Mekeel Christian Academy set a couple of program records for offensive productivity Friday night when it defeated Amsterdam, 95-80, in an opening-round game at the Gloversville Holiday Tournament.
“It seemed like a game from the old ABA. We should have been playing with a red, white and blue ball,” Mekeel coach Chad Bowman said afterward. “Both teams kept scoring.”
Mekeel set a school record with 17 three-point baskets, and the 95 points represented its highest total ever produced against a Section II opponent.
During the 2000-01 season, Mekeel, then Schenectady Christian School, put up 95 in a victory over Perth Bible. Mekeel scored 93 against Duanesburg last season.
“Our kids really shared the ball and created shots for each other,” said Bowman. “No one cares who’s shooting or scoring. When you don’t care, you see good results.”
Caleb Stewart scored a career-high 32 points for the Lions, Spencer Bath and Courtney Penson also had their best varsity games with 21 and 20 points, respectively, and Dan Alteri added 10 points. Bath connected on seven three-point baskets, one shy of the school record, while Penson made four and Stewart knocked down three.
“Amsterdam has two road wins in the Big 10. They start five seniors. They’re a pretty good team,” Bowman said. “Doing it against a Big 10 school makes it kind of special.”
Mekeel made 31 of 57 shots from the field, including a 17-for-30 performance from three-point territory, and was 16-for-20 from the free-throw line. The Lions piled up 32 points in the fourth quarter.
“It’s a great shooters’ gym,” Bowman said.
Stewart had a triple-double with his 32 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. The senior was 9-for-18 from the field (3-for-6 on threes) and 11-for-14 from the line.
Mekeel opened its season with losses against Mayfield (45-44) and Mechanicville (35-33) before beating Berne-Knox-Westerlo (75-70), Duanesburg (80-35) and Amsterdam.
“In the beginning, we had distractions and injuries,” Bowman said. “We’re starting to head in the right direction.”
Amsterdam had four double-digit scorers, led by Luis Laboy with a career-high 31 points. The Running Rams sank nine three-point baskets.
“Our defense wasn’t great. We’ve still got a lot of work to do at that end,” Bowman said. “On some nights, the ball isn’t going to fall as well, and we’re going to need to make some stops.”
Gloversville beat Fonda-Fultonville in the other tourney opener, 70-50. Saturday’s championship and consolation games were postponed due to snow, and a makeup date has yet to be determined.
Big Mohonasen fan
As the Mohonasen boys’ basketball team went through its pregame shoot-around before Friday’s Kirvin Cup title game, Mike Beverly gave high fives and words of encouragement to the Mighty Warriors.
It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Beverly has been doing it for years and years.
“The kids always ask, ‘Are you going to be there tonight?’ ” Beverly said before the title game against Lansingburgh. “They call me their No. 1 fan.”
You’ll find Beverly at Mohonasen athletic events in the fall, winter and spring. He’s what you’d call a super supporter.
“The kids appreciate it,” said Beverly, who played soccer at Mohonasen and proudly wears a school jacket. “Even when kids graduate, they’ll come by and say, ‘Hi,’ and that makes you feel good.”
Beverly does more than root for the Mighty Warriors and offer kind words. He joined the chain gang for football games 20 years ago, and eventually became the guy who gathered up the balls for the school’s soccer and basketball teams.
“Whatever they need me to do, I’ll do,” said Beverly, a former school crossing guard who works with the district’s janitorial staff. “If they need help at a wrestling match, I’ll be there. I enjoy it. I enjoy helping out.”
Though Mohonasen is Beverly’s hub, he said he also likes to keep up with athletic teams from Schalmont, Scotia-Glenville, Niskayuna, Schenectady and Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons.
“I like going all over,” he said. “I like to support the kids at the other schools, too.”
The Shenendehowa and Shaker varsity basketball teams will meet Thursday night, Jan. 10, at Siena College in a benefit fundraiser for the Deanna M. Rivers and Christopher F. Stewart scholarship funds.
The girls will play at 6:30, followed by the boys, at Siena’s Alumni Recreation Center. Tickets will be available at both schools starting Friday, and will also be available at the door.
Watervliet senior guard Jordan Gleason set a school record with eight three-point baskets on Dec. 21 in a 73-62 overtime win against Cohoes.
Gleason finished with 35 points which included eight in overtime, and seven assists, in a rematch from last season’s Section II Class B final that was won by the Cannoneers. Gleason’s brother, Devonte, nailed seven threes in a win over Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk during the 2009-10 season.
Gleason was the second Colonial Council player to pile up eight threes this season. Chris Hodson of Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk established a school record with eight of them and totaled 29 points in an 85-51 loss to Scotia-Glenville.