Kathleen Wylie began her first season as Schenectady High School’s varsity girls’ basketball coach with a young team, and the Lady Patriots are even younger now.
“The team was losing by large numbers, and practices hadn’t been well-attended. We felt we needed to reduce the players who were not attending, but we did not want to forfeit games. We didn’t think that would be fair to the other Big 10 teams,” Schenectady athletic director Steve Boynton said Tuesday. “We talked it over, and decided to move the entire junior varsity up.”
The varsity and JV mix has Wylie now working with 16 players.
“We didn’t have a numbers issue or a discipline issue. We had a commitment isssue,” said Wylie. “We decided, ‘Let’s get the committed kids here.’ I think we’ll be better in the long run.”
Wylie started the season with one player with varsity experience in junior Alexus Durham.
“Some of the girls may not have been aware that high school basketball is something that does, at times, take them away from other things,” she said. “There are some demands at this level. It does take a serious commitment. This group seems to be committed.”
Schenectady’s team includes a seventh-grader, but mostly freshmen and sophomores.
“They’re going to be playing over their heads, but they’ll get some great experience,” said Boynton. “There will be a conscious effort to play the girls who moved up.”
Wylie and her assistant, former junior varsity coach Stephanie Grattan, will be emphasizing positives more than victories as the season progresses.
“Small victories are big. When we play against top players and get a steal, our job as coaches it to pronounce that,” said Wylie. “That kind of thing can be good for a player. We’ll let them know that that can lead to something bigger for them.”
Grattan believes competing against older girls will have a benefit.
“Our girls will get to see what hard work can get them. Where it can take them,” Grattan said. “We’re thinking they can grow as players by seeing what those juniors and seniors on the other teams can do.”
Schenectady forfeited its varsity game with Troy last Friday, and had a bye Tuesday. The new mix of Lady Patriots played at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons Thursday.
“I think it’s important for the community to know we’re building,” said Wylie. “It’s going to get better.”
Wyie said her varsity team will be competing in the Schenectady YMCA summer league. Plans are also in the works for Schenectady to have a team (grades 4-6) in the Capital District Youth League and another group (grades 7-10) on the AAU circuit.
“We have high hopes we’ll turn the corner,” said Boynton, who saw the varsity team go 1-17 last season. “Right now, we’re in a rough patch.”
Senior Jordan Pantalone of Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons has been named to the all-state Class B first team for boys’ cross country, and schoolmate Johan Allard has been selected New York’s best eighth-grade runner to go with third-team honors.
The pair, the first two to hit the finish line for the state champion Golden Knights, are joined by third-team pick Jason Lange and fifth-teamer Matt Lange. Pantalone secured individual laurels when ND-BG won its first Section II title since 1983, and placed fifth when the Knights secured their first-ever state championship.
Section II’s other all-state first-team selections are Philo Germano of Albany in Class A, Matt Hoffman of Fonda-Fultonville in Class C, and Jeremy Spiezio of Greenwich and Tom McClellan of Mayfield in Class D. Germano won the Section II title and finished 13th at the state meet. Hoffman claimed the Section II title and took fifth at the state meet. Spiezio and McClellan ran 1-2 at the Section II meet, and Spiezio placed second at the state event where McClellan was sixth.
Jay Navin of state Class A and Federation champion Saratoga Springs earned second-team honors. Aidan Tooker of Saratoga was tabbed the state’s top freshman runner and landed a third-team spot.
Philo Germano, 12, Albany (first team); Jay Navin, 11, Saratoga Springs (second); Aidan Tooker, 9, Saratoga Springs (third); Brent Freestone, 11, Saratoga Springs (fourth); Gavin Gaynor, 9, Saratoga Springs (fourth); Stephen Booker, 11, Bethlehem (HM); Jake Johnson, 9, Colonie (HM); Evan Quinones, 12, Saratoga Springs (HM); Adam Schmenzfeier, 12, Shaker (HM); Dan Janeczko, 12, Shenendehowa (HM).
Jordan Pantalone, 12, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons (first); Andrew Tario, 12, Averill Park (second); Jason Lange, 12, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons (third); Jonah Allard, 8, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons (third); John Knox, 12, Gloversville (fourth); Josh Lee, 2, Glens Falls (fifth); Matt Lange, 12, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons (fifth); John Rabideau, 11, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (HM); Patrick McGuinness, 11, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (HM); Troy Kelly, 12, Queensbury (HM).
Matt Hoffman, 12, Fonda-Fultonville (first); Jordan Healy, 11, Maple Hill (second); Matt Watson, 12, Schuylerville (second); Tanner Flint, 11, Corinth (third); Greg Bogdan, 11, Broadalbin-Perth (HM); Ross Wightman, 12, Chatham (HM); Tyler Angioli, 12, Fonda-Fultonville (HM).
Jeremy Spiezio, 10, Greenwich (first); Tom McClellan, 12, Mayfield (first); Jacob Urys, 12, Mekeel Christian Academy (second); Patrick Murphy, 10, Duanesburg (fourth); Xavier McKinley, 9, Duanesburg (HM); Devlin Kennedy, 11, Greenwich (HM); Ryun Murphy, 11, Mekeel Christian Academy (HM).
Honor for Nickles
Bethlehem senior goalkeeper Katie Nickles has been named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America girls’ high school Scholar All-American team.
Nickles, a five-year varsity player, two-year captain and part of the Lady Eagles four-year sectional championship run from 2008-11, is an advanced placement/high honors student.
Only 29 girls from around the country are awared Academic All-American status.
Nickles recorded 60 wins and 44 shutouts in 79 varsity games. She also helped her premier team, the Rush Patriots, to the ENYYSA state cup championship, and has been in the state’s Olympic Development Pool for five years.
Gundrum repeat all-NY
Emma Willard senior forward Francesca Gundrum has been selected to the all-state field hockey team for the third year in a row.
Gundrum earned a first-team spot on the Patroon Conference all-star team four times, and this season garnered its most valuable player award.
The Troy resident amassed 41 goals and 25 assists in her career, including eight goals and eight assists as a junior when Emma Willard won its first outright league title, and nine goals and eight assists this season when the Jesters shared the Patroon championshop with Taconic Hills.
Gundrum is also a standout lacrosse player, and will play that sport at Dartmouth College.
The Patroon Conference’s other all-state representatives are senior forward Giovanna Markham of Taconic Hills and senior midfielder Hannah Patzwahl of Ichabod Crane.
The Wasaren League’s all-state reps are senior midfielder Monica Dore and junior goaltender Samantha Whitehouse of Greenwich, and junior midfielder Carsen Williams of Hoosick Falls.
The Adirondack League’s all-state reps are senior forward Emily Marcotte of Corinth, senior goalie Shannon Ovitt of Johnsburg, and junior midfielder Kerrigan Roth of Warrensburg.
Columbia High School’s single-game basketball scoring recordbreakers will be recognized in a brief ceremony prior to tonight’s varsity game with Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.
The ceremony will be a family affair involving brothers Conrad and Alex Zampier, and Bill and Henry Roemer.
Conrad Zampier set the Columbia record when he poured in 43 points Dec. 11 in an 80-73 double-overtime win against Mohonasen. He broke the record of 42 points that was set by his brother during the 2004-05 season against Niskayuna.
Bill Roemer had scored 41 points against Shaker during the 1961-62 season. He broke the school record that was held by his brother, who, in 1960-61, netted 40 against Bethlehem.
Conrad Zampier and Mohonasen’s Grant Massaroni shared Suburban Council Player of the Week honors for Dec. 10-14. Massaroni scored 36 points in the double-overtime game and added 30 more in a loss to Guilderland. Zampier added 24 points in a win over Averill Park.
Adding to record
Berne-Knox-Westerlo senior guard Liz Harvey boosted her own single-game basketball scoring record by a point last Friday when she netted 35 in a 51-41 Western Athletic Conference win over Mekeel Christian Academy.
Harvey scored 34 points twice last season, topping the then-school record 33 she produced as a freshman.
Harvey has scored 30 points or more 10 times in her varsity career. Her performance a week ago included six three-point baskets, which equaled her school record.
Here and there
Shenendehowa wrestlers Nick Kelley and David Almaviva both signed national letters of intent Tuesday to attend Binghamton University. Shenendehowa lacrosse players Joe Romano (University of Massachusetts) and Brian Rogers (LeMoyne College) also made their commitments official, as did softball player Caitlin Lawson (Dominican College). . . .
Nick Shaw of Colonie bowled a 300 game Tuesday in a Suburban Council win over Niskayuna, and Brandon Boyer of Hudson Falls matched those 12 straight strikes for a perfect effort in a Foothills Council victory over Johnstown. . . .
In a rematch of last season’s state Class B boys’ basketball title game, Watervliet and Bishop Ludden will play Saturday at 1 p.m. at The College of Saint Rose. Albany, Troy and Lansingburgh will see action afterward at the non-league showcase for the benefit of the Lupus Foundation of America. Ludden ended Watervliet’s 21-game win streak with a 43-42 victory last March.