GLENS FALLS – The Cool Insuring Arena was once again home to a day of Section 2 basketball, as Mekeel Christian Academy hosted the Sunmark Shootout Saturday, Feb. 2.
In one of the best match-ups of the day, Schalmont upended Troy 78-76 in a battle of the top teams from the Colonial and Suburban councils. The Sabres built a five-point lead at the end of the third quarter, and then hung on as the Flying Horses rallied in the fourth quarter.
Shane O’Dell lit up the scoreboard with a 36-point night for Schalmont that included an 11-for-11 performance at the free throw line. LJ Randle dropped a pair of three-pointers on his way to a 19-point effort.
ROTTERDAM – Undefeated Schalmont completed a season sweep of crosstown rival Mohonasen with a 60-49 victory Thursday, Jan. 31, in a Colonial Council boys basketball game at Mohonasen High School.
The Sabres weathered an early storm from the Mighty Warriors to take a 13-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, and then went on a 9-0 run to begin the second quarter to break the game open. By halftime, Schalmont led 32-18.
The Tamarac boys basketball team locked up its first winning season since 2009 with a 64-44 non-league victory against New Lebanon Tuesday, Jan. 22.
Anthony Ciampolillo and Frank Zotto each scored 17 points to lead the Bengals (11-3), who pulled away from the Tigers with a 21-9 run in the second quarter. Cole Erickson had 14 points, and Clayton Erickson contributed 13 points for New Lebanon.
Elsewhere, Duncan Tallman became Mohonasen’s all-time scoring leader as the Mighty Warriors defeated Schenectady 71-63. Tallman scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter lead Mohonasen to victory and surpass Phil DeCarlo atop the school’s leaderboard with 1,274 points.
ALBANY – Schalmont, Mekeel Christian, Shaker and Albany Academy won their games at Saturday’s ZG Slam North South Classic at the Washington Avenue Armory.
Schalmont kicked off the first day of the event with a 63-40 victory over Colonial Council rival Cobleskill-Richmondville. The Bulldogs hung with the Sabres through the first quarter, but Schalmont pulled away with a 13-4 run in the second quarter and a 22-6 spurt in the third quarter.
Mohonasen outscored Catholic Central 23-9 in the second quarter to take control on its way to a 66-50 home victory Friday, Jan. 11, in a Colonial Council boys basketball game.
Duncan Tallman led four Mohonasen players in double digits with 15 points. Nicholas Richmond had 13 points, Shawn Gillisslee contributed 12 points and Logan Calkins added 10 points for the Mighty Warriors.
Schalmont won the battle of undefeated Colonial Council boys basketball teams with a 72-58 victory over Watervliet Tuesday, Dec. 18.
Shane O’Dell poured in 34 points, and LJ Randle contributed 23 points for the Sabres, who outscored Watervliet 41-25 in the second half to pull away. Messiah Mallory had 19 points, and J.J. Chestnut chipped in with 17 points for Watervliet.
Graduated: Jesse O’Dell (center), Mike Tommasone (guard), Chris Miller (guard)
Newcomers: Ryan Brown, Nick O’Connor
Outlook for the season: The Sabres return 11 players from last year’s team, which will come in handy as they face a tough schedule that includes more Class A and AA teams than teams within their own classification (B).
“With Mohonasen added to our division [of the Colonial Council], we play the last two teams to win the A title [Mohonasen and Lansingburgh] four times, plus LaSalle and Ichabod [Crane] twice,” said Loiacono. “The goal is to continue to get better every day, get a high seed and get back to Glens Falls.”
ROTTERDAM – The hallmark of a strong football program is its ability to play well, even while in the midst of a “rebuilding” year.
Schalmont went through such a phase last year. The Sabres started several sophomores and juniors new to the varsity level, and they earned a share of the Class B Reinfurt Division title – along with Hudson and Cobleskill-Richmondville – with a 4-1 record.
Still, the growing pains were evident when Schalmont played outside of the Reinfurt Division. The Sabres lost three of their four non-divisional games, including a 35-21 loss to Schuylerville in the Class B semifinals.
With most of last year’s starters back for another go-around, Schalmont has its sights set on getting to the Class B Super Bowl in 2018.
“We’re a lot more experienced this year,” said junior quarterback Shane O’Dell. “We’ve got a lot of good athletes again, just like last year.”
O’Dell is one of 18 juniors on Schalmont’s roster this year and the driving force of the Sabres’ offense.
“He threw for more than 1,000 yards as a sophomore and ran for about 350 more,” said Schalmont head coach Joe Whipple.
Several more skill position players are back for the Sabres, including running backs Darnell Green and Jake Sanford, as well as wide receiver LJ Randle. The offensive line is anchored by senior center Wade Funk – one of five Schalmont players entering their third season on varsity.
“We definitely feel like we can go out and surprise some people,” said Funk. “Some people aren’t expecting much out of us, but we think we have a team that can get to the Super Bowl.”
Getting to Super Bowl Weekend won’t be easy in Class B. Two-time defending champion Glens Falls has senior quarterback Joe Girard III ready to lead the Indians’ offense, and Schuylerville has several starters back.
Schalmont defensive coordinator Mike Hurteau said stopping some of Class B’s offenses will be a challenge, but one he believes the Sabres can handle.
“We have a good core group of kids returning, and we have some talented newcomers,” said Hurteau, who is entering his third season on Whipple’s coaching staff.
Schalmont has a challenge to start the regular season on Friday, Aug. 31 – hosting two-time defending state Class AA champion Troy. The Flying Horses, who moved to Class A this season, carry a 26-game winning streak into the contest.
To a man, though, Schalmont isn’t shirking from the challenge.
“It’s just another game to us,” said O’Dell. “We’re not intimidated just because they’re back-to-back state champs.”
“We’ll play them; we’ll play anybody,” said Whipple. “We’ll play the [New York] Giants if they’re on the schedule.”