Mohonasen girls’ basketball coach Paul Brosious said he was thrilled with Friday night’s victory over Shenendehowa, but not completely surprised.
Shenendehowa headed to Mohonasen with a 9-1 record and a No. 5 state Class AA ranking before clutch shots and a pesky defensive effort carried the Mighty Warriors to a 57-51 win.
Mohonasen was 8-4 entering the Suburban Council game, with a No. 14 state Class A rank.
“We had two tough losses just before against Colonie and Shaker, who we consider the second- and third-best Class AA teams in Section II behind Shenendehowa, and we played with Averill Park for three quarters earlier in the year. We had been close, but we didn’t catch any breaks,” Brosious said. “Having been right there with those other teams, I believed we could do it. We just hadn’t gotten over the top.”
Courtney Cowell helped Mohonasen do so late in the fourth quarter with the game in the balance, stealing the ball and nailing her fourth three-point basket to give the hosts a 53-48 lead. Ashley Tallman made three foul shots down the stretch to help end Shenendehowa’s five-game win streak.
Shenendehowa’s other loss came against unbeaten Averill Park, the state’s No. 1-ranked Class A team.
“Probably the biggest play of the night was when Courtney stole the ball. We were up by two with about a minute and a half left. They had one kid back, and I wasn’t sure if she was going to take it to the hole or pull up,” Brosious said. “She stopped at the three-point line, and knocked it down.
“You think of her as a defender, but she has become a major offensive weapon for us.”
Cowell finished with 12 points, Tallmen netted 14 and Dayna Lashin led with 15, while Lea McClain played a significant role in breaking Shenendehowa’s trademark fullcourt pressure.
“Everyone played well,” said Brosious, who also got contributions from Kelsey Cowell, Kate Kuebler and Kayla Lupi. “You definitely need everyone on their game to beat a team like Shenendehowa.”
Brosious was particularly pleased with his team’s defensive effort.
“That was a key thing,” Mohonasen’s second-year coach said. “We’ve had some letdowns, but in this one, we didn’t. The girls kept their intensity and focus at a high level all night. That was big.”
Mohonasen ended a six-game losing streak against Shenendehowa last season with a 48-41 win, that performance part of its run toward the Section II championship and state semifinals. The two leading players on that 22-3 team, Nicole Adach and Michelle Aviza, were lost to graduation.
“We’re 9-4, and we’re coming off a win against Shenendehowa. When the season started, I don’t think anyone thought we’d be here. We lost some very key pieces,” said Brosious. “I’m really happy with where we are.”
Mohonasen has remaining leagues games with Guilderland, Bethlehem, Averill Park, Colonie and Columbia before attempting to defend its Class A title.
“Beating Shenendehowa was huge for us, just tremendous. It gives us momentum,” Brosious said. “Hopefully, we can ride it through our last five games and into the sectionals.”
Overholt joins elite
Loudonville Christian senior Cullen Overholt scored 25 points, including the 1,000th of his career, in Friday’s 73-40 Central Hudson Valley League win over Berlin.
Overholt was the third Section II player to reach the milestone last week, with Ariana Youngs of Lansingburgh and Amanda Cioffi of Albany Academy each scoring their 1,000th point Tuesday. Payton Stahler of Canajoharie, Paula Egelston of Fonda-Fultonville and Britany St. Clair of Whitehall reached 1,000 earlier in the season.
Niskayuna and Troy are moving up in class as part of the restructuring of Section II football.
Several other area schools will also be on the move following the approval of new enrollment cutoff numbers Thursday by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s executive committee.
The cutoff numbers have dropped in all five classifications, with Class AA now at 1,001 and up (from 1,051 and up), Class A at 601-1,000 (from 626-1,050), Class B at 401-600 (from 441-625), Class C at 261-400 (from 276-440) and Class D at 260 and under (from 275 and under).
With the new numbers, Niskayuna and Troy will shift from Class AA to Class A, Lansingburgh will move from Class B to Class A, Cairo-Durham and Schuylerville will jump from Class C to Class B and Lake George and Greenwich will be elevated from Class D to Class C. Also, Cambridge will drop from Class C to Class D, and Glens Falls will remain in Class A after it was slated to drop based on the old numbers.
Troy reached the Section II Class A championship game this past season, while Lansingburgh made it to the Class B final.
The moves will leave Section II with 14 teams in Class AA, 11 teams in Class A, 12 teams in Class B (although Ichabod Crane will play a Class C schedule), 17 teams in Class C and eight teams in Class D.
Section II’s league structure and schedule for the 2010 season — which was already in place before the numbers change — will have to be reworked, according to Section II football coordinator Gary VanDerzee.
Nemesis at Schenectady
Schenectady High School’s Larry Mulvaney Field will serve as the home of the New York Nemesis women’s tackle football team this season.
The Nemesis will host four of their eight regular-season Independent Women’s Football League games at Schenectady, all starting at 7 p.m., beginning with an April 3 matchup against the Boston Militia. The Nemesis will also host the Connecticut Crushers
April 17, the Philadelphia Firebirds May 1 and the Boston Militia again on May 8.
More information can be found on the New York Nemesis Web site (www.NYNemesis.org).
The late Frank O’Brien III, a member of Albany Academy’s first state championship ice hockey team in 1983, had his jersey retired Saturday prior to the Cadets’ game with Pomfret at the Robinson Family Hockey Arena.
O’Brien was a three-sport standout at Albany Academy, and served as a captain for its hockey team during his senior season in 1983-84. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, he played professional hockey in the United States and Sweden.
O’Brien’s hockey jersey was the first retired by the school’s alumni association.