Three basketball teams that used Section II opponents as steppingstones, three looking for repeat titles and a pair with national rankings will see action at the New York State Federation Tournament of Champions today through Sunday at the Times Union Center.
The event that brings in teams from four associations was staged at the Glens Falls Civic Center over the past 30 years. The 2010 tournament included a history-making effort when Christ The King of the Catholic High School Athletic Association became the first school to win a boys’ and girls’ crown in the same year.
The Christ The King boys (22-6) are back to defend their Class AA championship, while Collegiate (18-8) of the Alliance of Independent Schools Athletic Association is seeking its fourth straight Class B boys’ title. Irvington (25-1) of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association has its sites on a second consecutive Class B girls’ title.
Christ The King is coupled in the boys’ Class AA bracket with Public School Athletic League representative Boys & Girls (24-6), which is ranked No. 14 in the USA Today Super 25, and Mount Vernon (21-5). Mount Vernon won its record ninth NYSPHSAA title Sunday at the Civic Center with a 62-51 victory over Jamestown, when co-Mr. New York Basketball Jabarie Hinds, who will attend West Virginia in the fall, piled up 26 points, five assists, five rebounds and four steals for Knights.
Mount Vernon is a four-time Federation champ, with its last title coming in 2006.
Jamesville-DeWitt (22-3) is the NYSPHSAA Class A boys’ representative for the sixth time and fourth year in a row after beating Harborfields Sunday, 66-51, behind 6-foot-10 junior Dajuan Coleman’s 22 points and 16 rebounds. Jamesville-DeWitt defeated Section II’s Mohonasen in the regionals before taking down Aquinas and Harborfields to earn a shot at its fourth Federation banner and first since 2008.
The Peekskill girls (24-1) went through Section II’s Averill Park in last Saturday’s NYSPHSAA Class A final to reach the Federation tourney. Averill Park captured the NYSPHSAA title and then the Federation championship last season, becoming only the fourth Section II girls’ team to do so following Colonie, St. Johnsville (twice) and Germantown (twice).
Cicero-North Syracuse (22-2) is the girls’ NYSPHSAA Class AA rep after a playoff run that included wins over Section II’s Shaker in the regionals and Baldwin and Gates-Chili last weekend at Hudson Valley Community College. Cicero-North Syracuse features 6-4 junior Breanna Stewart, the Gatorade New York Player of the Year who has committed to the University of Connecticut.
On Saturday, Cicero-North Syracuse plays Murry Bergtraum (22-3, PSAL), which won five Federation titles from 2002-08, and the winner gets Nazareth (28-3, CHSAA) Sunday. Nazareth is ranked No. 7 in the USA Today Super 25.
By the numbers
A superb three-season run by the Christian Brothers Academy varsity basketball team came to a close Saturday with a 61-56 overtime loss to Jamestown in the Class AA semifinals of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament.
That setback at the Glens Falls Civic Center was only the seventh spanning the three seasons, while the Brothers piled up 68 victories during that stretch. Five of those seven defeats came by six points or less.
CBA went 23-1 this season behind senior leaders Galal Cancer and Max Weaver, winning Big 10, Section II and regional championships, and achieving a No. 1 rank by the New York State Sportswriters Association, before its lone defeat.
“It’s a shame that your loss comes in your last game, but it happens to everybody unless you go all the way,” CBA coach Dave Doemel said after Saturday’s contest. “I don’t think you can take away what those guys have accomplished. I told the seniors I don’t know if there has ever been a group at CBA that can say what these guys can say about the number of wins and, more importantly, the number of losses these guys experienced over their time at CBA. They’re certainly a credit to our school.”
Cancer and Weaver played significant roles since their sophomore years. During those three seasons CBA won two Big 10 titles, three sectional championships and two regional banners. CBA followed up its regional success last season with triumphs over Newburgh Free Academy and Half Hollow Hills West in capturing its first NYSPHSAA championship, and the school’s first state title in any sport since the baseball team went the distance in 1986.
CBA posted a 24-2 record last season, losing only to Westhill in a non-league game (59-57) and to Christ the King in the Federation semifinals (63-60), and went 21-4 during the 2008-09 season which ended with a 45-40 regional loss to CBA of Syracuse.
“What our seniors did was truly remarkable,” said Doemel.
CBA’s senior cast included Brendan Dalcol, Brendan Dufort, Taylor Mulvey, Christian Signor and Trey Williams. Mulvey started this season, while Signor and Dufort filled key reserve roles.
“Coach told us we should be proud of ourselves,” said Cancer, a four-year varsity member and three-year starter who had 11 points and nine rebounds in his final game. “He said we should remember not only the number of wins, but the number of losses. We should take that with us.”
CBA will bring back junior starters Joe Krong and Christian Leppanen, and reserves Chaz Lott, Sha Cancer and Nate Robinson, among others.
Jeff Sitterly has resigned as Troy’s varsity boys’ basketball coach in order to devote more time to his family and his position as the high school’s assistant athletic director.
Sitterly guided the Flying Horses to a 12-4 record in the Big 10, good for second place, and a 15-5 overall mark following a Section II Class AA quarterfinal loss to Bishop Maginn. Troy gave state semifinalist Christian Brothers Academy two of its most difficult games, in 61-57 and 66-65 losses.
Troy featured an outstanding group of underclassmen led by juniors Shadell Millinghaus and Raheem Felder and sophomore Javion Ogunyemi.
Sitterly had two stints as Troy’s head coach, his first ending in 2002-03 after nine seasons, and his second covering the last five seasons. His 2001-02 edition went 21-4 and won the Section II Class A championship with a 57-52 triumph over LaSalle.
Spartans open hall
Former National Football League running back Eric Torkelson and Olympic judo silver medalist
Jason Morris will be among the first group of inductees into the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District Athletic Hall of Fame.
The group will also include distance running star Miles Irish, longtime football coach Murry O’Neil and former athletic director Harold Van Earden, while Burnt Hills’ state field hockey champions from 1987 will be inducted in the team category.
The induction ceremony will be held Saturday, June 11, at the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs. Additional information and tickets can be obtained by contacting BH-BL athletic director Robert McGuire (399-9141 ext. 3309) or by going to the BH-BL Athletic Hall of Fame web page.
Alumni Athlete Category
Eric Torkelson (1970), Theresa McGuire (1972), Neale Moore (1976), Miles Irish (1983), Jon Cardi (1983), Vickie Cox (1985), Jason Morris (1985), Janet Urban (1992), B.J. Jourdanais (1992).
Murry O’Neil (coach), Kevin Fitzpatrick (coach), Harold Van Earden (administrator).
Field hockey 1987 state champions.