Mekeel Christian Academy boys’ basketball coach Chad Bowman said he didn’t have a difficult time finding enough teams to fill out the Sunmark Shootout lineup. All he had to do was mention the Glens Falls Civic Center, the inaugural event’s location.
“Coaches jumped on it,” Bowman said of the Jan. 22 all-boys showcase he played a key role in organizing. “It’s two weeks before the sectionals, and it’s a great opportunity to get on that court before then.”
Four Section II leagues will be represented in the six games, with teams ranging from Class AA, A and B.
“Every player dreams to get to the Glens Falls Civic Center,” Bowman said. “The [New York State Basketball] Hall of Fame is there. Great players have played there.”
Ballston Spa and CBA will get things started at 11:30 followed by Saratoga Springs vs. Queensbury (1:15), Mohonasen vs. Scotia-Glenville (3), Fonda-Fultonville vs. Mekeel (4:45), Shaker vs. Watervliet (6:30) and Broadalbin-Perth vs. Cohoes (8:15).
The executive committee of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) voted last December to move the state boys’ championships from the Civic Center to the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton starting next year. The championships have been staged in Glens Falls since 1981.
“Section II loves high school hoops,” Bowman said. “Section II fans can check out 12 teams and six games for $5. That’s 83 cents per game. Not a bad deal.”
ON THE MOVE
The East Region football semifinals which Section II competes in will likely be moving from Dietz Stadium in Kingston to Middletown High School’s Faller Field after a recommendation by New York State Public High School Athletic Association officials and members of the NYSPHSAA Football Committee.
Representatives from Shenendehowa High School, Dietz Stadium and Middletown recently made bids to host the semifinals in 2017 and 2018. Dietz had been the host for 24 years.
A decision will not be made until the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee meets on Jan. 27.
“To me it’s my favorite place to play,” said Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake coach Matt Shell, whose teams went 4-2 in semifinal games in Kingston and followed up a 2012 win there with a state championship. “When I was nine, my brother was a senior in high school [at Gloversville], and they played Kingston there. I’ve loved that stadium ever since. I love the atmosphere. Great venue for high school football. There’s a lot of tradition.”
Middletown’s Faller Field opened in 2008, and has been home to the boys’ state soccer semifinals and championships since 2010. Middletown also hosted the boys’ state lacrosse championships in 2012 and 2016 and the outdoor state track and field championships in 2013. Middletown also hosts Section IX football, soccer and lacrosse championships each year.
Troy (Class AA), Glens Falls (Class B) and Cambridge (Class D) won state semifinal football games last month at Dietz and each followed with a state title game win in Syracuse. Somers (Class A), the team that beat Burnt Hills in the state semifinals, also went on to claim a New York championship.
Saratoga Springs sophomore Kelsey Chmiel ran fifth at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Ore. Saturday as a follow-up to her second-place showing the week before at the Northeast/New York Regional in Wappingers Falls.
“Great end to a great season,” Saratoga coach Linda Kranick said of the second-year cross country runner.
Chmiel finished with a flurry, winning Suburban Council, Section II, New York State Public High School Athletic Association and Federation meet championships.
She set course records at the Suburban Council meet (Saratoga Spa State Park) and at the NYSPHSAAA meet (Chenango Valley State Park), and also established a course record earlier in the season while winning the Wingfoot Classic in Georgia (Sam Smith Park).
“She’s a great kid to work with,” Kranick said. “She’s very focused. She’s a great competitor. She has a 98.79 [classroom] average. She’s personable and friendly. She’s the total package.”
With a spin move in the lane and a layup, Scotia-Glenville senior Caitlin Estes boosted her varsity career total to 1,001 points in a 70-39 loss to Averill Park in the opening round of the Warriors’ tip-off tournament Friday.
That last basket gave Estes 12 points, and the Adelphi commit added nine more in a 43-28 consolation win against Lansingburgh Saturday. Estes made the all-tournament team.
Heatly senior Cameran Henderson reached 1,000 career points with an 18-point effort on Nov. 30 in a 44-38 win against Berne-Knox-Westerlo.
Green Tech boys’ basketball coach Jamil Hood Sr. said Schenectady transfer Tobias Holmes looks like his old self after a knee injury ended his sophomore season with Patriots after 17 games.
“He’s moving really good,” Hood said of the guard, who set a Schenectady single-game record with 37 points in a win against Albany last December. “In a couple of our scrimmages he was awesome.”
Holmes was the first eighth-grader to start for Schenectady, averaging 13.5 points during the 2013-14 season, and averaged 15.5 as a freshmen and 15.1 as a sophomore. He’s joined an independent Green Tech team that over the last four seasons won a Section II Class AA title (2014) and twice finished second in the tournament.
“He didn’t know we run hills at 6:30 in the morning, and go twice a week during the offseason,” Hood said. “He didn’t know we do study halls. It’s been a little bit of an eye opener.”
Shenendehowa senior setter Julia Paliwodzinski has had added an all-state Class AA first-team nod to her Suburban Council and Section II volleyball player of the year awards.
Paliwodzinski piled up 915 assists, 117 aces among 323 service points and 76 kills for the state semifinalist Plainsmen. She is joined on the Class AA first team by schoolmate Nicole Adams, a junior middle blocker who collected 303 kills and 170 blocks and 65 aces among 223 service points.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake senior outside hitter Lexi Pawlusik made the Class A all-state first team after leading the New York semifinalists with 274 kills to go with 242 digs.
Galway middle hitters Britany Kenyon, a junior, and Lindsay Zawisa, a sophomore, made the Class C all-state first team.