam), Lou Fedullo (Amsterdam), Troy Monroe (Broadalbin-Perth), Joey Rowback (Gloversville), Jeffrey VanAnden (Queensbury), Cameron Bleibtrey (Queensbury), Stratton Sherman (Schuylerville), Sam Maziejka (South Glens Falls).

Colonial Council: Brennan Loder (Cobleskill-Richmondville), Isaiah Knight (Lansingburgh), Trevor Green (Lansingburgh), Joe DeLollo (LaSalle), Ian Duncan (LaSalle), Jesse O’Dell (Schalmont), Joey Saia (Voorheesville), Joey Atkins (Watervliet), J.J. Chestnut (Watervliet).

Western Athletic Conference: Slade Pulliam (Berne-Knox-Westerlo), Boone Lynch (Duanesburg), Luke Van Slyke (Canajoharie), Jackson Atty (Fonda-Fultonville), Thor White (Galway), Trevon Gifford (Mayfield), Peyton Olsen (Middleburgh), Lorenzo Cavallaro (Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons), Jack Brundage (OESJ), Devyn Jones (OESJ), Tyler Leon (OESJ), Mitch Barton (Schoharie),

Wasaren League: Brendan Holcomb (Cambridge), Guy Milliman (Hoosick Falls), Evan McCart (Hoosick Falls), Jon Kempf (Hoosick Falls), Tyler Haraden (Saratoga Catholic), Brian McNeil (Stillwater).

Other: Marcus Filien (Albany Academy), Gideon Agbo (Mekeel), Dan McCarty (Mekeel), Josh Rodriguez (Green Tech), Dominique Threatt (Bishop Maginn), Alex Jones (Lake George), Caleb Scrime (Lake George).

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.


Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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