Schenectady was moving well in its 3-2 defensive set and causing problems for Troy in a Big 10 basketball game last week.
“Our defense is keeping us in games,” Patriots coach Eric Loudis said. “If we continue to do that, we’ll be involved in a lot of games.”
Loudis knows a team needs point production to win games, however, and Schenectady didn’t have enough of that in the matchup with last season’s Section II Class AA champion, and dropped a 53-47 decision to Troy. Schenectady’s offensive stat line included a 5-for-27 effort from three-point territory.
“That woke the team up a little,” Loudis said. “Considering how poorly we shot, and to lose by six, that was an eye-opening exper-ience. We shot 25 percent from the field and were still able to compete with Troy.
“They know if we hit some outside shots, that opens things up, and the sky’s the limit.”
What bothered Loudis more than the shooting percentage was 32 turnovers committed by his ball handlers. Each miscue erased a chance to score in a game the Patriots trailed by three entering the last quarter.
“We want to put ourselves in opportunities where we can score points,” said Loudis. “Before every game I write on the board our three keys. Win the boards. Make free throws. Keep our turnovers under 15.”
The Patriots executed their game plan before and after the Troy loss, first beating Amsterdam, 79-54, and knocking off Bishop Maginn afterward, 61-38.
In last Friday’s triumph at Bishop Maginn, Schenectady raced to a 21-6 first-quarter lead, and all but sealed the victory with a 21-7 third-quarter run. Eighth-grade guard Tobias Holmes paced the Pats with 21 points, and senior forward Randall Symes notched 12.
“In the Bishop Maginn game we played very, very well,” said Loudis. “We did good things on defense and when we had the ball. We protected the ball and made shots.”
Schenectady (2-2) will look to make it back-to-back quality performances when it travels to Cath-olic Central (3-0) tonight. The Big 10 game was part of the Section II athletic schedule erased due to Tuesday’s snowstorm. On Friday, Schenectady will host Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons, and its Arthur Hilliard Memorial Tournament follows on Dec. 27-28 with Columbia, Scotia-Glenville and Newburgh Free Academy coming in.
“If we can get above .500, maybe go into the Christmas tournament 4-2, that would be a very big stepping stone,” said Loudis.
Schenectady lost at defending Big 10 champion Christian Brothers Academy in its season opener, 73-52.
Mekeel benefit tonight
Mekeel Christian Academy will continue its fund-raising drive for cancer patients Nick Rychcik and Denise Johnston at a benefit basketball double-header tonight at the school located in Scotia.
“Mekeel Cares” is conducting the event, and all donations and proceeds will go directly to the families in need.
Rychcik is a 9-year-old battling with desmoplastic small cell sarcoma, an extremely rare and aggressive childhood cancer. Johnston, Mekeel’s business manager, is a single mother of two who is presently undergoing chemotherapy in her fight with breast cancer.
The theme for the evening will be ‘Together We Fight,’ and T-shirts will be available displaying that logo.
“As a school we found out the news of these two cases within about one week,” said Mekeel Head of School Chad Bowman, who also serves as the varsity boys’ basketball coach. “It’s been a tough fall, but a galvanizing one as we come alongside both Nick and Denise to fight this disease.”
Those wishing to donate can make a check out to “Mekeel Cares.”
Varsity teams from Mekeel will take on those from Duanesburg in Western Athletic Conference games. The girls will play at 5:30, and the boys will follow.
Hartford senior Tad Jones set a school single-game record with 47 points in a 79-31 Adirondack League win over Bolton Friday. Jones was 21-for-27 shooting from the field.
Hudson Falls sophomore Bri McKinney connected on a school one-game record seven three-point baskets in Friday’s 55-42 Foothills Council win over South Glens Falls. McKinney finished with 28 points.
Defending state Class C boys’ champion Lake George (4-0) is No. 1 on the first set of basketball rankings released Tuesday by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
Hoosic Valley (5-1) is No. 3 in Class C and Saratoga Central Catholic (5-0) is No. 7.
Section II’s other ranked boys teams are Green Tech (No. 13, 1-0), CBA (No. 19, 3-1) and Guilderland (No. 21, 4-0) in Class AA; Scotia-Glenville (No. 4, 3-0), Troy (No. 9, 4-0) and Albany Academy (No. 14, 2-1) in Class A; Watervliet (No. 5, 2-0) and Voorheesville (No. 13, 1-1) in Class B; and Argyle (No. 4, 4-1) and Germantown (No. 13, 4-0) in Class D.
Section II’s ranked girls teams are Albany (No. 5, 4-0) and Shenendehowa (No. 7, 4-0) in Class AA; Troy (No. 2, 3-0), Averill Park (No. 4, 3-0) and Holy Names (No. 18, 3-0) in Class A; Watervliet (No. 9, 4-0), Tamarac (No. 15, 2-1) and Cohoes (No. 18, 4-0) in Class B; Greenwich (No. 3, 5-0), Maple Hill (No. 7, 4-0) and Hoosic Valley (No. 20, 3-1) in Class C; and Fort Edward (No. 3, 3-0) and Fort Ann (No. 6, 5-0) in Class D.