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Basketball: Unbeaten Lady Falcons fighting for respect

Basketball: Unbeaten Lady Falcons fighting for respect

Last year, the Albany High School girls’ basketball team didn’t get a chance to show what it could d

Last year, the Albany High School girls’ basketball team didn’t get a chance to show what it could do in the Class AA semifinals, falling far behind eventual champ Shaker early in the game.

“It’s always in the back of our mind,” said Lady Falcons coach Kelly Haggerty-MacNabb. “We just got that deer-in-the-headlights look, and got way behind early.”

This year’s team is looking for a better postseason showing. Off to a 6-0 start at the midpoint of the league season and 12-0 overall, the Falcons host 3-3 Bishop Maginn tonight at 6:30.

“The Big 10 is more competitive this year,” said Haggerty-MacNabb. “We saw Troy at the beginning of the year when we were both at the Oneonta tournament, and I said to my assistant coach [Decky Lawson] that it looks like it’s going to be us, Troy and Catholic Central this year.

“It’s good for us to play in more games that are competitive. If we’re going to make mistakes, I’d rather we made them now than in sectionals.”

Albany has won two tournament titles this winter, beating Johns­town and host Oneonta to begin the season, then defeating Bethlehem and Kingston to win its own tournament in early December. The Lady Falcons also own wins over Syracuse Corcoran and Bronx JFK in the Amsterdam Holiday Showcase.

“We need to see teams like that,” said Haggerty-MacNabb. “After what happenedd in sectionals last year, I don’t think our kids always get the respect they deserve. We don’t always get mentioned when people talk about the top Class AA teams.”

Emia Willingham-Hurst does draw attention.

The 5-foot-9 junior has blossomed into a team leader this season.

“Emia has stepped up this year. She’s really been a leader,” said Haggerty-MacNabb of the 11th-grader, who is averaging 16.5 in league games, 17.7 overall. “Words cannot describe it. And, even though she’s a junior, she’s our oldest core player.”

Haggerty-MacNabb is carrying 16 players (one injured) on the varsity roster, a number that cuts into playing time.

‘They’ve accepted their roles, and are really playing well as a team,” Haggerty-MacNabb said. “That’s making a huge difference.

“We had a situation where we were without two players at the beginning of the season, so I brought up two freshmen, Ariel Greer and Mylah Chandler. They stepped in and played well. I couldn’t send them back. We wouldn’t be where we are without them, so we’re carrying 15 healthy players.”

The Lady Falcons are coming off wins against Catholic Central (6-1) and Troy (4-2). Tonight’s challenge will be containing Lady Griffins’ senior Kayla Miller, who is leading the Big 10 with a 22.8 average.

“She’s been so consistent every night,” Haggerty-MacNabb said of Miller. “She’s hard to stop. She’s quick, long, lean and tenacious. She’s one of those kids who doesn’t accept ‘No.’ ”

Brianna LaPlant scored 13 points, Jamie McLaughlin had seven points and 10 rebounds and Kara Tecl added nine points and 12 rebounds as Queensbury edged Hudson Falls, 54-52, Monday in a Foothills Council girls’ game.

Ellie Gonyeau led the Tigers with 13 points.

Saratoga Central Catholic got nine points from both Molly Cioffi and Meghan Mensler to beat Whitehall, 30-25, in a non-league girls’ game.

T.J. Smith hit six pointers on the way to a 26-point game as Scho­harie topped Saratoga Central Catholic, 57-52, in a boys’ non-league contest.

Casey Cohan led the Saints with 21 points.

GIRLS

FOOTHILLS COUNCIL

QUEENSBURY 54, HUDSON FALLS 52

HUDSON FALLS

Batchelder 2-0-5, Forcier 2-0-4, Morrill 4-0-8, Gonyeau 4-5-13, Heil 0-1-1. Sheloski 4-1-9, Huntington 4-0-8, Girard 2-0-4. Totals 23-7-52.

QUEENSBURY

Tecl 3-3-9, J.McLaghlin 3-1-7, LaPlant 5-1-13, Jenkins 1-2-5, Rodriguez 2-0-4, Davis 2-0-4, Shevlin 1-0-3, Carota 2-5-9. Totals: 19-13-54.

Hudson Falls 16 16 7 23 — 52

Queensbury 20 14 6 14 — 54

Three-point goals: Batchelder, LapLant 2, Jenkins.

NON-LEAGUE

SARATOGA CENTRAL CATHOLIC 30, WHITEHALL 25

WHITEHALL

Chrisman 1-0-2, Lavin 3-2-8, Ayers 1-2-5, Putorti 2-0-4, Davis 0-1-1, Eaton 1-0-2, Farley 1-1-3. Totals: 9-6-25.

SARATOGA CENTRAL CATHOLIC

Mensler 4-0-9, Pikus 1-1-3, Cioffi 4-1-9, Ondreyko 1-2-5, Gregorio 2-0-4. Totals: 12-4-30.

Whitehall 3 8 6 8 — 25

Saratoga Catholic 7 6 9 8 — 30

Three-point goals: Ayers, Mensler, Ondreyko.

BOYS

NON-LEAGUE

SCHOHARIE 57, SARATOGA CENTRAL CATHOLIC 52

SCHOHARIE

Smith 10-0-26, Brown 2-0-4, Stalker 2-0-5, Ottman 1-0-2, Archer 5-0-10, Stone 3-2-10. Totals: 22-2-57.

SARATOGA CENTRAL CATHOLIC

Walsh 5-2-12, Englert 4-7-15, Naughton 1-0-2, Cohan 7-5-21, Hendrix 1-0-2. Totals: 18-14-52.

Schoharie 16 14 8 19 — 57

Saratoga Catholic 11 15 19 7 — 52

Three-point goals: Smith 6, Stalker, Stone 2, Cohan 2.

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