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Mekeel hosting boys' basketball tournament

Mekeel hosting boys' basketball tournament

Five state-ranked teams will play
Mekeel hosting boys' basketball tournament
Mekeel Christian Academy senior Ozzy DeJesus, who recently reached 1,000 career points, will lead the Lions Saturday.
Photographer: Erica Miller

Five state-ranked boys' basketball teams, including host Mekeel Christian Academy and Shenendehowa, will see action at the fourth annual Sunmark Shootout Saturday at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls.

Fourteen teams will compete in seven games starting at 11 a.m. at the same facility that will host the upcoming Section II tournament semifinal and championship games.

"If you're playing in the sectionals and you get that far [to the final four], there's value in playing there," Mekeel coach and Shootout organizer Chad Bowman said. "If not, you're still playing on an historic court. You can say, 'I played there.' It's a win-win for all of the teams involved."

A recent adjustment in the Shootout schedule will have Shenendehowa taking on Maine-Endwell at 2 p.m. and Mekeel playing Watervliet at 3:30 p.m. Shenendehowa was originally slated to play Beacon, the state's No. 17-ranked Class A team which had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict, and Mekeel was slated to play Maine-Endwell.

"Shenendehowa had committed to the event, so we put them with Maine-Endwell," Bowman said. "We had a game with Watervliet scheduled for the 13th [of February] and moved it up."

Shenendehowa is ranked No. 15 in the state in Class AA, and Maine-Endwell is No. 23 in Class A. Mekeel is No. 6 in Class A, and Watervliet is No. 26 in Class B. Mechanicville, which is No. 18 in Class B, will take on Schoharie at 12:30 p.m. as part of the lineup.

Mekeel has a game at Binghamton Friday before its Saturday matchup with Watervliet.

"We are meshing well," said Bowman, who guided his Lions to the state Class B title in 2018. "I like where we're going, and we want to keep progressing."

Mekeel (13-2) has strung together 10 straight wins since losing to Saranac 76-69 on Dec. 14. During its run, the Lions avenged an earlier loss to Green Tech and also knocked off Niskayuna, Binghamton, Briarcliff and Bishop Grimes.

"The loss to Saranac is one of our top motivations," Bowman said. "They outplayed us. They outperformed us. The lesson there was if you don't do things well and with passion and commitment, bad things happen. The kids have been giving great effort every day since then with a focus on getting better."


Saturday's Schedule

Northville vs. Fort Ann, 11 a.m.; Mechanicville vs. Schoharie, 12:30 p.m.; Shenendehowa vs. Maine-Endwell, 2 p.m.; Mekeel Christian Academy vs. Watervliet, 3:30 p.m.; Schalmont vs. Shaker, 5:15 p.m.; Albany vs. Ballston Spa, 6:45 p.m.; Hoosic Valley vs. Berne-Knox-Westerlo, 8:15 p.m.

Reach Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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